Trademark is basically the identity of a brand. It is a visual symbol, which is used by a business to distinguish its goods or services from other similar goods or services originating from a different business. It basically comprises of the shape of the goods, it’s patterns, designs, and packaging, etc. The name, logo, product or service is the crux of a business and thus, formulate a part of its trademark. It becomes very important for any of the business to protect its intellectual assets with Trademark Registration so that no other similar entity can use its brand name and goodwill without licensing and prior permission.
What is Trademark Registration?
A trademark denotes a visional symbol that can be anything from words, machines, devices, labels to numerical that are often used in business for characterizing goods or services that are similar to other goods or services manufactured by opposite and rival companies.
Trademark Registration serves as an asset that is intangible or even enjoys the status of intellectual property for the business for acting as a shield in protecting the investment of the company in the branding process and symbol. Registration of a trademark is only be granted when it is distinguishable from the other goods and services while trademarks which are proposed if found analogous and interchangeable anticipate a clear rejection in terms of registration followed by outrageous, distasteful, universal, in-distinctive, fallacious ones or anything consisting of protected emblems too stand rejected.
Trademark Registration in India is particularly handled by “Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks”, Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) and Government of India (GOI). Trademark Registration is done under the Trademark Act, 1999, once a trademark is registered the ® symbol can be used by that particular business with their name and this particular registration stands valid for 10 years. Already registered trademarks nearing their expiry can easily be renewed by filing a trademark renewal application.
Benefits of Registering Trademark
- Assurance of protection by legal means: Only the holders of a registered trademark are permitted from taking actions or suing for the damages incurred for infringing the trademark which on contrary cannot be enforced if the trademark remains unregistered.
- Bearing an identity that is unique: Registering a trademark embarks an identity and a brand that is exclusive and limited to one’s goods or services. As because of this only various competitor in the market will be refrained from using the trademark for other analogous goods or services.
- Formation of an asset: Registering of trademark initiates an intellectual property which later becomes a well-known asset for the organization due to its intangible nature.
- Use of ® symbol: Once the trademark is registered organization can use the ® symbol on their logo stating that it is a registered trademark and no one can use the same trademark. It stands exclusive for any type of usage as well as right.
- Goodwill: The trademarks that are registered creates an impression of goodwill and quality into the customer’s mind which later becomes as favourable and exclusive for one’s own business.
- Universal Trademark Filing: A trademark that is filed in India can be used as a base to file a trademark in various other countries as well, this is not only confined to the citizens of the country but also stands open to foreigners and other international entities for filing in India.
- Attract Human Resources: Young minds always aspire to work for big brands as they act as a magnet for them. It inspires the positive image of the organization and thus candidates are attracted to them easily.
Procedure for Trademark Registration in India
- Selection of a trademark: The first and major task for the trademark owner lies in selecting a trademark that in the long run turns into a brand. Because making changes in a later stage becomes very difficult.
- Classification of the goods and services: This becomes very important for the protection of a trademark for the right goods and services which are being offered under the trademark name.
- Searching for a trademark: This involves searching for various office records of a trademark to find similar trademarks in a similar category that are chosen by a particular individual for checking if somebody earlier had applied. Searching on the internet is highly suggestible with due importance to be given to the jurisdictions.
- Objections when raised by the office of trademark: While examining an application for registering the trademark, if any objections raised must be responded and compiled within a month of filing them.
- Advertising of application in journals: Advertising becomes significant as anytime opposite party might arise from third parties claiming the disputed mark as being their mark. The proceedings involved are lengthy and expensive which could be ignored if suitable strategies are followed before the filing of the application.
- Registration: If there is no opposition within 4 months from the date of advertisement, registration can be granted that has a validity of 10 years from the date of the application.
Documents Required for Trademark Registration in India
- The Proof of Identity: Passports, driving license, Aadhaar cards, etc. are must for filing an application for trademark registration. In case of a partnership deed/incorporation certificate is required for the legal entities/bodies which have been registered.
- Logo: Logo must be either in black or white in colour consisting of the same words as mentioned in the trademark application.
- Form-48 and a User Affidavit: The Form-48 permits authority to the Attorney to file an application on behalf of someone with a trademark Registrar. An affidavit must be submitted to claim a previous application that had been made upon.
With the Company Act 2013 coming in force, trademark registrations have become more significant for any business entity within India. It says any new company cannot have the name similar to any previously registered trademark. With the increasing awareness about trademark and intellectual property, more than thousands of “marks” each year are registered as a trademark. Thus, obtaining a trademark stands as a vital part of starting any business entity in India.
One’s own brand is a valuable asset for its business, LetsComply’s legal experts can help you in getting a Trademark Registered for your business. To know more, call us at +91-9717070500 or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.