TM and R: What Role These Trademark Symbols Play In IP Industry?

Trademark, also written as trade-mark, is any word, name, design, symbol, or combination thereof used to indicate the source of products to identify and distinguish them from goods of others. Undoubtedly, the definition of this exclusive Intellectual Property Right (IPR) is clear to most of us, but what about the vital elements related to it. Besides, queries like whether you can use a specific mark and when can you file a trademark application, there are several areas of trademarks around which confusion abound. One remarkably confusing area is TM and R symbols. People often appear confused with what these two trademark symbols represent, when should one use them, etc.

What do TM and R Symbols Represent?

The TM symbol, which can be used by any individual or company, indicates that a particular word, logo, sign, or phrase is a trademark intended to work as an identifier for the source of the relevant product or service. To use a TM symbol, the owners don’t need to have a Registered Trademark. In general, many companies opt to use this symbol for new goods or services in advance of and during the Trademark Application Process.

On the contrary, the R symbol indicates that the specific word, phrase, logo, or sign is a Registered Trademark, and only the owner or licensee has the legal rights of ownership to use it. It must be used only in the regions in which the owner possesses a valid Trademark Registration.

Can TM and R Symbols be Used at Any Time?

The precise answer to this question is both yes and no. In the case of the first one, i.e., TM, where you want to use a word, phrase, sign, or logo as a trademark intending to identify your company as the source of products or services, you are free to do so any time. As per some privileges under the common law of many companies, you can use TM symbol without applying to register a trademark. However, it enables you to obtain the protection, which is quite lesser as compared to that you could have enjoyed as the owner of a registered trademark.

In cases where you don’t want to or unable to go for trademark registrations, the use of the TM symbol can be a strategic decision. It allows you to tell the public that you are using this brand as a trademark, which over an extended period, will become recognizable in the marketplace as an identifier for your business. Moreover, it also signifies that you have legalities to protect your brand in mind, and thus, ultimately act as a deterrent to severe Trademark Infringement.

On the other hand, the R symbol can never be used without successfully registering your trademark with the associated trademark office. The use of symbol R on the mark that has not been registered is a criminal offense. Doing so can leave you with penalties or behind bars. Hence, whenever you decide to use a trademark symbol, it is better to proceed after being aware of the rules related to that symbol. Although it is possible to obtain the required information from several sources, knowledgeable IP Lawyers can be the best option. They can provide you with precise info, clear your doubts, and assist you in getting rid of any legal concern if you have already misused any mark.

What Should Be the Location of TM and R Symbols?

The upper right corner of the sign, logo, or word is the most common place to put these two significant trademark symbols. Nevertheless, placement of the symbols on the bottom right corner is also acceptable in cases when placing them on the top don’t appear pleasing.

Bottom Line

Here at the end, you have a wealth of information about symbols TM and R that will help you to secure your valuable assets under the Trademark Protection. Recognize your needs and select the symbol that suits you. Although using the symbols even on the registered mark is not necessary, electing to use them is a good idea as it can prevent issues like infringement, and thus, limit the losses that you otherwise can come across. If you want to know about any other trademark symbol or more regarding these two, then consult an adept Intellectual Property Law Firm. Having years of experience in the Intellectual Property industry, they can serve you with the best possible guidance! For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Microsoft Files Patent for a Possible Virtual Reality Vibrating Mat

A new Patent Application filed by Microsoft with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hints that the company might be working on vibrating mat to prevent the Virtual Reality (VR) gamers from getting hit by a table, chair, or other devices while being blinded by a VR headset. 

In the application filed recently, the company described that it is planning to come up with a VR-enabled vibrating floor mat that would deal with the real-world issue faced by several VR gamers. Microsoft’s floor mat would house a bevy of tech features capable of influencing users’ VR experience while keeping them away from the risks posed by surrounding walls, tables, or other furniture. Built-in “spatially distributed pressure sensors” and “fiducial markers” would communicate with the VR console to determine the gamers’ physical location on the mat. The data collected could then be utilized to shape the virtual world around players.

