Registration of a trademark is always performed with respect to one or more classes of specific goods and/or services which should correspond to those goods and/or services commercialised by its owner. The classes for goods and services are governed byt the Nice Classification.
Consequently, the trademark owner has the exclusive right to use the trademark in relation to the goods and/or services for which registration has been achieved, which practically encompasses two rights: a positive right, namely the right to use thetrademark and a negative right, namely the right to exclude others from using it.
The positive rights to use the trademark means that the trademark owner has the right to affix the sign to the goods or to the packaging thereof, i.e. containers, packaging, labels or to use it in any other way in relation to the goods/services for which it is registered, i.e. offering the goods, placing them on the market or stocking them for these purposes under that sign, or offering or supplying services thereunder, importing or exporting the goods under that sign; using the sign on business papers and in advertising.
The negative exclusive rights arising out of a trademark registration allow the trademark owners to prevent all others from marketing identical or similar products/services under an identical or confusingly similar trademark in order to prevent consumers and the public in general from being misled. Hence, they are able to prohibit competitors from: (a) affixing the trademark to the goods or their packaging; (b) stocking or selling goods bearing the trademark or supplying services under the service mark; (c) importing or exporting goods under the trademark; and/or (d) using the trademark on business papers, websites and in advertising. Furthermore, since consumers are to be protected against confusion, protection generally extends to the use of similar trademarks for similar goods, if such use is likely to confuse the consumer.
However, such exclusive rights have limits. The rights are limited to:
• the country, countries or regions in which you have registered the trademark
• the goods/services for which the trademark is registered;
• situations in which consumers are likely be confused by the infringing Trademark