Brand and trademark registration

Branding is a field of marketing that emerged in the 19th century with the introduction of packaged products. The unique shape of BMW's blue and white circular logo and Apple's colorful apple bite are all examples of brands that are instantly recognizable because of their logos. Traders promote their products under that mark.

The customers know as soon as they see the sign that this product belongs to a business or factory that they trust. The use of trademarks is so widespread that the customer buys only considering the brand without knowing its manufacturer or the merchant who owns the brand.

Article 1 of the Law on Trademarks and Inventions approved on June, 1931 defines trademarks as follows: "Trademarks are any kind of sign, including pattern, image, number, letter, phrase, seal, wrapper, and others that are used for privilege and It is possible to identify the commercial or industrial product.

One of the oldest definitions of a brand was provided by the American Marketing Association (AMA) in 1960. This definition emphasizes the importance of the logo and signs used in a brand as a basis for distinguishing that brand from other brands. According to the definition of the American Marketing Association, a brand is: a name, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them to identify the goods and services provided by a seller or group.

The shortest definition, a brand name can be considered as a symbol of a product that can transfer the desired message to the audience through the logo, color combination, sound, appearances and even writing methods and at first glance, the product brought the idea to a mind. A trademark that registered can be one or a combination of several words, letters, numbers, drawings, symbols, three-dimensional images (shape and packaging of goods), audio signs such as music or sounds, tracks or colors for introduction of the features.

The brand name as a shortcut can help the human mind in dealing with the huge flood of marketing information and as a vision of the senior managers of the organization, it can keep the risk of going off the main path. A good vision for the brand in managers, employees and consumers will provide motivation to move towards bigger goals. Nike advertisement with this content that you don't cut silver, you lose gold; it is a good example of a method that has been able to realize a new vision for consumers and encourage certain behaviors.

Also, brand names provide a unique opportunity to make impression, differentiate and long lasting, which can be used in the best way for the marketing goals and success of an organization. They can create emotions and motivate the consumers. In such a situation, a significant number of customers, even if other substitute products with lower prices are available in the market the applicant will be using the same trade names and will not accept substitute goods. The creation of such a commitment takes place during a process that includes familiarizing the customer with the product, the influence of the brand name, and then product preference.

If the brand name is Persian, it must have a meaningful document in the Persian dictionary. It should be suitable for the company's activity and describe the product's privileges, attract the consumer's attention and create a positive attitude on the audience. In fact, a successful brand is a catchy brand that can be easily pronounced and promoted.

The specific features of a trademark are originality and uniqueness, and these two cannot be achieved except through innovation. Originality means that it is exclusive and that the mark is not used by another party in the same product, and uniqueness means that the registered mark is the result of the changes and it should be completely clear and distinct from the previous sign.
It is believed that the Law of Trademarks has classified commercial goods and any trademark registered for a class of goods cannot be registered and transferred by another party in the same class.

Trademarks are classified into several categories: chemical industries and products, metals and metal artifacts, technical and scientific, industrial devices and equipment, artifacts and objects made of different materials, textile artifacts, toys and sports equipment, food and agricultural products and other things…..

One of the simplest interpretations of a brand name is to use it as a means of expressing legal ownership of a product. Creating a brand represents an investment in a product and as a result, organizations seek to take legal ownership as a means of support against imitators. The legal registration of a brand name provides legal protection for them to some extent. Therefore, one of the factors that make the brand name effective is registration and legal protection. Legal protection of the brand name is one of the main steps to create a powerful brand. In the current competitive world where different products are offered day by day, Companies that have registered trademarks and trade names have a favorable consumer rating and are practically insured against the policies of competitors. When a brand is registered, it means that the name and address intended for the product is safely used and protected from damages. In fact, as long as a product or service does not have a specific feature, it can be simply branded and have this brand in a sustainable way. In Iran, the registration of trademarks and inventions is the responsibility of the Industrial Property Department. The Industrial Property Department of the country's Registration, Documents and Real Estate Organization is responsible for registering all industrial property matters, including inventions, trademarks, collective marks and industrial designs, as well as handling matters related to industrial property and also representing the Islamic Republic of Iran in the organization. Global intellectual property and unions related to relevant conventions are the responsibility of the Real Estate Registry Organization. 