The patent also mentions the plausibility of providing the mat with “vibration devices” to make it vibrate. It further uncovers various configurations in the possible VR mats, encompassing one that would list a few customization options so the players can personalize their play space. Besides, one of the images provided in the patent application shows the intended VR mat in the living room, where a spitting-image of a Kinect is visible on top of the TV.

More interestingly, the patent even mentions the mat’s potential that would help the VR players in having a sound gaming experience. The company explained that in some cases, the VR-enabled vibrating floor mat could become a gaming console, while the HMD and peripheral control devices may perform as peripheral to the gaming console.

Furthermore, the application showcases multiple feasible VR computing devices like personal computers, server computers, home-entertainment computers, tablet computers, network computing devices, and more. It even puts light on wearable gadgets and smartphones that reveal that the brand may have been casting a precautionary wide net.  Another point in the application describes that Microsoft could come up with interlocking floor tiles, which would help the users to increase the mat’s square footage if they find the playing space insufficient by adding some additional surrounding tiles.

However, Microsoft’s new vibrating floor mat is predicted to take the users one step ahead as it would tackle a common real-world VR concern ruining the gaming experience of many players; but only if it sees the light of the day. According to several past reports, just applying for a patent isn’t a confirmation that the company will bring the expected floor mat as it is common for the firms to file such patents and then forget to turn them into reality. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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The “Blurred Line” Copyright Decision is Scaring Lil Nas X and Cardi B

Lee and DeMeritt have recently sued Lil Nas X and Cardi B for Copyright Infringement asserting that X and B’s “Rodeo” has a substantially similar sound and feel to their “Broad Day.” They explained that both songs appear the same in many ways. For instance, they both are 142 bpm, Rodeo has “guitar and wind instruments to invoke a certain aesthetic that’s set against hip-hop ingredients derived from digital drum and bass components,” and “the rhythmic guitar part outlining chords of Rodeo is replaced just with a single note line playing ascending and descending scale moving with the change in chord.” It means the two songs are from the same genre.

Nevertheless, Lil Nas X and Cardi B might be planning to defend their Rodeo – a pretty good song managed to grab the attention of Don Lee and Glen Keith DeMeritt III, whose “gwenXdonelee4-142” beat was incorporated into Sakrite Duexe and Puretoreefa’s track Broad Day. But at present, the defendants seem threatened due to the “Blurred Lines” copyright decision made in 2015.

Back in the year 2015, the Marvin Gaye estate secured an unusual copyright verdict against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over their hit song “Blurred Lines.” The Gaye estate successfully argued that although “Blurred Lines” didn’t copy the Gaye’s songs, it cloned the feeling of Gaye’s music, i.e., this song by Thicke and Williams reminded listeners of Gaye. Strange, but the argument ended into Gaye’s favor. 

Since it required musicians to pretend that they have had no musical influences, lest they come across a similar lawsuit, it was a catastrophically bad verdict. People who pointed it out are known as “alarmists” by copyright maximalists, who are sure that this ruling wouldn’t spawn musical copyright trolls that would shake down musicians for huge payouts from hit songs as almost everyone, after all, is associated in some or other way to the songs that came prior to it.

At present, it is predicted that the matter will be settled with the “beat creators getting a songwriting credit,” and therefore, a remarkable percentage of the songwriting royalties as that would be cheaper than the expenses and concerns for going to court. Nonetheless, if X and B do this, you can bet that Lee and DeMeritt will not be the last ones to file a stupid and ridiculous case of this type. Besides, the “Blurred Lines” decision will become a strong legal way for grifters to impose yet another tax on working and successful musicians. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Role of Copyrights in Social Media

Intellectual Property Rights

In today’s digitally equipped world, social media plays a significant role in the success of businesses. Having many existing users, along with adding more regularly, it provides the companies with remarkable opportunities to get more traffic and customers. Undoubtedly, by sharing images and content on social media sites such as Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, businesses can make considerable profits. However, to keep everything going smoothly, the firms need to be cautious while posting on social media; else Copyright Infringement can bother them.

