3D trademarks are a rather new type of Intellectual Property. In many countries of the world, it is still impossible to file a 3D trademark; however, even in the countries where it is possible, the 3D trademarks are often misused.
Some trademark owners try to file a shape of their product as a 3D trademark instead of filing it as an industrial design.Trademarks, unlike patents, have unlimited term of protection (renewable periods of 10 years) and the industrial design is protected for up to 15 years (periods of 5 years), after which the design cannot be renewed.
It is very desirable for the applicants to have the shape of their product protected permanently and prevent others from producing similar products. Therefore, some applicants try to claim that the design of their product is in fact a 3D trademark.
This is obviously a misuse, since these trademarks may be used to limit competition and industrial designs and 3D trademarks should not overlap, these are different types of IP. Even big companies, like Nestle, sometimes file arguable trademarks (the case of Kit-Kat in the EU) and there were several similar cases. Because of this, the Trademark Offices now apply stricter requirements to the 3D trademarks.
If your 3D trademark is a version of your logo and is not connected with the shape of your product, it can be accepted. However, if it the TM is a shape of your product, we do not recommend filing.
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