A trade mark may be registered in the name of either a natural person or an incorporated entity. The choice of trade mark and who will own the trade mark will have implications upon how the trade mark rights may later be enforced in infringement proceedings and how the trade mark should be used to avoid losing the trade mark rights. Only the owner or a licensee of the trade mark may initiate court proceedings for trade mark infringement, and the owner or licensee should use the trade mark to ensure that the trade mark registration does not become subject to removal by others on the grounds of “non-use”.
A trade mark can also be registered in the name of multiple natural persons and/or incorporated entities. When trade mark rights are co-owned, neither of the co-owners can use the trade mark without the consent of the other. They are also under a legal obligation to consult the other co-owner when giving permission to third parties to use the trade mark.