The blog includes many facts regarding social media sites, copyright policies of these platforms, and tips to keep copyright infringement issues away.

Copyrights and Social Media

A few years ago, the copyright process was easy. However, with the advent of the internet, advancements in cyberspace and social media that made stringent laws to settle down at a back seat for controlling businesses’ progress, the process turned difficult.

Are you an entrepreneur and want to stay away from online embarrassment and costly litigation when you use social media sites to promote your business? You need to have a precise and comprehensive idea about Copyright Laws and what you write or post online.

Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and others may let you proceed with the copyrighted material. But, as these platforms don’t own the content or image you post, rights related to copyrights lie with the owner. Agreeing to the terms and policies shows that you are giving license to the sites to use your works. Each site is available with different agreements.

The below examples of Facebook (FB) and Pinterest will help you in getting a clear idea of how copyrights work with social media.

Facebook: FB’s service terms explain that all rights to your post lie with you; no matter whether it holds an image or content or both. Just by enabling the privacy and application settings, you can control how the posted content will be shared. FB offers terms and conditions even for the content protected by Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Pinterest: Policies of this site state that it can use your content if you agree to its terms and conditions. Pinterest copyright statement includes a link that facilitates you to file a complaint or case against people who violate your copyright.

Tips to evade copyright infringement on social media

  1. Receive permission

The safest way to use copyrighted content or image is to get permitted by its owner. Once allowed, you are free to utilize the image or content without any fear.

  1. Prefer public domains

Selecting images from sites that are free from copyright restrictions is also a fruitful way to keep infringement away. On the internet, a plethora of websites are available with images that you can use without facing any legal issue.

  1. Give credit

If you are not able to reach the owner and seek his permission for using the content, it is better to give credits by attaching a link tothe source in your post.

  1. Overview ownership rights

Going through all the ownership rights on social media sites is essential. Apart from these rights, you should also overview the guidelines on safe usage of the copyrighted material.

  1. Believe in purchasing

There is no harm in paying some cents for purchasing copyrighted content as it will keep you far from expensive legal problems. iStock, Shutterstock, and Bigstock are a few websites offering good images at reasonable charges.

Conclusion

Social media posting is one of the trendiest strategies that can make your brand visible worldwide. However, if you want to avail the best possible advantages from this advanced strategic approach, you need to be meticulous about the most common issue – copyright infringement. Moreover, you have to be familiar with all the essentialities for safeguarding your material from its unauthorized use. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

IBM Patents a Smartwatch that Transforms Into a Tablet

Patent Application

The famous tech giant IBM has acquired a patent for its foldable smartwatch that transforms into a smartphone or an eight-panel tablet. The Patent Application includes a concept that appears implausible today but could become real in the upcoming years due to continuous advancements in display technology.

The company filed the patent application with the title “Variable display size for an electronic display device” three years ago in 2016 but obtained the grant in the mid of June 2019.

The patent showcases a rectangular shaped watch having a thick case under the display. The thickness is because the case consists of a slot including seven more display panels. Users will be able to open and use as many display panels as they want, say one, two, or all eight. Since each display panel is of 3-inches by 2-inches size, opening the whole device results in a tablet having a screen measuring 12-inches by 8-inches. By opening four panels, the user can transform his smartwatch into a smartphone with the proper reform in UI (user-interface).

The smartwatch includes many other considerable features. Some of them are as follows:

  • At least one speaker.
  • Minimal seams on display.
  • Ability to work with a physical keyboard and an optional mouse.

According to IBM, the concept is to make the screen more abundant by employing a set of slides that create a storage slot within the case. The case is capable of recognizing the display size when the users open up additional panels. However, the main emphasis of the concept is to expand the watch display to tablet size, but IBM also focuses on helping people to increase watch display to smartphone mode.

