Advantages of Trademark Registration!
If you believe your registered trademark is being infringed, it is easy to establish your right to it in court. If you haven't registered the word, slogan or logo, you would not be able to do so. Particularly in sectors in which piracy is rampant, trademark registration is essential.
A trademark is an intangible asset that can be enormously valuable, should your brand succeed. Think of Tide, Nike or McDonald's. Businesses can earn huge money in royalties through licensing agreements or even transfer ownership to interested parties through assignment agreements.
You would want your customers to identify your products or services with yours only. Registering your trademark is the first step toward ensuring this. The court would then stop any similar words or slogans from being registered.
Brief to let know about Trademark Registration:
- A Brand consists of a Name, Logo and even a Slogan or a Tagline. If you don't have a logo or slogan, please ignore those options.
- A logo should be submitted in black and white. This will give your logo protection for all possible color combinations. If you submit a logo in color, then you will get protection only for that color.
- We will be sharing a few documents which you will have to sign to authorize our lawyer to file the trademark on your behalf.
- Once you share a scanned copy of this letter, we will take 2-3 working days to file your Trademark application.
- After filing the application, we will get an acknowledgment from the Trademark Registry. As soon as we share this with you, you can start using the TM symbol next to your brand name or logo for which you filed your application.
- It takes a minimum of 18 to 24 months for a trademark to get registered.
- Your Brandname passes through various stages before it gets registered, one of them is Objection, not to worry, this is a normal stage, where Trademark Registry wants to know few details regarding usage of your brand. For this, a reply letter is sent and if trademark registry finds the reasons valid they move it to next steps. The objection can arise within two months of filings or maybe in a year's time. As it totally depends on the discretion of Registry.
1What is a trademark class?
The Trademark Registry has classified goods and services under 45 classes. Your application must mention the class/classes the goods/services represent. The trademark would be registered under those classes only.
2What trademark applications are commonly rejected?
If your trademark is similar to an existing application, would hurt religious sentiments, contains geographical names or common words. It would also be rejected if it is likely to cause confusion. So you can't register the word 'car' for a car brand, but may do so for a brand of electronics.
3When can I use the ™ symbol?
As soon as you file the application, you receive an acknowledgement, which gives you the right to use the ™ symbol. Once it's registered, you can use the ® symbol.
4How can I run a trademark search?
Before settling on a brand name, you need to check if it can acquire the legal rights necessary to hold on it. This is because the commercial rights to a brand name belong to the owner of its trademark. To find out if yours has already been taken, you can run a trademark search, which is basically a database search of India’s Intellectual Property Database. Now, running the search is easy. Begin by selecting the wordmark and typing in the word/s you want to register. The results will tell you whether there already is another registration in that name. If there is one, check its status. If it is either approved, applied, objected or opposed, it makes sense to pick another name. Do also check for phonetic similarities with other registered names. To do this, you need to select the dropdown at the top of the page. While the phonetic search isn’t very accurate, you can say with certainty that your trademark will be approved if there aren’t any relevant matches here either.
5What if my trademark is taken, but under a different class?
If your brand name has already been registered, but under a different class, you're still in luck. Unless the brand is too well known (McDonald’s or Fiat, let’s say), your application is likely to be approved. If, on the other hand, a trademark has been registered by another brand after you began using it, you should take the matter seriously. Find out the origin of the goods and send the office a cease-and-desist letter. Although it does not apply exclusively to intellectual property, such a letter is usually sent in cases of infringement. If the party does not cease and desist from selling the goods with your trademark within the time mentioned in the letter, you may take them to court.
6What if someone has a similar word trademarked?
You can't get the word, but all is not lost. You could instead design a unique logo for your business and include the name in it. Take BMW as an example. The BMW is within the logo. A prefix would also be permissible. This is known as a logo composite mark. So there is a way out, but it is best to have a unique name.
7Do you guarantee approval of my trademark?
It depends entirely on the government's judgement. But if it is unique, it is highly likely that it will be granted.
8Should I file the trademark in my own name?
Many start-up founders register it in their own names, while large businesses would prefer to do so in the name of the company. This is because the future of a start-up is always in doubt. If owned by the founder, the trademark would be valid regardless of the state of the company. A trademark license agreement is, however, needed in this case.
9What are the different kinds of trademarks I can have?
Any expression of your brand that distinguishes it from all other brands can be trademarked. This, therefore, includes your brand name, logo or slogan. New brands need only bother themselves with these three types, though more successful brands, that have much more to protect, trademark much else. Levis, for example, has trademarked the position of its red label on all its jeans. Cadbury’s fought hard to maintain exclusive rights to use the colour purple on packaging for chocolate, but ultimately lost the dispute with Nestle. Young start-ups, however, tend only to trademark a word or logo or else register a logo composite mark (when text is included within the logo).
10What is the difference between trademark, copyright and patent?
Trademarks and copyrights are both intellectual property, but serve different purposes. A copyright applies to literary and audio-visual (music, photographs, movies) works. So it’s an exclusive right granted to the creator or author of a book, script, software, music, photograph or movie. The owner has the right to stop the publication of any work that shares similarities with his/her work, unless it has been fairly used. Registration is not necessary. However, as copyright infringement has become commonplace in the Internet age, and you need a registration to take the matter to court, copyright registration has gained importance. A patent is a right granted for a product or process to an individual or enterprise. This right grants its owner the ability to exclude others from making, using, selling or importing the patented product or process without prior approval. In exchange for this right, the applicant must fully disclose the invention. A patent is valid for 20 years, after which it falls into the public domain.