Registering a brand brings many benefits and advantages including the right to exclusive use of the trademark, which prevents the supply of similar goods by third parties under trademarks that are the same or misleadingly similar to another trademark. In this regard, the important point is that the exclusive right to use the trademark is considered only for those who register their trademarks.
When a brand is registered, it leads to the name and address that is planned for the product, being safely used in the way of realizing the goals of an organization and protected from harm. In fact, registering a trademark brings many benefits and advantages, Like:

1: The right to exclusive use of the trademark is considered only for those who register their trademark. If you pay the amount according to the trademark registration law after the registration of the trademark, the company gets the exclusive right by which you can avoid similar products by third parties under trademarks that are the same or in a misleading way similar to your trademark. So if a manufacturer uses your trademark without permission, you can take action through judicial authorities and claim damages for misuse. Claim your brand name in this way, trademark protection prevents fraudsters from using specific marks to sell products and provide cheap services. The registration of commercial product brands also creates healthy conditions for consumers to choose high-quality and needed products in fair and healthy conditions away from the black market of fake goods with easiness and full knowledge. If the competitors use the same or similar trademark, they will mislead the customers and by presenting a low quality product, they will harm both the consumers and the profit of the company and the reputation of the company as a whole. They risk irreparability. The challenge that our businesses are facing today.

2: Brand registration can also contribute for shareholders and increase the company's income. 

3: Trademark registration ensures that customers can distinguish the products from each other.

4: It enables companies to differentiate their products from each other.

5: Trademark registration can be important for getting a loan.

6: Trademark registration can create image and reputation for companies and is a suitable tool for marketing.

7: A trademark is transferable and must be registered according to the provisions of Iran's trademark and patent registration law. To register the transfer a separate declaration and proof of the transfer document must be submitted and if the transfer is forced and through inheritance, the proof of another document of transfer through inheritance should be submitted to the trademark registration department so that after registration under the initial registration and advertisement in the official magazine, the registration procedures will be performed. Therefore, the owner of the trademark can transfer it to another, because the right to own a trademark is a type of privilege that has value in itself and is considered a commercial right, it is part of the property of the owner of the trademark and is transferred to the successors upon the death of the owner of the trademark. Therefore, delegating permission to use a registered trademark is given to third companies, which can create a source of more income for the company or person, or be the basis for concluding an agreement to grant a sales representative. 

8: A trademark may be a valuable business asset.

9: It encourages companies to invest in maintaining or improving their product quality.

According to the law the registration of trademarks are optional, except in cases where the government makes it mandatory. The period of trademark protection is ten years, which can be extended an unlimited number of times by paying the fees specified in the regulations. According to the declaration of 23rd April 1949 of the Council of Ministers, registration of signs are mandatory for each of these cases.

1: Specific drugs for medical use.

2: Foods that are supplied in special wrappers and containers. 

3: Beverages and carbonated waters.

4: Cosmetics that are used directly on human skin.

Therefore, according to this article all pharmaceutical and medical products and food products mentioned in that regulation, whether they are manufactured inside Iran or manufactured abroad and entered the country and in the market under a specific name that is on the label to be exposed for sale, it must have a registered industrial or commercial trademark and the following points must be stated on the label:  

1: Trade name and address of the manufacturer of the product with the country of origin.

2: Trademark registration number in Iran.

According to Article 2 of this regulation, the above symbol and specifications must be indicated on the goods imported from abroad before the good is exposed for sale. As stated in Article 7 of the regulation, the label prescribed in Article 1. It should be affixed in such a way that it cannot be easily removed from the wrapper or the container in which the material is exposed for sale, and its arrangement should be in such a way that the name of the country of origin and the name and address of the manufacturer of the mark and registration number and Since the Ministry of Health announces that the number and date of the sales permit in Iran will be readable. All these writings on the labels attached to foreign goods may be in foreign languages, though the use of Persian language will be optional.

