Connect with us

Entrepreneur Today

Understanding Trademark Applications

New EU court ruling deals with trade mark classifications.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

026

Europe’s highest court recently gave a decision in a trade mark case that deals with the technical, yet highly important, issue of trade mark classifications and class headings.

According to Rowan Forster: director in ENS’ IP department, a trade mark is registered for particular goods or services for which the trade mark owner uses or intends to use the mark. “Goods and services are categorised in 45 different classes (34 goods classes, 11 service classes), in terms of something known as the Nice Classification,” explains Forster.

“Each class has a heading, and in some cases that heading gives a pretty good indication of exactly what goods or services are covered by the class, but in other cases it’s somewhat obscure. In addition, there’s an alphabetical list of goods and services that comprises  some 12 000 entries, so if you want to find out what class a particular product falls into, you simply look it up in the alphabetical list and you have your answer.”

Class headings

According to Forster, trade mark authorities generally don’t like trade mark applications that are framed as covering ‘all goods in the class’ because they feel that registrations like this are both unclear and overly broad. “Yet, for reasons that don’t quite make sense,  they’re happy to accept applications for class headings, even though  there’s a general acceptance that if a trade mark is registered for a class heading, it  covers all the goods or services that fall into that class (certainly the EU trade mark system operates on this assumption).”

The case in question

The UK Chartered institute of Patent Attorneys filed a UK trade mark application to register the mark IP Translator. The application was filed in class 41 for the class heading, which reads: ‘Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities’. The application was refused by the UK Trade Marks’ Office on the basis that the mark was non-distinctive, being descriptive of some of the services covered. Why? “Because the alphabetical list shows that translation services – services that are not in any way suggested by the class heading – fall into class 41,” says Forster. “So, went the argument, as the application is for the class heading, translation services are covered, which means that the mark is descriptive of certain of the services for which protection is required.”

The issue that found its way up toEurope’s highest court was therefore very simple: does a trade mark application that’s filed for the class heading in fact cover all the goods or services that fall into that class?

The European court tends to give judgments that are understated and that require some thought. What it said here was this: goods and services must be identified with sufficient clarity and precision to enable authorities and economic operators to determine from the classification exactly what protection is sought, which Forster agrees is fair enough. “It’s okay to use class headings, and in some cases this will be sufficiently clear and precise, but there will be cases where it’s not sufficiently clear, and it’s then up to the trade mark owner (and the trade marks’ office) to make sure that it’s clear just what is and isn’t covered.”

So what does this mean?  “Well, if you do file for a class  heading, you will probably need to add words like  ‘ …this covering all the goods/services in the class’ at the end of it – the EU trade mark authorities have already indicated that this will be necessary.

“Alternatively, if you don’t want everything covered but you do want to use a class heading, you may need to add a specific exclusion at the end of it. Either way, greater thought will need to be given to trade mark classifications in future. Not only when filing applications in Europe, but also when filing in South Africa, because decisions of the European court, although not binding in South Africa, are often followed here.”

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

Advertisement
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Entrepreneur Today

Bonang Matheba Announced As 2018 AWIEF Awards MC

AWIEF has announced multi –award winning radio host, TV presenter and style icon, Bonang Matheba as the 2018 AWIEF Awards MC and host.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

awief-awards

Bonang Matheba, affectionately referred to by fans as Queen B, has firmly positioned herself as Africa’s most sought after entertainment personality and SA’s number one social media darling.

With just three weeks from recognising, honouring and celebrating women entrepreneurs and business-owners in Africa for their innovation, excellence and contribution towards economic growth and social development, AWIEF has also announced songstress, BUCIE as the music entertainer for the night.

40 Finalists out of more than 1350 nominations were revealed for the AWIEF Awards last month. Winners will be announced at The Westin Hotel in a five-star gala dinner on 9th November 2018.

Tickets to the awards evening are selling fast. To secure your seat, please click here.

Continue Reading

Entrepreneur Today

Things Schools Need To Stop Doing To Grow Entrepreneurs

Here are 8 things that would make a significant impact on generating enterprising behaviour.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

orange-farm-futureproof-program

It is no secret that the current structure of the education system was designed in an entirely different age to achieve economic outcomes that are no longer viable due, in large, to the rapid innovation and adoption of technology.

But if we are to hope to help President Ramaphosa implement his vision for entrepreneurship as stated in the SONA 2018 address as, “The establishment through the CEOs Initiative of a small business fund – which currently stands at R1.5-billion – is an outstanding example of the role that the private sector can play. Government is finalising a small business and innovation fund targeted at start-ups,” we need to change how and what schools are teaching for this to be realised on a large scale.

Here are 8 things that would make a significant impact on generating enterprising behaviour:

1. Stop teaching kids using one or two teaching methods

Typically, teachers have defaulted to talking, reading and some visual aids to impact knowledge to learners and those children that don’t learn using these primary methods are at a disadvantaged and are often labelled as challenged. There are at least 6 different ways in which people learn, and entrepreneurs often fall into the lesser known ones. By blending methodologies that include interpersonal, kinaesthetic and intrapersonal with the more traditional ones, entrepreneurs will learn more effectively.

2. Stop Rewarding Conformity

Maybe it comes from a fear of anarchy or lawlessness, but the stringent rules that exist in schools punish children for exhibiting individualism and reward children for staying in line. Quite literally. This unwavering adherence to the rules without question, breeds thinkers of the same calibre and releases into the world children that cannot function without set structures that they must conform to when they actually need to be creatively problem solving in order to make a mark for themselves.

Related: Spark Schools: Adapting At The Speed Of Scale

3. Stop Measuring Memory

teaching

How well a child can retain the dates, figures, theories or equations does not indicate the measure of a child’s intelligence. It only indicates how well their memory works and how adept the learner is at recalling what they have read or been taught. Remembering, according to Bloom’s Taxonomy, is a lower order thinking skill. Instead, let’s measure critical thinking, interrogation of ideas, application of thinking across contexts.

4. Stop Being a Teacher

When the world relied on a central person as the curator of knowledge, the world needed teachers. They were idolised and hailed as a custodian of growth and development due to the fact that they knew more about their subject than anyone else in society.

Today, the internet is the purveyor of information, a teacher if you will, and children no longer need to be taught the information but what to do with it. So long as children can read, the job of person at the front of the class is to educate not to teach.

5. Stop Running a Factory

From the uniforms to the desks to the bell that signals the start and end of lessons and the allotted amount of time dedicated to eating and going to the bathroom, schools are churning out citizens primed for factory work. The production line mentality has been conditioned into our children so much so that with the entry of technological automation and the removal of the human element in these mundane, routine tasks, we make them immediately redundant to the world.

6. Stop Labelling Every Disruptive Child as ADHD/ADD

As an educator myself and now an entrepreneur, I recognise the exhausting and relentless burden that our school-based teachers bare. They are weighed down with administration and parental expectations all whilst trying to navigate an education system that is increasingly deficient. Any child that does not learn in the usual manners and requires more attention or additional stimulation by non-traditional teaching methods.

If, as a country, we are dedicated to changing the current economic outlook not just for ourselves but for those that will inherit this legacy then the systems that shape our thinking must be changed too. Entrepreneurial thinking and action is discouraged and punished in our current education system and only once children leave behind the 12 years spent at school can they begin to unlearn this way of mental conditioning and become active citizens.

Continue Reading

Entrepreneur Today

Chivas Venture Calling On South African Start-ups To Win A Share Of $1 million

South African applications for the Chivas Venture 2019 Now Open!

Entrepreneur

Published

on

chivas-venture

Today Chivas Regal announced the launch of the Chivas Venture 2019 – a global competition that gives away $1 million in no-strings funding every year to the hottest social start-ups from around the world.

The Chivas Venture provides a global platform for innovative enterprises that are using business to solve an array of social and environmental issues – and today marks the opening of the South African applications. 

Since the competition’s launch in 2014, Chivas Venture-supported enterprises have enriched the lives of more than 1 million people in over 40 countries, across six continents.

Just as Chivas blends together whiskies to create award-winning Scotch, the Chivas Venture champions entrepreneurs who blend profit and purpose. Chivas’ belief in blending ambition with generosity, and in using success to enrich the lives of others, was instilled in the 19th century by founding brothers James and John Chivas. Today that philosophy is kept alive not only through award-winning Scotch, but also through initiatives including the Chivas Venture.

Richard Black, Global Marketing Director for Chivas, said:

“At Chivas we believe that blended is better – in life, business and Scotch – and the 100 finalists we have supported to date have proved this, finding the right blend of profit and purpose in their ventures. Since taking part, finalists have reported saving 8 million trees from deforestation, providing 24 million litres of safe drinking water to those in need, and funding 75,000 days of education for women and girls – and that’s just a few examples. The Chivas Venture is continuing to have a global impact and we are proud to be investing another $1 million for 2019.”   

Related: Venture Capital 101: The Ultimate Guide To The Term Sheet

Applicants in each participating country will compete in local heats, with the South African winner flying to the United Kingdom to take part in an exclusive Accelerator Programme. Hosted by The Conduit – a new London establishment that serves as a home for a diverse community of people who are passionate about social change – the intensive training programme will give the global finalists the chance to hone their business and pitching skills.  

Following the Accelerator Programme, the allocation of the first $100,000 of the fund will be put into the hands of the public with three weeks of online voting. The Chivas Venture 2019 will then culminate in a series of high-stake pitches at the Global Final in Europe, where the finalists will battle it out for the remainder of the $1 million fund.

Radley Connor, Marketing Manager for Chivas Regal SA says, “The Chivas Venture is an amazing platform for South African social entrepreneurs to attract investment and gain global exposure. The competition rewards and celebrates individuals whose purpose is to make a positive difference to society. If you have a great idea, that meets the requirements, we encourage you to enter.”

In 2017, innovative South African water company I-Drop water placed third in the global finals, walking away with close to R1 million in funding. Since winning, founder James Steere has received interest from investors globally.

Clement Mokoenene is the 2018 South African winner and the creator of the Vehicle Harvest Energy System (VEHS). His business is able to generate electricity at a much lower, affordable cost than coal-fired power stations which South Africa currently relies on. The system works by installing an overlay on the existing road to extract the pressure and transferring it to the side of the road, similar to a wind turbine. Mokoenene says a 1km highway stretch could generate enough energy to supply the entire South Africa.

To apply for the Chivas Venture 2019 and find out more about why blending profit and purpose is better, visit the Chivas Venture website.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPOTLIGHT

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Entrepreneur-Newsletters
*
We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.
Advertisement

Trending