TOP REASONS WHY TRADEMARKS ARE IMPORTANT FOR STARTUPS AND SMALL BUSINESSES
In the everyday life of a consumer, trademark strikes huge in mentoring their decision while choosing the products. Trademark symbol on the superscript of any brand name creates trust and cosy feel for brands, so customers can be easily attracted. Trademark logo, simply makes it rich.
WHAT IS A TRADEMARK?
Trademark is a type of Intellectual property rights that is provided to certain names, symbols, devices or words. Trademark permits the name/design to be used by the owner and also ensures it is not been used by anyone else.
Difference between registered and unregistered Trademark:
In India, any mark that is registered under the Trademarks Act,1999 is confined as a registered trademark. A registered trademark proprietor will be offered exclusive rights for the usage of logo/name and ensures the non-usage of the same by others.
Registered trademark users will have an upper hand in legal proceedings than that of the unregistered trademarks. Registered trademark users are permitted to use ® symbol to their name,whereas unregistered trademark users will only be allowed to use TM symbol, alongside the application process. In some cases, unregistered trademark users will get common law rights.
Here are a few advantages of trademark registration that compels you to register a trademark for your startup.
UNIQUENESS OF THE BRAND:
Trademarks helpstartups in protecting their brand. It prevents stealing or copying by the competitors making it stand unique among other fake products/services. Registering a trademark would help in securing the brand name from many copy-cats. For example, Bookmyshow and Bookmyoffer.
IT SAYS MORE ABOUT PRODUCT OWNERSHIP:
If you have a registered trademark under your name, then any product registered under your ownership will also be a registered product of yours. Hence, by registering a trademark proof of ownership travels to your brand.
SECURED BRAND NAME:
A registered trademark for the brand name will avert anyone from using your brand name. Therefore it reduces direct competitors from your brand name and makes your product distinguishable among other competitor products with a different name.
Registering a trademark for your business will offer protection from intellectual property laws. Any law can’t safeguard your trademark if your trademark is not registered. If a trademark is registered for the same name/brand/logo by any other owner, then no law can protect you even though you used the name/brand/logo first and foremost. In such cases, the party with the unregistered trademark will be urged to change the name. So, you will have to start from scratch again.
TRADEMARK CLEARS WAY FOR GROWTH:
Trademark particularly lends a giant helping hand when you are looking for expansion of your business. It drastically increases the success of your new business, as the brand name is already recognised. BRAND VALUE!!
HIGHER PROFIT MARGINS:
As we all know all the highly recognised brands such as APPLE, ADIDAS, NIKEetc, taste huge profit margins just because their brand is well known. A registered trademark and a well-popular brand can surge your profit margins to the extreme.
TRADEMARK IS AN ASSET:
Trademark is just another wonderful asset that appreciates alongside the growth of your business.Like real estate, the Trademark is also a property asset. A trademark can be bought, sold, licensed (like renting or leasing) or used as a security interest to secure a loan to grow your business.
TRADEMARK EASES THE HIRING PROCESS:
Employment process will be made easier and employees keep coming your way to being employed. This happens when a brand is well known and an employee feels positive about the brand. Employee retention will be made easier as the brand is well recognized and the employee feels proud in working for a big brand. No extra penny has to be spent to retain the employees.
TRADEMARK REGISTRATION PROCEDURE:
The Trademark registration process in India is drafted below:
1.TRADEMARK SEARCH: To ensure there is no registered trademark under the name you are filing for.
2.TRADEMARK APPLICATION: Filing for a Trademark application. You can start using the TM symbol as soon as the application is filed.
3.TRADEMARK REGISTRATION: After the trademark office approves your application without any objection, then your trademark will be registered. Now, you can start using the ®symbol.
|Official Fees (INR)||Professional (INR)||Total|
|Trademark Application(Charges are for per class per mark application)||4,500/- in case of Individual/ Small Enterprise 9,000/- in all other cases||3,500/-||8000/- in case of Individual/ Startup/ Small Enterprise 12,500/- in all other cases|
|In case of any objection from the Trademark Registry a reply to the Trademark Registry||–||4,000/- per reply||4,000/- per reply|
|In case of a hearing to overcome the objection||–||5,000/- per reply||5,000/- per reply|
Once the Trademark is accepted and published in the official journal, then it can be opposed by any third party within 4 months. If it is opposed, then a separate procedure has to be followed which may incur additional charges.