A trademark is a sign which represents, goods and services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings. Therefore, such trademarks must be unique and not similar to other trademarks. Trademarks may take various forms and may contain words, numerals, figurative element, letters or the shape of goods or their packaging. Chapter 416 of the Laws of Malta, titled the ‘Trademarks Act’ is the legal instrument which provides and handles issues regarding trademarks.
The holder of a registered trademark is conferred particular rights upon registration of the trademark. Such trademark is only to be used by the proprietor. Such a right also prohibits the use of trademarks which are similar and may lead to create confusion. Infringements do occur in the commercial sphere and Article 10 of the Trademarks Act states the situations when there is an infringement of a registered trademark in the course of trade.
U law has enacted provisions regarding the rights which appertain to the owner of a community trademark. Under Article 9 of the Council regulation No 207/2009, the proprietor is allowed to stop third parties not having the authorisation, using the registered community trademark in the course of trade, if they fall within any of the scenarios stated in the law. The Regulation also gives guidance on how the marks are to be used.
The Regulation also mentions the fact that it allows for reasonable compensation to be forked out by anyone who is infringing a registered trademark by their actions in the course of trade. However such compensation may only be claimed by the proprietor after the date of publication of that particular EU trademark in question. The court handling the matter cannot decide upon the merits of the case until the registration has been published. Under Maltese Law such damages, are accounted for in Chapter 488 of the Laws of Malta, specifically under Article 12.
Our firm encourages business to protect and enhance their reputation by registering their trademark/s. We regularly assist clients who wish to protect their intellectual property locally and worldwide.
For any further inquiries about trademarks contact us.