What will be the fate of the world’s largest soft drink producing company if one day it would no longer have the right to use the Coca-Cola brand? What will happen to the famous Hermes fashion house, if someone would deprive her of the right to produce one of the most expensive bag models in the world – “Birkin”? How much will the sales of the car manufacturer “Ferrari” suffer, if the Chinese will place the famous 2-legged horse on the hood of a car with a 3 times lower price? These “mammoths” in the business world will RUIN. The scenarios described will never become reality, simply because all three examples are registered trademarks, and that means their owners have the exclusive right to use them and, implicitly, to prohibit their use by someone else. And how did you protect your business? Do you think once you find yourself as a founder in the papers, can you sleep peacefully? If the AGEPI abbreviation does not tell you anything, this article is for you.
In the Republic of Moldova, any natural or legal person may register its trademark with the State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI). This procedure is not mandatory, but offers a number of significant advantages, most important being the possibility to claim your rights in a brand in the event of unauthorized attempts to use it.
Lilia Bolocan, director general, State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI): “AGEPI is the Republic of Moldova’s expert No.1 in the field of legal protection of intellectual property on industrial property rights, copyright and related rights. We are a trusted partner of economic agents and our mission is to offer them services that help to promote and develop their businesses. One of them is trademark registration, a procedure that allows the entrepreneur to manage it at its own pleasure: to sell it, to offer it for exploitation through a franchise contract, to put it in pledge. The trademark can be part of an enterprise’s share capital; it offers value to the business and at the same time protects it from certain risks. Entrepreneurs who have not been accountable or who have not benefited from the services of competent lawyers are found themselves to be blackmailed, are required money to redeem their own brand, which they have created, for the promotion of which they have worked a lot. There are regrettable situations that could be prevented through a simple but extremely useful procedure.”
AGEPI helps you when competitors “lay their eyes on” your business
Elena Cusnir, owner of the “XBody” Fitness Studio in Chisinau - the only in the country offering training by the EMS (electric muscle stimulation) method - was also convinced of the effectiveness of this instrument. After a trauma suffered a few years ago, the woman was left with a life ban on physical effort that inspired her to open a business. Elena offers Moldovans an alternative to conventional training in the gym: a set of simple exercises during which muscles are further stimulated by electric pulses. Consequently, according to the EMS method, in just 20 minutes you force your muscles just as if you were “pulling the beasts” for an hour and a half. Obviously, the idea of losing weight with minimal effort smiled at the Moldovans: Elena’s business became a success, and those who wanted to indulge in glory were not to be expected.
Elena Cusnir, owner of “XBody” Fitness Studio: “When the business brings you not only satisfaction but also income, also appear those willing to make money at the expense of your work. “Xbody” is my second “child” and I insisted on giving it an “official name” and a “passport” so I can “defend” it by legal means, as I am the only official representative of the EMS equipment manufacturer on the Moldovan market. Indeed, we have encountered an unpleasant situation when a second-hand apparatus from Romania was brought to Chisinau and promoted under the brand “Xbody”. We managed to resolve the issue amicably, we informed the competitors that I am the exclusive owner of the trademark, and soon their studio was closed.”
AGEPI helps you when you want to strengthen your success
All the success in the market prompted the credit company “Sebo Credit” to register with AGEPI not only the word mark “sebo.md”, but also the protagonist of all commercials - the plump and lazy tomcat who shows how beautiful life can be when you have a “trusty buddy in loan”. Thus, “the stylized image of a cat in a seated position, looking at his paw and having a round pendant chain on the neck, on which the word element “Sebo” is inscribed” became the property of the organization.
Aelita Orhei, head of legal department, non-banking credit organization “Sebo Credit” SRL: “Our Company has invested a lot of resources, including financial, in advertising. This tomcat is present in every spot made by “Sebo Credit” and has become, in a way, our mascot, that’s why we wanted to have the exclusive right to use it. Graphic representation is the creation of a designer in the country, who assigned us all the rights in this work. Later, a public catering company used for promotion a similar image, but it did not disturb us, as it is not the field in which we work.”
AGEPI helps you when you want to promote your business just “set up”
Registration of the trademark with the specialized institution in the field of legal protection of intellectual property is advisable not only for well-known brands that “wink” at many. Dorina Baciu wanted to start a business with the “right”, so she registered with AGEPI the trademark “Salasul Baciului” (Shepherd’s Shelter) shortly after she created a facebook page, through which she sells mature cheese made from milk of sheep bred in the sheepfold of her family.
Dorina Baciu, cheese producer: “For me the trademark “Salasul Baciului” is the embodiment of the efforts made by my family, and also a tool for promoting our product. The first thing we did after we have legalized all the documents was to order eco bags with our logo - we felt joy, because we created something valuable, because the fruit of our work was officially recognized. We have ambitious future plans, we are going to create a website, and that’s why we are convinced that we are only at the beginning of the cooperation with AGEPI.”
In order to register a trademark, it is necessary to file with AGEPI, personally or through a representative, by mail, by fax or online an application, which will be examined within 6 months. The service is for a fee, but a 50% reduction in the fee is foreseen for natural persons and small and medium businesses. Learn more about how to register your trademark and protect your business at http://agepi.gov.md/en/trademarks/presentation.