One of the most important sorts of intellectual property currently in use is the trademark, which is essentially a word or combination of words, colour, logo, design, etc. that can be graphically represented and serves to distinguish one person’s goods and or services from those of another person.
The use of trademarks by both individuals and businesses helps build brand recognition in the marketplace and makes it easier for consumers to identify the source and calibre of particular goods and services. Trademarks serve to identify and promote their products; for instance, “COLGATE” is connected to dental care products. As a result, COLGATE advertises its products and sets them apart from those of its rivals that are similar to or identical to them.
Even though two of the aforementioned trademarks operate in the same market—they both produce and market a variety of dental care products, and their target audiences are similar—consumers can still quickly identify and associate these two marks with the source and calibre of the products that these businesses market. That is the power a brand with distinctive
Trademarks are jurisdictional rights that, like all other physical assets, are also tangible in nature and can be used as a security for loans as well as licenced, sold, and purchased assets. Therefore, such a tangible asset needs protection in order to continue reaping financial rewards for as long as the mark’s owner desires.
A registered trademark offers a company its own unique identity and protects its reputation as a trusted brand. A trademark may be used for ten years following registration and, if the owner renews it on schedule, for as long as the trademark owner’s business is in operation.
Only a registered trademark may initiate a lawsuit for trademark infringement against any third party infringer who attempts to use another person’s registered trademark’s goodwill and reputation to pass off their own goods and/or services. A trademark can now be registered for less money and in less time, and it only costs money once. Currently, registration takes between 6 and 12 months, and once registered, it is valid for the next 10 years.
The owner of a trademark must undertake these procedures in order to register it:
Step 1: Trademark Search
This phase is extremely important to complete before applying for trademark registration since it will enable the trademark owner to determine whether or not their mark is distinctive and one of a kind, as well as whether or not any similar or identical marks are already in use. Since the Trademark Registry maintains a database of all registered trademarks, the trademark owner can determine whether they are competing with others in their industry. A search will reveal whether the owner will face any risks when utilising that trademark or if it is secure.
Step 2: Filing an Application
Trademark registration online- The process of submitting an application for registration follows a search. Depending on one’s jurisdiction, the application must be submitted in Form TM-A physically at the Trademark Registry Office or online through IP India’s official website.
The fees will be determined for each class included in the application, and the application must be filed for registration of a single mark only in a single class of products and or services. The application must be supported by the necessary paperwork and include comprehensive trademark information.
Additionally, if the trademark was already in use prior to the application’s submission (i.e., the owner wants to assert prior use), they must include a user affidavit demonstrating the mark’s use as well as proof of its prior use in commerce.
Step 3: Examining Procedures
The Registrar will carefully review the application after it is submitted, and they will write up their findings and send a copy of it to the applicant within 30 days to let them understand whether the Registry wants to reject or conditionally accept the application. They will also include the evidence they used to reach that conclusion.
The applicant must submit a reply within 30 days of receiving the examination report, outlining all defences and supporting documentation against the trademark office’s objections, and the owner must provide justifications for why the application shouldn’t be rejected and should move forward with the registration process. The application will be abandoned if the applicant doesn’t respond within the predetermined window of time.
Step 4: Procedures following an examination
After the applicant submits a response to the examination report, the examiner may, if desired, schedule a hearing if, for any reason, he or she is not pleased with the applicant’s response or if the applicant’s response fails to address the objections raised in the report.
If the examiner is completely satisfied with the hearing procedure, he or she will either approve the mark and submit it for publication in the Trademark Journal or deny the application if any objections remain.
Step 5: The trademark application’s publication
The application will be published in the Trademark Journal when the examiner has approved it, and it will stay there for a period of four months. Such an application is advertised so that, within the time frame mentioned above, any third party may view it and, if they choose, submit a response opposing the applicant. The Journal is updated with fresh, approved trademark registrations every Monday.
Step 6:Expression of opposition
Any party with a grievance may submit a notice of opposition in Form TM-O within four months of the application’s publication date. When a third party believes that the applicant has violated their already registered and in use trademark, or that the application was filed in bad faith, and if such a trademark is registered, it will hurt the reputation and goodwill connected with the third party’s earlier trademark.
According to the Trademark Act of 1999, a notice of opposition will halt the registration process for the applicant’s opposed mark. If the applicant wants to proceed with the registration of the same mark, they must follow certain legal procedures, which include filing a counter-statement, providing evidence in support of that counter-statement, and in some cases, it is evident that the applicant must also attend a hearing.
Step 7: Registration
Obtaining the certificate of registration is the last step in the registration process. The applicant will obtain the certificate once the mark has gone through all the legal procedures associated with the opposition and if the opposition is successful.
