Trademarks and gamers: A roadblock for the PS5 launch in India

Four weeks ago, it was reported by India Today that Sony was having trouble setting up pre-booking and launch dates for the much-awaited moment for gaming enthusiasts in India, the launching of PlayStation 5! Most Sony fans and gamers out there are experiencing different type of obstacles – some may convince their wives that getting a PlayStation 5 is a great tool to release stress and it is a legitimate investment, some are casually and patiently waiting to get their hands on PlayStation 5. However in India, the launch date of the PlayStation 5 had hit a roadblock due to someone named Hitesh Aswani, which whom filed a trademark on October 29, 2019 and this practically and legally has stopped the Japanese tech company from using the word “PS5” in all their marketing materials in India. Sony then engaged in a legal battle to challenge the trademark claim by Aswani.

Luckily for game enthusiast in India, it was reported by Detective Gaming that the issue has been resolved as Aswani withdrew his application for the PS5 trademark. The application was withdrawn on October 26, 2020, after Sony had opposed it. It was ordered that “Proceedings have been taken under Section 21 of the Trade Mark Act 1999, by the above-mentioned opponent (Sony) to oppose the registration of trademark applied for by the above-named applicant (Hitesh Aswani) and whereas the applicant has withdrawn the application vide their letter dated 12.10.2020.”

Gamers in India may now hope that Sony will indeed line up the India launch of the PS5 on November 19 as well – which is the date for the global launching of PS5.

This case highlights the importance of registering your trademark. If your logo, catchphrase, or even brand name has been trademarked, should someone use it without your consent and/or permission, you can carry out an action against them, since your trademark is registered, you will have the upper hand!

Filing of a trademark is easy and it protects your brand in the country you filed your trademark in. In Malaysia, we are governed under the Trademarks Act 2019 and Trademarks Regulations 2019.

You may be wondering what connotes a trademark?

For a sign to be regarded as a trademark, one of the characteristics is that the sign must be capable of being represented graphically, it shall have a distinctive character and it must be capable of distinguishing goods and services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings.

Trademark filing gives protection to the brand owners to ensure that there are no copycats that can create confusion among the consumers and that eventually will affect your business and goodwill.

A trademark application once registered is valid for 10 years from the date of application. Then, it may be renewed every 10 years thereafter with payment of a renewal fee. With 10 years of protection, just imagine the headache that you can save in case there is someone out there or maybe some big fish in the pond that may want to infringe your trademark.

We will first execute a “search” for your trademark and then will proceed with the application to the Malaysian Trademark Office. On submission of the application, the Trade Marks Office will examine the application for statutory compliances. Such examinations could lead to office actions. Applicants will be informed and also given an opportunity to reply, to make representation, amend and furnish additional evidence to such office actions. Then, a trademark that passes through the examination will be published in the Intellectual Property Official Journal (IPOJ). Here, a third party may oppose the application within 2 months of publication in the IPOJ. When it is not opposed, the trademark is then will be registered as at the date of the filing.

Since Malaysia has signed the Madrid Protocol whereby it promotes single application in order to obtain the trademark protection for a number of countries. Thus, this saves a lot of time and costs as well!

Registering your trademark not only gives your brand a protection under the law but it is also indirectly eases your mind! Contact us for more info!

PINTAS IP Protection