A trademark is a distinctive sign which identifies certain goods or services as those produced or provided by a person or enterprise. The marks are for the owner of an intangible asset that has equal or greater importance, in some cases, that the very product or service that helps identify.
A trademark provides protection to the holder, ensuring the exclusive right to use it to identify goods, services, or to authorize another to use in exchange for payment. The period of protection varies, but a trademark can be renewed indefinitely beyond the time limit on payment of additional fees. In a broad sense, trademarks promote initiative and enterprise worldwide by rewarding the owners of trademarks with recognition and financial profit.
Most countries in the world register and protect trademarks. Each national or regional office maintains a Register of Trademarks which contains full information on all registrations and renewals, facilitating examination, search, and potential opposition by third parties. However, the effects of this record is limited to the country (or, in the case of a regional registration, countries) concerned.
The brands, allow the public to think, not only on quality and price of the product or service, but it lets you feel the consumer, by reason of their presence, some pleasure or satisfaction than other brands which cover the same goods or services not offered. Besides, brands encourage companies to develop policies on consumer protection and ways to satisfy their necessities.
Having a trademark registered gives you the exclusive right to defend the identity of your product or service. The mark identifies a product or service in the marketplace from other similar products or services. The registration of trademarks allows, among other things, that a company can effectively fight against unfair competition and trademark counterfeiting.
In our country, the 35 Law of 1996 regulates the Intellectual Property, regarding trademarks and commercial names contains a general definition, it is not restrictive of what constitutes a brand and highlights the importance of identifying the product or service among others of the same class.
Panama law recognizes the right to register a trademark is acquired by use and ownership or right to exclusive use, is established through registration. Consequently, whoever was using the mark first, have the right to registration, and if there any doubt, the right belongs to the first who filed the application or earliest priority. To oppose an application for registration or demand the annulment or cancellation of registration of a trademark, you do not need to have the trademark registered, just oppose the using. Regarding the registration process, the law allows applications to be submitted by management offices, prior appropriation of bank guarantee certificate in the amount of $100.00.