Retail & Manufacturing

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Online Retail Services

The dynamism in the retail sector created by the constant increase in the number of e-commerce stores highlights the importance of building strong company brands for emerging retail businesses. Strategies employed in prosecuting trademark applications and expanding trademark influence make a difference in establishing source identity in the online sphere. Web-based shops seeking to extend the scope of the goods they offer and the territories they serve must carefully consider legal technicalities and third party rights before entering new market areas. Retail companies must accurately identify the nature of the services they provide and the type of goods they sell during the registration process because the precision of the description affects potential genericness, descriptiveness, and likelihood of confusion issues pertaining to the mark. In addition, sellers looking to expand their presence abroad should keep in mind that foreign jurisdictions may not treat retail service marks the same or may not even recognize them, most notably, China, which creates the necessity to develop a holistic approach to registration and enforcement of trademark rights.

Manufacturing and Equipment

Enterprises that own trademarks must be very careful not to inadvertently forfeit their rights when they contract with other domestic or foreign companies to manufacture, market, and distribute their products or equipment. Prolonged legal battles over trademark rights between owners and private-label manufacturers or between manufacturers and distributors can be costly for either of the parties involved. Frequently, such conflicts may be prevented by registering company marks before entering into commercial relationships with other firms and by outlining the respective parties’ rights in a written format. Although in the U.S. the manufacturer is most likely to be considered the presumptive owner of a mark, foreign jurisdictions may give priority to distributors or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), which won the race to record the mark before the rightful owner. It is, therefore, imperative for rights holders to research business partner nations’ trademark laws before relinquishing brand materials and to secure registrations as a means to avoid infringement lawsuits.