According to the above-mentioned regulations, in 1963, the Ministry of Economy issued an announcement under the title (Notice of the Ministry of Economy) regarding the implementation of the regulations of mandatory print and registration of industrial signs on pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic products. According to this Announcement, all special medicines for medical or veterinary use, food, special flours - various teas, chocolate, candies, cheese, jam, pickles, butter, various oils, mineral or carbonated waters, syrup and juices, cosmetics that are used directly on the human body, such as soap, paste, cream, powder, solution, perfume, cologne, whether it is made inside Iran or made abroad and imported into the country. It should have a registered industrial or commercial mark.

On the label there should be the trade name and address of the manufacturer of the product with the country of origin and registration number of the trademark in Iran and the number and date of the Ministry of Health (in the case of drugs). At the end of this announcement it is stated: The manufacturers and producers of the above-mentioned goods are warned to register and print the signs prescribed in this regulation within one month from the date of publication of this advertisement. has not been registered and printed, regardless of whether it is found with the importer, manufacturer or seller (wholesaler, shopkeeper, sub-trader) the same goods will be seized and prosecuted according to paragraph (b) of article 249 of general punishment.

According to Article 47 of the Law on Registration of Trademarks approved in 2007 in compliance with the laws and regulations of compulsory registration of trade names, such names are protected against illegal acts of third parties even without registration. Any use of a trade name by 3rd person in the form of a trade name or trademark or collective mark, or any use of them that causes fraud to the public is considered illegal.

According to Article 5 of the Law on Registration of Trademarks and Inventions approved in 1931, the signs that cannot be classified as trademarks or one of its components are:

1: The flag of the country and any other country that the government prohibits as a trademark.

2: State, national and official symbols (such as the logo of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Red Crescent, etc.)

3: Signs conflicting to public order or decency.

4: Signs that have already been registered.

5:  Words or phrases that in some way evoke or encourage attribution to Iran's official organizations or authorities, such as adverbs of words such as revolutionary or government…

Changes - If the owner of the mark wants to change the details of the mark or add to the product classes for which the mark is assigned, for example, the mark that has registered for tea packages should also be assigned to cosmetics, must apply through a separate application statement. So that the circle of trademark registration will give a reconfirmation to the applicant by registering it under the original registration and advertisement in the official magazine.

Penal-law regulations protect trademarks that have been given the exclusive right of use to certain persons and prohibit other persons from violating them and for the benefit of the society in the promotion of trademarks. It condemns several people to compensate the trademark owner and the scope of damages is so wide that it includes losses and even benefits that the party has been deprived of (Article 49). In fact, the law in this case included damages. In addition, strict regulations have been established for criminal prosecution. The Islamic Penal Code (Penalty) approved in July 1983, Article has determined the punishment for the offenders as follows:

Article 122 - Anyone who knowingly fabricates a trademark registered in Iran, or knowingly uses it, or places it on papers and advertisements on products, offers it for sale, knowing that it is wrong. Imitates by adding or subtracting or changing part of its characteristics in a way that causes fraud of the customer, will be punishable with whipping up to 74 strokes. 

Article 123 - Anyone who exports or imports from Iran a product that has a fake or imitation mark or a mark that has been used illegally will be sentenced to imprisonment from three months to three years.

Article 124- The following persons will be sentenced to imprisonment for up to six months

1: Those who do not use the compulsory trade mark on the product that must have that mark.

2: Those who knowingly sell a product that does not have a sign that is mandatory for that product.

It is noteworthy that today trademarks are registered and protected in all countries. Each of the national or regional offices maintains a trademark register that includes complete information on the application for registration and renewal, although the results of such registration are limited to the country concerned (or the regional registers of the relevant countries).  

In order to avoid separate registrations in each country or regional office, WIPO operates the International System of Registration of Marks. This system is governed by two treaties: the Madrid Agreement, relating to the international registration of marks, and the Madrid Protocol (Madrid Agreement, a person connected by nationality, headquarters or institution) or a country in connection with one or both of these treaties can obtain effective international registration in several or all member countries of the Madrid Union based on registration or application in the office of that country.