At present, IBM is focusing on quantum computing, consulting, and artificial intelligence (AI) rather than the foldable smart gadget. Moreover, the concept seems implausible today but could be possible with display technology advancements. Hence, no one can predict when the giant will pull such a smart device out of its technological hat. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Prime Inc. files a case against Amazon alleging Trademark Infringement

trademark infringement

Prime Inc. filed a trademark infringement case against Amazon in the US Federal Court situated in Missouri’s Western District. Located in Springfield, Missouri, the trucking troop claimed that the e-commerce giant is creating confusion by using the word prime on its shipping trucks.

In the application, Prime Inc. contends that it suffered a lot due to the past and present unfair competition and trademark infringement by Amazon, thus entitled to get more than three times of its profits or losses.

Prime Inc. further alleged that it informed Amazon regarding the unlawful infringement two years ago, through written notifications and proceedings at Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. It added that Amazon still continued to use one or other accused marks on its shipping trucks and moving trailers in commerce. The plaintiff also asserted that the trademark infringement by Amazon is wilful, malicious, and intentional.

In short, Amazon continued exercising unfair competition and infringing rights of Prime Inc.

Some tried to explain that the two prime words are quite different. Clarifying the facts, they said that the prime in Amazon includes small-case letters, and in the case of Prime Inc., it consists of upper-case letters.  However, Prime Inc. was still not satisfied and responded that when compared with each other; both the words appear identical in looks, commercial impression, and meaning.

Reports by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) revealed that prime is the dominant word in the markings of the two companies and thus, holds more weight than other differences. The applicant claimed that since Prime Inc. and Amazon deal in similar transportation channels, customers might confuse and associate transportation, trucking, and shipping services under the logo of the applicant with Amazon. It continued that the misconception that Amazon’s services are associated with Prime Inc., at the point of sale and after, leads to its loss. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Why protecting Intellectual Property is critical for Startups?

Intellectual Property

Are you an entrepreneur and passionate to grow your startup to a remarkably fruitful extent? In today’s highly competitive market, there are many factors, which could lead to a downfall in your business. Don’t be apprehensive as nowadays, even innovators, investors, and the government, are making efforts to facilitate the growth and success of newly established businesses in India.  The chief reason found resulting in failure or ineffective performance of startups is that their owners often overlook the need to safeguard Intellectual Property (IP) while crafting initial strategies that include significant demands and priorities.

Advanced searches concerning several IP assets, including designs, patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc., provide entrepreneurs with the idea of probabilities of the triumph of their business. For example, the owner will come to know whether a similar patent or design that is the base of his business corporation, already exists or not. The information obtained in this manner will help the entrepreneurs in making the essential modifications well in advance, thus preventing them from future conflicts.

What are the advantages of Intellectual Property Protection?

IP assets’ protection benefits a business in many ways like it:

  • Gives legal security
  • Avoids future litigations
  • Allows effective management of resources
  • Establishes a secure environment to let entrepreneurs focus on promoting their products without any hassle.

Businessmen often ask IP lawyers to protect their concepts, which is hardly possible. Well, there will be no need to ask anyone for preventing other companies from copying their business ideas if they implement an effectual strategy for IP protection.

IP is not limited to legal aspects, it holds noticeable importance in numerous other aspects such as entrepreneurs can monetize, and custom IP as a safety net for their enterprises during challenging times. Some avenues in regards to which a business can monetize IP are as follows:

  • Selling
  • Licensing
  • Franchising
  • Earning royalties

Well-organized IP protection develops businesspersons’ self-confidence to demand a suitable cost for their products and avail the expected benefits. It also plays a vital role in persuading the investors’decisions associated with raising funds.

With a thought of bestowing the startups with a positive and inspiring ambiance, the Indian government made many efforts. It began with a scheme called Startups’ Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) depicting that the Startup Certification Board certifies any startup when:

  1. It has a unique business model
  2. Its yearly turnover doesn’t exceed ₹250 million in any fiscal year
  3. Its incorporation or registration in the nation is less than 7 years old.

