A trademark is a visual symbol, which may be a word, name, device, label or numerals used by a business to distinguish it goods or services from other similar goods or services originating from a different business. A registered trademark is an intangible asset or intellectual property for a business and is used to protect the company's investment in the brand or symbol. A trademark is registrable if it is distinctive for the goods and services you provide. Proposed trademarks that are similar or identical to an existing registered trademark cannot be registered. Also, trademarks are not registrable if it is offensive, generic, deceptive, not distinctive, contains specially protected emblems, etc.,
Trademarks in India are registered by the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
Many entrepreneurs do not comprehend the importance of a trademark search. Having a unique brand name in mind is not good enough reason to avoid a trademark search. Therefore, trademark search helps you to know if there are similar trademarks available and it gives you a fair picture of where your trademark stands, sometimes, it also gives you a forewarning of the possibility of trademark litigation. Why waste your money in time-consuming trademark litigation later when you can choose to avoid it in the first place?
After you are sure that your chosen brand name or logo is not listed in the Trademark Registry India, you can opt for registering the same. The first step is to file a trademark application form at the Trademark Office, India. The Indian trademark offices are located at Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta. Nowadays, filing is mostly done online. Once the application is filed, an official receipt is immediately issued for future reference. Further, you can see the trademark status of your application immediately online.
After a trademark application is filed, it is examined by the examiner for any discrepancies. The examination might take around 12-18 months. The examiner might accept the trademark absolutely, conditionally or object. If accepted unconditionally, the trademark gets published in the Trademark Journal. If not accepted unconditionally, the conditions to be fulfilled or the objections would be mentioned in the examination report and a month’s time would be given to fulfill the conditions or response to the objections. Once such response is accepted, the trademark is published in the Trademark Journal. If the response is not accepted, one can request a hearing. If in the hearing, the examiner feels that the trademark should be allowed registration, it proceeds for publication in the Trademark Journal.
The step of publication is incorporated in the trademark registration procedure so that anyone who objects to the registering of the trademark has the opportunity to oppose the same. If, after 3-4 months from publication there is no opposition, the trademark proceeds for registration. In case there is opposition; there is a fair hearing and decision are given by the Registrar.
Once the application proceeds for trademark registration, following publication in Trademark Journal, a registration certificate under the seal of the Trademark Office is issued.
The trademark can be renewed perpetually after every 10 years. Hence, your logo or brand name registration can be protected perpetually.
The owner of Registered Trademark enjoys exclusive right over the trademark. The owner can use the same for all the products falling under the class(es) applied. Further, the owner can enjoy the sole ownership of the Trademark and can stop other from the unauthorised use of the Trademark under the same class where it is registered. It gives the right to sue the unauthorized user of the Trademark Registered.
The established quality of your product and services are known by everyone through the trademark and which establishes trust and goodwill among the customers in market. It helps in creating permanent customers who are loyal and always opt for the same brand.
It makes easy for customers to find your products. It makes your product and identity of products different from that of the existing and foreseen competitors and acts as efficient commercial tool. The logo can communicate your vision, quality or unique characteristic of your company and any organisation.
It gives recognition to the quality of the product. Customers attach the product’s quality with the brand name and this image is created in the market about the quality of a particular brand which helps in attracting new customers as they can differentiate the quality of a product by the logo/brand name.
Registration of Trademark creates an intangible asset i.e. Intellectual Property for an organisation. Registered trademark is a right created which can be sold, assigned, franchised or commercially contracted. Also, the Trademark is an intangible asset which gives the advantage to the organisation.
Once the trademark is registered you can use the ® symbol on your logo stating that it is a registered trademark and no one can use the same trademark. It is exclusive of all types of usages as well as rights. If someone else use the trademark then you can also sue the party if the trademark is registered.
No competitor or other person can use the wordmark or logo registered by you under trademark. However, if in any case one uses it without the approval of the owner of trademark or make any deceptive use of same, the owner can get the legal protection under the Act and stop the person doing so.
Online Trademark registration is done on a very low maintainability cost. Once you register the trademark you have to just pay the maintenance cost and renewal cost which is after 10 years of registering the trademark. It is cost efficient and helps your company create an unique image.
If one wants to register the trademark in countries other than India, the trademark registered in India can be used as basis of registration there. For any person willing to expand outside India, the trademark registered in India can provide a good base along with the Established Goodwill in the Country.
Young minds aspire to join big Brands as it acts as a magnate. It inspires the positive image of the organisation and thus candidates are attracted towards them easily. This reduces the cost towards hiring and related activities.
A trademark is your brand name or logo which identifies your product or services. It can be a word, letter, number, phrase, symbol, shape or combination thereof. A unique brand name or logo is used to differentiate your product/service as distinct from others in the industry. To secure legal protection for your brand name or logo you need to get it registered.
Any trademark, which is identical or deceptively like an existing registered trademark or trademark for which application for registration has been made, cannot be registered. Also, a trademark that would likely cause deception or confusion or is offensive may not be registered. Geographical names, common names, common trade words and common abbreviation are also not registered as a trademark.
Getting trademark registered has a number of business benefits such as:
The Nice Classification (NCL) is an international system used to classify goods and services for the purposes of the registration of marks. It has total 45 classes (1-34 for products and 35-45 for services).
Yes, one can register a trademark even before starting a business.
No. Trademark is territorial in nature which means, if you get a trademark in India then it will be valid for India only.
The registered trademark is valid for 10 years from the date of filing of an application. The trademark can be renewed further.
Symbol “TM” can be used after filing of a trademark application. “R” should be used only after registration of a trademark. The ® symbol may only be used in connection with the goods and services listed on the registration certificate.
Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services.