Understanding registered Trademarks, Copyright and Design Rights

When you look at franchising, you will often see these terms, so it can help to understand what they mean.

Registered Trademarks •    Trademarks can be attained for supplying goods and services. After obtaining the registration, the trademark owner can prevent third parties from using the same mark through claiming for damages and / or an injunction. •    An injunction refers to a court order that prevents a third party from making the unlawful use of the owner’s trademark. •    The only important thing to consider is not to choose a word as a trademark which describes the products or services to be supplied under that mark as it will be difficult to get the trademark

Copyright •    A copyright is generally maintained by the author of the copyrighted work. •    Logos or designs used on stationary items, brochures or packaging by a franchisor is subject to copyright. •    The ownership of the copyright is managed within the franchise agreement of the two parties.

Design Rights •    With recent changes made to the design rights in the UK, franchisors can obtain protection for their logos, products, trademarks, shop displays and packaging by attaining a registered design right.

If an individual owns an unregistered mark or name, it can prevent the third party from using his market goodwill for such mark or name.