The trademark registry office will issue the applicant, in the absence of any opposition or any false opposition filed, a registration certificate that was generated automatically within seven days of the expiration of the four-month
Although it is not required, the trademark registration process is quick and easy. However, to make the process quick and simple, it is advised to seek the help of a trademark lawyer.
A trademark may be any image that distinguishes a firm from competitors, symbolizes the essence of the business, and lends credibility to the brand. Your company’s trademarks can be found or recognised by its name, brand name, trade name, label, product name, logo, punchline, and domain names. You must identify and safeguard each and every intellectual property right that belongs to your business, including trademarks.
Trademarks are a subset of intellectual property rights, which are further divided into various groups. Here are a few illustrations of several trademark types:
Trademark registration online- The most important trademark to protect is your company name, therefore register it online to prevent infringement.
The logo serves as a picture, work of art, or emblem for your business. To register your logo as a trademark, you must supply a high-resolution JPEG file.
The distinctive branding of a corporation help customers identify its goods. The brand may be a wordmark or a device mark that is registerable as a trademark.
The phrase “Ye Dil Mange More” from Pepsi is an example of a punchline or slogan that can be recognised as a trademark and be registered as such.
Under the Trademark Law, domain names may also be registered as trademarks. You should get it since it provides your trademark a lot of protection.
Make sure to register it as a Sound Mark under the Trademark law if a sound is distinctive to your business, such as the Airtel ringtone or the ICICI jingle.
Every business needs a trademark because it helps your brand stand out from the competitors. In this competitive market, your business will get lost in the throng if you don’t create and protect a unique brand identity. Customers can misidentify your business as one of your rivals, which would be detrimental to its development and reputation. The following is a checklist that you should keep in mind while choosing and registering a trademark in India:
Registrar’s Checklist for Trademarks
It takes a lot of time, money, and effort to develop a brand. As a result, you must ensure that you have the authorization to use your brand’s name, slogan, logo, packaging, sound, smell, colour scheme, and everything else that gives it a unique identity. A trademark is a form of intellectual property that sets your goods or services apart from those of your rivals in the market.
The “TM” sign may be used with the applicant and the brand once a trademark has been registered. Trademark registration in India is extremely important for brand protection and safeguard. Given that trademark registration requires a number of stages and ongoing government oversight, it is usually advisable to do so under the guidance of a professional.
To safeguard distinctive trademarks, catchphrases, or coined concepts, trademark registrations are frequently employed. In India, trademark registration applications can be filed by individuals, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. However, there are certain standards for each category of person or company when it comes to submitting a trademark application. The following items are eligible for trademark registration in India.
Joint proprietors of a business may jointly apply for a trademark, and the application must include both owners’ names.
A proprietorship company may submit a trademark application in the name of its owner but not in the names of the business or proprietorship. Both the proprietorship name and the business name that you give in
A partnership business with a maximum of 10 members must provide all of the names of the partners in the application when filing for a trademark. If a minor partner is present, the guardian who is speaking on his behalf must be identified.
Partnership with limited liability or LLP
The application should be made in the name of the Limited Liability Partnership in this situation. The partners in this corporation each have their own unique identities. Since the trademark belongs to the LLP, the
Any Indian business, whether private limited, limited, or in another form, is required to submit a trademark application under the business’s name. Since every incorporated business has its own identity, it should be noted that a company’s director cannot also be a trademark applicant.
If a foreign-incorporated company files for a trademark in India, it must be done so using the name under which it is registered abroad. Here, it’s important to indicate the registration’s kind, the nation it came from,
Assurance or Society
The managing trustee, chairman, or secretary representing a trust or society must be identified when a trademark application is submitted on their behalf.
What is the significance of registering a trademark?
There are many justifications for trademark registration, but the bulk of them are necessary for all enterprises and aspiring businesspeople since a trademark is a priceless asset. There are several benefits to getting a trademark registration and using the services. Here are some advantages.
Protection of Intellectual Property
The firm name or registered logo are protected legally by trademark registration against abuse or duplication. The trademark is given to its owner as legal ownership, which may be upheld in any court. The owner of a trademark acquires exclusive use of the mark in all 50 states when it is registered.
An official notice that a trademark has already been
As a registered trademark, a person gains the right to use their brand in public, informing others and removing the defence of innocent infringement. Once a trademark is registered, it will show up in search results, discouraging other applicants from trying to register a mark that is identical to it or one that is similar.
The National Trademark Office in New Delhi will refuse to register any trademark that looks to be confusingly similar to another trademark, even if you are the first to file one.
If a trademark is registered in India, the owner may be entitled to quadruple the amount of damages from the violator. It is assumed that the owner is the trademark’s legitimate owner. When a trademark is registered, the owner is given the right to file a lawsuit in any court against anybody who is abusing the mark. On the other side, unregistered trademarks