Why register a Trademark in Pakistan? With a population of over 220 million, which has a growing middle class with disposable income to spend, brands are flocking to this country to establish themselves here. Whether you are an entity based in Pakistan wishing to protect your company in Pakistan and abroad, or an international company looking to enter the Pakistani market, protecting your brand identity is probably the first step you will take on your commercial journey.

Trademarks are an important aspect of Branding, Marketing, and Advertising that we, as consumers, engage with every day. They help us distinguish what we are looking for, and to ensure that we are about to procure (or already have in our possession) the services or products of a specific Individual or a Company.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a word, name, symbol, tune, scent, or device to help consumers distinguish the origins of the goods or services, and distinguish it from other goods or services from other origins. It gives consumers assurance and validity over their purchases.

The basis of granting Trademarks as a form of Intellectual Property is to give legal protection to the purchasing public of the standards and qualities that the owners of the trademarks deliver in their track performance, marketing, advertising, and goodwill. Certain companies spend a lot of capital on advertising, research & development, product/service support, warranties, and market presence, which Trademarks protect.

What types of Trademarks can be protected?

Let’s start with the basic one; An individual’s or a Company’s name. An individual’s or a Company’s name, how its written (Colour, Font, Style, Background, etc.) and any images associated with it (i.e. Company Logo) can be registered (thus protected) as a trademark.

A service mark (i.e. an animation with graphics and sounds, like what you see before any Netflix content) can also be protected. Trade dress can also be protected as a trademark if it is distinctive and non-functional, like a bottle shape (Functional Product Features would be protected under Patents).

The 3 Prerequisites to Registering a trademark

  1. Recognizable
    • Must be a symbol or vector vice (as mentioned above) that a court of law or an IPO deems distinguishable enough to qualify.
  2. Must be useable in Business
    • It must have commercial value and be used in a commercial platform.
  3. Unique
    • It should have the ability to identify the Trademark owner’s goods and/or services from other trademarks.

Best Practices for Registering a Trademark

Trademarks must be distinctive and unique, and similar to Copyrights they need to show some creativity and innovation. Generic names are not usually eligible for trademark protection. Trademark names can be descriptive and suggestive, but must still align exclusively with the trademark owner and their products and/or services.

Arbitrary marks (Marks where names are used out of their normal scope of use, for example, “Ding Dong” as a bubble gum, or “Red Bull” as an energy drink) or fictional and fanciful names (Such as “Careem” or “Yahoo”) are easily registered and are much easier to defend in court if someone else infringes, as they are so unique and inherently distinctive.

Process for Registering your Trademark in Pakistan

Once we identify all the marks around the trademarks, we then file your application to the IPO. If you are a business overseas, we will also use your documentation in your operating countries (where you own your trademark/s) and add them as supporting documents in Pakistan to show proof of existing use.

Once filed, the application will be gazetted where a fixed period of one year is given to allow any opposing parties who have any claims to the trademark you’re trying to register. Once this period elapses the trademark is then registered.

Speak to us today about registering your Trademark in Pakistan today

To speak to one of our Corporate Lawyers who specialize in Trademark registration in Pakistan you can fill out the form below or call us at 0308 5510031 (WhatsApp 0092 308 5510031) and request a meeting with our IP expert to discuss your matter.