The e-commerce business is booming at present, and it’s likely to remain the primary choice for avid marketers for years to come. Online business tycoons like Amazon and Alibaba have earned billions of dollars via online selling. The dominance of online business is somewhat unprecedented in the age of digitization.
The growing number of online businesses has given birth to a need for trademark protection. Businesses operating online often have tough times against the infringers and securing their intangible assets. Fortunately, the trademark protection is capable of mitigating such threats with ease.
What is a Trademark, and why is it Important for E-Commerce Business?
Trademark refers to a recognizable phrase, word, emblem, illustration, or symbol that specifies a particular product and differentiates it from the rest of its kind. A trademark exclusively recognizes the company’s ownership of the brand. It is also deemed as a form of intellectual property. It may or may not be registered & is signified by the ® and ™ symbols, respectively.
Following are some typical reasons highlighting the significance of trademark registration for e-commerce operators
- An online company with a sizeable market reach is more vulnerable to IP infringement.
- Duplication of the online brands (non-protected in particulars) is relatively easy and challenging to track owing to vast exposure.
- Infringement may not confine to some brand only; the infringers may use other assets such as company name, logo, or other illustrations on the website for unfair monetary benefits.
Underestimating the Trademark registration is rather a costly affair for online sellers in the present scenario. The following section will shed some light on the role of trademark registration for e-commerce.
Potential Benefits of Trademark Registration for E-Commerce Business
E-commerce business came into existence about three decades back. Before that time, the only access available to the global consumers was the offline markets, dominated by the retailers and the whole seller.
In a pre-ecommerce era, the local retail business did not encounter the same defiance as the countrywide or global business or brand. But, the inception of the internet has changed this purview altogether. There are several reasons why one should opt for multiple trademarks for their e-commerce business. These are as follow:-
Protection for Your E-Commerce Business
A registered trademark can safeguard your e-commerce firm name and other vital assets from being infringed by other entities. It can also ensure full-proof protection for peerless product logos & names. A business with trademark protection rejoices extensive statutory coverage against anyone using the protected trademark.
Protection against Unfair Utilization of Brand
A protected trademark averts any likelihood of unfair utilization of the brand. In today’s digital space, a registered trademark can ensure full-fledged protection for our brand on a domestic and global level and keep your valuable IP assets beyond the reach of infringers.
Provide Grounds for Litigation
A registered trademark can be used as prima facie evidence in case of a dispute where the validity or the ownership of the same is in question. The trademark owner reserve exclusive rights to file suit for the recovery of damages incurred by the defaulters.
Read our article:10 Invaluable Advantages of Trademark Registration
Local and Global Trademark Registration for E-commerce
Trademarks not only help differentiate products within the business & legal system but just as extensively with customers. They are used to ensure the protection of IP assets like word, logo, and design that identify the owner of the product or services. It can be found in the form of corporate slogans, logos, or the brand name of the product.
A trademark registration:-
- Act as a prima facie evidence of ownership & validity;
- Ensure comprehensive statutory protection in India;
- Creates a legal shield for the registered products and services against the possible infringement.
- Allows filing a lawsuit against the infringers.
- Confer owner-exclusive rights.
The best part about trademark registration is that it comes with global protection, provided the text comes from the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid Protocol ensures seamless and prompt filing for a trademark and allows trademark registration in 100+ nations globally. From 2013, Indian secured the membership of the international union for trademarks.
It has enabled local online sellers to safeguard their intangible assets across multiple jurisdictions worldwide when filing under aforesaid protocols. The registration is completed via the Indian trademarks office. The trademark registration online portal, viz ipindia.gov.in. allow the filing of trademark registration.
Online Process of Trademark Registration for E-commerce Firms in India
The online portal of IP India allows the e-filing of trademark registration in India. The interesting applicant can reach out to ipindia.gov.in to make an online application for their mark or logo. Once the application is filed, it shall be examined by the Registrar for potential loopholes.
On finding any discrepancies, the applicant shall be answerable to the Registrar. Upon successful verification, the proposed mark will be published in the trademark journal for a definite timeline. This is done to invite any objection. Once this time period is over without luring any complaint, the Registrar will issue the trademark registration.
The likelihood of IP infringement is significantly higher with online brands since they have better consumer exposure and growth potential. The unfair competition created due to trademark infringement remains one of the primary concerns for businesses worldwide. Every year many online sellers and enterprises bear massive losses due to unfair trade practices.
With the percentage of the generic/copied brand growing every passing year, it becomes essential for online sellers to opt for trademark protection. By adopting trademark protection, ecommerce operators can carry out their business activities without wondering about potential infringement. The trademark registration for e-commerce puts the online sellers in a commanding position as far as brand protection is concerned.
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