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Hi all, 

Could anyone share the steps they had to take to legally protect their chocolate brand? I understand each country has different laws and getting worldwide protection may be a costly proposition for an artisan chocolate maker. 

Thanks!

Felipe

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but those are the steps that you must take if you need to protect your brand :)

Thank you for the reply Rene. Not sure if it is common practice, though.

How many are actually protecting their brands? In which countries aside from their current operation?

And even then, how feasible is it for a small chocolatier to prosecute offenders?

In the US (and internationally), you would apply for Trademark protection. That's the meaning of the ™ or ® following a name or image. The ™ means that the application is in but is still in the process of being approved. The ® means that the trademark has been registered. I believe that this nomenclature is the same around the world, what differs is the process of application in each country. Also, you can trademark a word or phrase (as long as it's non-descriptive; i.e., you couldn't trademark "corn flakes" but "frosted flakes" is okay) and/or an image (Coca-Cola has trademarked the name "coca-cola" the image of the words, and the shape of their wasp-waisted bottle).

There might be one trademark registration for the entire EU, but otherwise it's a country-by-country process, IIRC. And yes, it is expensive. In the US, you can only trademark something that is either in actual interstate commerce or is about to go into distribution.

Clay, thanks for the insight on the difference between TM and (R) as well as the requirement for interstate commerce or being about to go into distribution. 

in US you need to start selling or have your product on the market before you apply for protection, but it's not the case in EU.

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