Fashion brands always seek to distinguish themselves from their competitors, Trademarks are widely used means of intellectual property by companies and individuals. It is important that every fashion brand has a trademark.
A trademark is a symbol used to distinguish the goods and service of one company from those of its competitors and is commonly known as the “brand”. It can be a designers brand name like Ejiro Amos Tafiri, Deola Saoge, Tiffany Amber but such protection extends to brand logos, such as Chanel’ s double “c” Mark.
Trademark is distinct from other intellectual property rights such as copyrights and design rights in that it’s essential purpose is to determine the origin of a product. In effect, the trademark is the commercial substitute for one’s signature. To receive federal protection, a trademark must be distinctive rather than merely descriptive.
Unregistered trademarks are not protected under the law. A trademark is a merchandising shortcut which induces a purchaser to select what he wants. A trademark functions on three different levels; as an indication of origin or ownership, as a guarantee of constancy of the quality or other characteristics of a product or service, and as a means of advertisement.
It is very vital for a Fashion Brand to have a registered trademark. When making applications for a trademark, a designer should identify what they want protection for; the Mark, the territory, the goods and services. Before making an application, it is best to obtain a Trademark search clearance to make sure that there is no similar trademark which might prevent a fashion designer from registering.
As the International Trademark Association defines it “the value of a trademark lies in the goodwill associated with that trademark”. Goodwill is an intangible asset that provides added value to the trademark owner’s worth(such as a recognisable brand).” Thus, if a fashion brand does not possess a distinct trademark, it’s value could decrease.
In Nigeria, for a business/fashion brand to be legally recognised, there is a grave need for that business to be registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), It is an autonomous body in Nigeria charged with the responsibility to regulate the formation and managements of companies in Nigeria.
It is very essential that a fashion brand registers its’ trademark in accordance to the The Trademark Act 1990, a fashion designer can register his/her trademark(logo, name, slogan, shape, colour) with the Commercial Law Department, Ministry of Trade in Nigeria. Solicitors specialising in intellectual property and trademark attorneys can make this easier. So contact an intellectual property lawyer today to register your trademark.