Consider FACEBOOK, AMAZON, MICROSOFT WORD ‐ the "general concepts" are not patented. Their most valuable intellectual property assets are their registered trademarks.
A registered trademark will prevent others from using a "confusingly similar" name or icon for their App.
For example, the trademark registration for FACEBOOK would prevent others from using: FACETABLET (conceptually similar), GEZICHTSBOEK (Dutch translation) and VASEBOCK (phonetically similar). The trademark even extends to domains. For example, the trademark FACEBOOK registered in Europe will prevent others from registering a domain FACES‐BOOKS.MOBI and using this available domain to offer a social media service within Europe. This means that Facebook does not need to keep registering "similar" domains as they become available.
Since Apps are typically represented by an icon, it is a good idea to create and trademark register your own icon (as a trademark logo).
Start by getting a Trademark Pending Number This reserves your right to extend your trademark to 177 countries for 6 months. You may even extend your trademark to other countries after the 6 month period, provided that no‐one else has, in the meantime, filed a trademark application in that country for a similar mark.
Your Trademark Pending Number application will be filed with an official Trademarks Office in a country that is a signatory to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
Within a business day of filing, we will send you a Trademark Pending Number … guaranteed. This official Trademark Pending Number is effective in 177 countries (including the EU, US, Russia, China, India, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, …)
Definitely file your Trademark Pending Number in class 9 (downloadable software) and class 42 (software as a service). Also consider filing your trademark in the services class relating to your App’s function, e.g.:
Example: Facebook's European trademarks:
|FACEBOOK (word mark)||9, 35, 36, 38, 41, 42, 45|
|9, 35, 36, 38, 41, 42, 45|
|9, 36, 38, 41, 42, 45|
|9, 41, 42, 45|
|9, 16, 18, 20, 21, 25, 35, 38, 41, 42, 43, 45|
In 6 months' time you will have a rough idea of your primary markets. File corresponding trademark registrations in these countries, claiming the date of your Trademark Pending Number. In a few years, should a new country "open up" to you, you can always file a trademark there, as long as no‐one has in the interim filed a confusingly similar mark in similar classes.
In the country your Trademark Pending Number was filed, we can assist you to prosecute your trademark application to grant. This could be your first registered trademark.
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