Organization’ vision, values and reputation bring existence of the Brand. Every Organization embraces those names as a Trademark/Brand that reflects their business and create impact on their goods and services. The momentum of the Brand when nurtured by the hard work, new innovated ideas, and the culture set by the Organization, eventually creates the goodwill which is recognized by the World and thereby become valuable assets.
Selection of Trademark: So, the Selection of the Trademark as a Brand is very important steps for the newly incorporated entity whether it is own name or name of the Product/Services. The ordinary word, initially selected by Organization becomes extra ordinary if selection is such that it totally distinguishes itself from the rest of the World, i.e. the word/label/device selected should not be generic word. Thus, in the initial stage, businesses should be mindful that their Trade names/mark are very well protected from Legal perspective.
[Every new business entity shall check whether there is prior registration of the Trademark as it may led to infringement of the prior user – it is imperative to have prior mark search.]
Non-use of Trademark: Trademark are also to be used properly as they remain with you for longer time. Non-use of the Trademark even if they are registered, cannot give right to the register owner, if it has no proof / evidence of its usage. Registration of the Mark is not solely to prevent others from using the names as mark but is required to be used. It is advisable to have your Brand be displayed in your advertisement / be part of Annual Report / Product or service, though products/services may be having its separate mark ( Label ), i.e. easily visible to the Customers because your Trademark distinguish your Product/services from the rest.
[Under Act, if the TM is not used for more than 5 years or longer, the Mark may be removed from the Register.]
Identification of trademark status as a brand is also important and is required to be displayed with appropriate symbol e.g., ® for a registered mark and ™ for a mark not yet registered.
Cyber Squatting :To keep your Brand away from “cyber squatters” register domain name matching the trademark. A domain name is a unique name that identifies a website and has created many disputes as they are based on the concept “First Come First Serve”. Domain name also serves as online Trademark.
[There is no specific law for cyber squatting in India, however Civil Procedure Code provide protection.]
Well Known Trademark: As business flourishes in a particular geographical area/Nation and your Trademark is substantially known, Trade Mark Act, 1999 allows the registrar to proclaim particular Trade Mark as “well known” which give extra protection against infringement and passing off.
[Kindly refer Section 2(zb), section 11 (6), 11 ( 7 ) & 11 ( 9 ) & section 36 of the Trademark Act, 1999.]
WIPO: If your Organization is doing business outside India, the protection of the Trademark can be sought by registering at World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) by filling one single international application.
[Trademark which is registered in Indian Trademark Registry can only be registered under WIPO.]
Disclaimer: The views and thoughts expressed in this Article belong solely to the author. They are for general guidance and shall not be considered as a Legal opinion or any advice.