What is a Trade Mark?
A Trade Mark is a sign used or proposed to be used in relation to goods or services to differentiate these goods or services of one entity/ business from those of other entities in the course of trade.
Generally, a sign can be anything from a visible distinctive word or words, letter (s), numeral (number), drawing, picture, shape, color, logotype, label or a combination of one or all of these things.
Register Your Trademark
Basic Steps to Register a Trademark
- Obtain an application form – Form 4 (Application for Registration of a trademark). The form can be downloaded or collected at the office.
- Complete the application using the Form 4 Instruction Guide
- Pay the prescribed filing fee of PG K250.00. Payment can be made via direct deposit or bank cheque. (Click fees to get more information).
- Lodge the application together with the receipt of payment and cover letter to the IPOPNG Office.
- All forms MUST BE sent to the following email address: IPOLodgements@ipa.gov.pg
Why are Trademarks important?
- Identify and distinguish between products or services of the same kind – convenience for choice. Trademarks make it easy for consumers to easily identify goods and services of a business or entity in the market place and distinguish or differentiate these goods or services from those of other similar goods or services of other businesses or entities.
- Products are easily recognized A trademark also enables businesses’ products and services to stand out in the market place and be recognized or identified by customers.
It also allows businesses to recognize their competitors in the market place.
- Establish image – reputation over time
NOTE: Not all signs, logos, name, etc can be registered as a trademark. Your trademark must be unique and capable of distinguishing your goods or services of the owner from same or similar goods or services of other businesses/entities in the market place.
Therefore you should do a Trademark Search before using a new trade mark or filing an application to register your trademark. The search will help you assess whether your trademark, for which you intend to register, is not conflictingly similar to other trademarks that have already been filed or registered or used in the market place. Trademark search can be done either by:
- Searching the PAPUA NEW GUINEA TRADEMARK DATABASE via Global Brand Database at no cost. This database contains the Papua New Guinea Trademark Register which has all the trademark applications both filed and registered in Papua New Guinea,
- Search for Trademarks using the IPOPNG IP SEARCH Tool or,
- Filing a request for search with the Office at a cost of PGK50.00 per mark.
Why Is It Important to Register my Trademark?
Registering a trade mark will provide stronger protection, particularly in the case of a conflict with an identical or confusingly similar trade mark. The legal or statutory title ( trademark rights – for which you have when you register your trademark) protects the registered proprietor/owner or registered user against unauthorized use of the trade mark.
Registration will also provide the owner, or registered user, with the legal title (trademark rights) to exclusive use, of the trade mark for the goods and services for which it is registered and where applicable, claim relief in the event of an infringement.
How Long Will It Take Before My Trademark is Registered?
Registering a trade mark is a lengthy process and may take a minimum of 9 months to complete and obtain a Certificate of Registration. However, it takes 2 weeks to 1 month to receive the examination report on an application. The Office will inform you from time to time and throughout this entire process of the progress of your application.
Click here to obtain the full process from filing to registration.
What happens after my trade mark has been approved for registration?
Upon approval for registration, the applicant is granted exclusive right and ownership of the trade mark with a Trade Mark Certificate (legal document).
Registration of the mark is valid for a 10 year period starting from the filing date (registration date) of the application. The owner can renew the mark after every 10 years.
The trademark right gives the owner the power to exercise control over the use of the mark. The owner can also license the mark to others to use the trade mark or assign the trade mark rights to others.
Changes to the Register
Changes can be made to a trademark or the details relating to a trademark through the use of these prescribed forms: