We have collected some of the more common questions we receive about company names and trademarks in Taiwan. Perhaps your next conundrum is already answered here?
Keep in mind, registering a trademark is very affordable but dealing with a trademark conflict is very expensive.
After setting up my company, will my company name be protected by the government?
Company name AND trademarks all require their respective registrations. Registering a company name in Chinese or English just means that no one else can register another company with exactly the same name. Someone could still use your company name on their products or services and mislead customers.
So you need to file for trademark registration for your brand name or company name which will give you the exclusive right to use it and stop others from infringing.
What can I do when someone uses my company name as their own brand name?
If you haven’t registered your company name as a trademark to the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO), you have no trademark rights so you can’t stop them from using it.
If you have registered your company name as a trademark with the TIPO, you can first send out a warning letter to the person that uses your trademark and then file a case of trademark infringement.
Can I register my full company name?
No, registration for a full name is not allowed according to the Taiwan trademark law, you should only register the main part of your company name.
For example, if we file an application of “musa trademark Ltd.”, the application will be rejected. We should file the trademark application for “musa trademark” instead.
Can I use someone else’s trademark as my company name?
If you are using a well known trademark as your company name, the trademark holder can demand you change the name.
In Taiwan, an owner of a well-known registered trademark (which is recognized mostly case by case) can claim trademark infringement when the main part of a company name is similar to its well-known trademark.
You can consider it as an extended protection/right for a well-known trademark.
To look at an actual court case, Eslite Bookstore, the owner of the well-known trademark “誠品” won a case where someone had registered the company name “誠品人力資源有限公司” (Eslite Human Resources Co., Ltd.). The court ordered Eslite Human Resources Co., Ltd to change their name.
Is it really that important to register my company name as a trademark even if I do not use it on my product or service?
Usually our clients ask this question when their brand name and company name are not the same and they consider the company name less important.
You should register your company as well because when someone uses your company name as their brand name in competition with you, a consumer won’t be able to tell the difference and if they provide a bad product, it could still sully your good name.
Worst case scenario would be that you encounter a trademark squatter who will register your company name and then try to steal all your identity in the market by squatting on your brand and company name. The difficulty and cost of dealing with these issues will be way higher than just applying for a trademark registration at first.
I am in the process of naming my company and product, what should I do for the best protection?
Here are some of the basic questions we use to help our client when they are in the naming process..
1. Can you USE the name? Is it possible that you are unknowingly using someone’s registered trademarks?
2. Can you register the name? There are many terms that are impossible to register and are open for everyone to use. I don’t think it would be a good idea to spend money on promoting this kind of name.
3. Is there a similar trademark that may lead to your application being rejected?
You also need to look further into the future and try to imagine how your business might develop.
We can help with the full process from evaluating the trademark to filing for registration with TIPO. Contact Musa Trademark now for more information or if you have questions.