Trademark Registration

ABOUT TRADEMARK REGISTRATION

Trademark protection is available for certain names, symbols, devices, or words that will be used in connection with a good or service. Technically, if a certain mark is associated with a service, it is called a “service mark,” but trademark is commonly used to refer to both marks associated with services and goods. The purpose behind trademarks is to allow companies and individuals to indicate the source of their goods or services and to distinguish them from others in the industry.

A trademark not only gives the trademark owner the exclusive right to use the mark, but also allows the owner to prevent others from using a similar mark that can be confusing for the general public. A trademark cannot, however, prevent another person or company from making or selling the same goods or service under a clearly different mark.

A trademark is a logo, image, symbol, word(s), letter(s) or color(s) that is used and sometimes legally registered as a representation of a company. For service industries, trademarks are often called service marks, particularly in the United States. 

ADVANTAGES

LEGAL PROTECTION

You become the legal owner of the registered trademark and no another person has the right to use your registered trademark without your prior permission. No action can be taken against a 2nd party if the trademark is not registered with the government. The registered trademark holder can take some legal action against anyone who tries to copy the trademark with any prior permission.

CREATION OF ASSET

Registered trademark can act as an asset as the owner of the trademark can easily sell franchise or allow it on the contract basis to another party. It creates a kind of intellectual property for the same.

UNIQUE IDENTITY

One of the best qualities of trademark registration is that it helps you to establish a unique identity of your company. And no other competitor can apply or use your trademark for similar goods or services.

TRUST OR GOODWILL

As registered trademark brings the uniqueness to your product, it can easily create a sense of trust, goodwill and quality in the minds of your customer.

DOCUMENT REQUIRED

Trademark or logo copy

Applicant details like name, address and nationality and for company: the state of incorporation

Goods or services to register

Date of first use of the trademark in India, if used by you prior to applying.

Power of attorney to be signed by the applicant.

PROCESS

SELECT A TRADEMARK AGENT

Proprietors are only allowed to file a trademark application if their place of business is in India. If this is not the case, the right holder must file a trademark application through an agent or attorney. The agent or attorney usually takes care of the trivialities such as searching, preparing, filing and prosecution of the trademark.

COMPLETING THE APPLICATION FORM AND FILING

If the trademark agent has the power of attorney from the right holder he can complete and file the application form. The form will require details such as name and address of the proprietor, a description of the goods and services associated with the mark, whether the mark is in use and a copy of the mark.

REVIEW BY THE TRADEMARK OFFICE

The trademark office reviews the application to see if it is complete and then allots the application a number. If the trademark is registered, this number becomes the registration number.

DETERMINATION OF THE ELIGIBILITY AND AVAILABILITY OF THE TRADEMARK

The agent usually starts the registration process by determining whether the trademark is eligible for registration and conducting a clearance search to see if there is a similar mark in the office of the controller general.

REGISTRATION

Within the term of three months publication in the Trademarks Journal, if not opposed by a third party, the trademark will proceed for registration and the trademark authority will proceed to give a registration certificate.

PRELIMINARY APPROVAL AND PUBLICATION, SHOW CAUSE HEARING OR REJECTION OF THE APPLICATION

The trademark association determines if the application is barred from registration either on absolute or relative grounds for refusal as prescribed in the Trade Marks Act, 1999. After this, they issue an examination report within a period of one month. Depending on the examination report the registrar of the trademark determines whether the application must be accepted. If the application is rejected, the applicant can appeal at the Intellectual Property Appellate.

FAQ'S

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. On receiving trademark Application number you can start using Tm.

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:

  • Register your brand to get an exclusive right to it.
  • Protect your brand like other assets and belongings of your company.
  • It will help you to protect your hard earn goodwill in business.
  • You can stop others from promoting the same brand in the same industry of business.
  • It will give you nation-wide protection for your trade.

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.

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.

Trademark registrations are distinctive to the goods or services they represent. The registrations are product/service specific and are made of a a Class of goods or service it represents. The trademark registration will, therefore, be valid for the entire class of goods or service it represents.