What benefits does a Startup enjoy after getting certification from the Startup Certification Board?

  • Full support from facilitators who hold responsibilities for delivering general advice, filing or completing prosecution of applications for patents, copyrights, trademarks, and designs.
  • Provisions to quick actions for patent applications
  • Preferential fee for Intellectual Property application
  • Fixed facilitators’ fees with no additional charges involved for engaging IP lawyers.

Conclusion

In today’s highly competitive world, new firms are more susceptible to get hurt due to losses in businesses. Therefore, it is crucial for startups to prioritize protecting Intellectual Property in the initial planning so that their businesses turn safe, right from the time of inception. Considering the IP protection cost as an optional charge, people often underestimate their needs and have to face negative results. Although, the government and many other representatives have taken initiatives relating to the cost concerns, however, the responsibilities for exploiting or maintaining the existing IP assets rest with corporations. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Stringent Laws, Collective Application Vital to Protect IPR: CJI Dipak Misra

Intellectual Property

Former CJI (Chief Justice of India), Dipak Misra said that the business corporations in the current global economy focus on staying competitive by deeply managing Intellectual Property (IP). That is why; stringent laws and their collective enforcements are imperative for the security of Intellectual Property Rights in India.

Misra at a conference held in New Delhi delivered a speech on intellectual property through collective enforcement. In his speech on this topic, the justice emphasized that though the proprietary knowledge and possessions of mind are attaining recognition over centuries, IP gained importance in the present framework due to incessant advancements in trade and technology.

Continued speaking at the conference, Justice Misra added that the significance of intangible goods is increasing at a rapid pace, thus forcing businesses to create and manage IP conceptions as their keys for achieving competitive advantages and improved performances.

Continuing further, he came up with the following information:

In India, the ancient times were facilitated with the ideology that knowledge sharing is better than all other kinds of giving. However, today, IP is what acts as the planned alliances of growth in socio-economic and technology. It is the basic context of sustenance in the existing economically competitive era.

In the view to promote inventions, it is necessary to consider Intellectual Property Rights. Undoubtedly, the legislative system is not just in force but also in accord with a framework of developing countries but that’s not sufficient. Since India is moving ahead in the form of a developing nation, some other stringent laws are required.

Our country is advancing to such level of development that we need to have control, have a safeguard, and provide protection to those who are creating and inventing or actively involved in innovation.

Dipak Misra known as a former CJI was born on October 3rd, 1953. Being the 45th Chief Justice of India, he served the nation from 28th August 2017 to 2nd October 2018. He is also identified as the nephew of Justice Ranganath Misra who served the nation as the 21st CJI from 1990 – 91. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Geographical Indication and its Importance

 Geographical Indication

In earlier times, we were hardly available with more than one option for a particular thing. For example, there were very few varieties of tea grown in only some specific regions. However, with the advancements in technology and other sectors, people are persistently coming up with new ways to produce more varieties of tea. This continuous practice is giving rise to a competitive market, thus making it arduous for producers to acquire the precise cost for their produce. Geographical Indication (GI) is an essential tool that helps the growers in attaining the premium price for their products.

GI plays a vital role in the lives of both producers and consumers. Moreover, it adds to the nation’s economy. In short, there are a lot of benefits that make GI a considerable term. But before having an insight on those advantages, let’s go through some other noticeable facts regarding Geographical Indication.

Definition

Geographical Indication is a certification for agricultural, natural, or manufactured products that are unique originates of a specific area in a country. The products with GI tag are known for their quality and own a sense of trust and legitimacy.

Some products that have achieved the GI tag in India are:

  • Basmati Rice, which is famous for its long grains and matchless aroma, is unique to Indo-Gangetic plains. After a legal battle, seven states of India have attained the GI certification in 2016.
  • Darjeeling Tea was the first commodity that achieved a GI grant in India. Both the title and logo of Darjeeling tea were given fortification under the Intellectual Property laws.

