Company brands and trademarks are amongst a company's valuable assets. Branding starts through your use of distinctive images, symbols, designs, labels, colours, styles, logos, or packaging which effectively separate and distinguish your goods or services from others in the same market. Trademarks registration give both protection to your customers and you to acquire brand image and build up brand reputation amongst your consumers.

On one hand, you may be spending all that time and money investing in your brand, only to discover another person has already trademarked the same or a similar name for their business or product. You wouldn’t want to trigger confusion within the market as you might end up being sued for passing off.

"A man is not to sell his own goods under the pretence that they are the goods of another man; he cannot be permitted to practise such a deception, nor to use the means which contribute to that end. He cannot therefore be allowed to use names, marks, letters, or other indicia, by which he may induce purchasers to believe, that the goods which he is selling are the manufacture of another person." This is the fundamental principle laid down in the landmark case of #Perry v. Truefitt (1842).

On the other hand, overlooking unauthorized use of your trademark can also dilute your brand and render it worthless. Your company's reputation can be damaged by rivals misusing your brand/trademark to provide inferior products or services. By registering your trademark, you can greatly improve your ability to prevent a third party from using or seeking to register conflicting marks, and to seek appropriate remedies, in the case of an infringement.

The case of #Danone Biscuits Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd v. Hwa Tai Industries Bhd (2010) showed how effective an intellectual property rights to be enforced and protected. The court held that the use of the “ChipsPlus” trademark was an infringement of 'ChipsMore' for identical goods, namely, chocolate chip cookies. In particular, the prefix 'Chips' was phonetically identical, the suffixes 'More' and 'Plus' have sufficient resemblance in idea, and the formatting of the words was similar, considering the appearance of the two marks with their features, the mark 'Chipsplus' so nearly resembles the trademark 'ChipsMore' as to be likely to cause confusion.

In addition, the claim for 'passing off' was also successful. The 'ChipsPlus' trade mark, get-up and packaging was held to be confusingly and deceptively similar to 'ChipsMore' product, including similar colours, fonts and other aspects of the composition.


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