Globally reputed brands have started registering their trademarks in Nepal to protect the brand of their products and services.
Recently, Chelsea Beverage registered its trademark at the Department of Industry (DoI). Similarly, Suvari — a famous Turkish fashion brand — and Europe-based Head Technology have also applied for trademark registration. Turkey-based furniture manufacturer Istikbal has already registered its trademark in the country.
The number of trademark registrations of foreign brands is gradually increasing every year, according to Rudra Bahadur Malla, spokesperson for DoI. “After the trademark is registered, the government will be liable in protecting their brands in the country.”
As Nepal has become a signatory to the Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property, it has been providing protection to the trademarks registered in Nepal. This means that once a trademark is registered in the country, no other party can manufacture or sell and obtain licence to manufacture or sell a particular brand. However, the trademark registered in a foreign country will not be valid here — meaning companies will have to get the trademark registered in Nepal to get the protection.
According to data obtained from the DoI, altogether 643 foreign brands have registered their trademarks in Nepal by December (mid-Poush) of this fiscal, as compared to 833 in the corresponding period of fiscal 2014-15. Similarly, 760 foreign brands had registered their trademarks till December of fiscal 2013-14.
“Despite the devastating earthquake and border blockade, the pace of registration of foreign trademarks has been picking up,” said Malla, adding, “After the trademark registration, the concerned party can take legal action against anyone who uses their brand without their permission.”
Once the trademark is registered, it would be valid for seven years. DoI issues the registration certificate to the concerned party after the trademark is registered. The trademark needs to be renewed within a period of 35 days from the date of expiry.
Similarly, the DoI also can conduct necessary inquiries and cancel such registration if the registered trademark is not brought into use within one year from the date of registration.
Global brands like Nike and Adidas, among others, have also been renewing their trademark registration, according to DoI. Nike had registered its trademark under various classifications — clothes, sports materials and leather products (bag, box and walking stick) in 2003. Adidas also registered under similar classification in 1995.
DoI has classified goods and services under 45 categories — 34 goods and 11 services — based on the international classification of goods and services set by World Intellectual Property Organisation.