Besides agricultural goods, the following sorts of products are also enjoying the merits of Geographical Indication:

  • Natural like Makrana marble
  • Handicraft such as Kashmiri pashmina
  • Foodstuff like Dharwadpedha

The purpose of providing the status of Geographical Indication to products is to stop the practice of unfair competition and prevent misstatement on the subject of the geographical origins of products.

Why Geographical Indication Protection is vital?

Most of us often doubt whether going for GI protection is worthwhile. Go through the following benefits that will aid you in figuring out the importance of geographical indication.

Boosts export

The essential purpose of using GI tag is that it provides a legal defense that encourages the producers to produce and sell more. More production results in the expansion of businesses worldwide. Hence, we can say that geographical indication protection boosts exports.

Increases Economic Wealth

GI tag rewards the products with a positive reputation that develops the producers’ confidence to ask for an optimum price for their produces. In other words, geographical indication boosts the economic wealth of growers, regions, and the entire nation.

Prevents misuse

The producer with the GI tag has the legal right to prevent unauthorized people who do not belong to his geographical indication region from using his certification. In this way, he can deter damages to his reputation. The farmers selling goods under GI safeguard seem to face fewer issues and competition from false sellers who vend bogus commodities.

Upsurges Tourism

Geographical indication bestows the commodities with a brand reputation worldwide. Alluring people with thoughts that the particular products hold a good reputation, GI tag motivates them to access those products in their original form by visiting the places of their origin. All these facts result in the remarkable growth of a nation’s tourism.

Conclusion

Nowadays, almost all states yield products unique to that specific area. There are a ton of products, which are continuously making their place in millions of hearts in the entire world by acquiring a GI tag. Ultimately, GI is another name to increase in the economic wealth of growers and nation. Hopefully, after going through the statistics above, you are left with no doubts about why and how a geographical indication is imperative. GI is essential for not just producers but for consumers as well. It enables the growers to avail the best possible price for their premium products. Besides, it aids the customers to buy optimal commodities. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

American Businesses want reforms in Indian policies on IPRs & e-commerce

intellectual property rights

An advocacy group at Washington-based USISPF (US-India Strategic Partnership Forum) thrown light on the American companies’ desire for the participation of new Indian government i.e., BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) in bold reforms in several areas encapsulating data localisation, intellectual property rights, e-commerce, land & labour laws and policies.

USISPF which had been established with an intention to uplift the commercial and economic status of nations functions to develop and maintain robust relationships amidst two countries by providing suggestions to drive employment-creation, entrepreneurship, economic growth, and more.

Mukesh Aghi who is the President of USISPF while communicating with administrators from different Departments and Ministries encompassing Commerce and other Industry revealed that they are working on a document emphasizing the changes and reforms American businesses want in some Indian policies. He added that they will hand over the modified document to the government of India.

Policy Changes

Earlier 2019, e-commerce policies in India underwent a revision that discontinued firms with foreign investments to vend products of businesses in which they put the equity. This alteration had shaken the professional life of many foreign investors, for example – US-based Company ‘Walmart’ that had acquired Flipkart, an e-commerce company based in India by investing $26 billion. As the abrupt alterations impacted the investments immensely, the GOI (Government of India) ought to gain investors’ trust.

Apart from e-commerce, US companies wanted the Indian government to work upon data localisation policies that banned transferring and storing customer-related information out of the country. Aghi continued that American businesses are interested to both invest and bring technology in India but for that, they want reforms in land and labour laws that often hinder operations.

IPR laws

US companies demanded modifications in laws related to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) also. The two alterations they want in relation to IPR include granting more security to patent holders and relaxation in cost for medicines and medical equipment.

In regards to the proposed withdrawal of GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) benefits, the advocacy group suggested the American government to continue allowing tax-free imports of near about 3,000 products to the US from India, as it was a sign of goodwill for years and helped in creating jobs for Indian people.  For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/