When it comes to brand building, the first obstacle that many individual brand owners and companies encounter is “Making an Impact.” Sharing your brand ideology with prospects is the second most important concern in brand building. Logo instantly grabs the customer’s attention compared to lengthy taglines, and hence they are the most effective communication tool.
All the big companies constantly revamp their logos to ensure unparallel bonding with their prevailing and the new customer base. Minimalism is the key, and therefore logos are the soul of businesses around the globe.
Now that we have learned why a logo is so vital for a firm’s success, we need to comprehend what makes a legit logo and how to safeguard it. A good logo meets the brand objective & reaches the legitimate consumer base. To tie in an entire brand around a logo can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Therefore, protecting the company logo is equally important, and that is when trademark registration comes so handy.
Most companies avoid registering their logo in the initial phase and often lose brand name to a third-party. Therefore, one must choose for logo registration at the earliest.
How to Register a Company logo?
The following section contains the information regarding the logo registration. Make sure to follow it precisely to avoid any trouble.
Step 1: Choose a Unique logo
It is essential to comprehend that the logo must stick with distinctiveness and uniqueness. Any resemblance with the prevailing mark might lead to violation or cancellation of the same. The moment a company logo is used commercially, it becomes an identity for the firm, and that is when the product branding is started.
For the sake of legal enforcement, registration of the company logo is imperative. You can hire a legal professional to guide you with the initial trademark search. Taking an expert’s help is recommended as a professional would have the expertise to help you in this context.
Step 2: Apply for Company Logo Registration
Even if you have not started utilizing the company logo commercially, protecting it is beneficial. Companies secure their logo obsessively; and it will ensure comprehensive protection against any infringement act.
After you apply the brand name and the company logo, you can affix (™) mark over the logo. After TM application filing, an acknowledgment slip will be generated highlighting the category of a new application. Upon application submission, the trademark department will examine the same for any error and forward it for further investigation. In case of any error, a clarification may be sought.
Step 3- Scrutinization of Trademark Application
In this stage, the proposed company logo/mark is examined by the examiner & if the application seems legit, it will find its way publishes in the trademark journal. Conversely, if the examiner founds the logo inappropriate under absolute grounds and relative grounds of refusal as per Trademarks Act, 1999, they may not allow the mark to be published in the trademark journal.
After doing so, the examiner will issue the examination report for the same. Based on the report, the applicant must respond accordingly and send their reply within the predetermined time limits.
Step 4- Show Cause Hearing
Here the examiner forwards a notification to the applicant regarding the schedule of hearing. This action is taken in case of a non-satisfactory response of the applicant against the examination report. If the application is approved, it heads over to the next stage.
Step 5- Publication in Trademark Journal
After examination, the proposed company logo is published in the Trademark journal. Within four months of the publication, the application will be examined and processed by the trademark’s Registrar, provided there is no objection. In case of a complaint/objection, a legal proceeding would be conducted by Registrar where concerned parties would establish their claims.
Step -6: Trademark Registration & Certification
The application now reaches the last stage. Once the logo finds its way to the journal and no objection is raised, the authority will grant the registration certificate under the trademark’s seal. The company logo and brand name would be posted into the Central Register of Trademarks.
- The symbol [®] can be affixed to the logo after obtaining the certificate via an online portal.
- A time span of 12-18 months is required for the registration of a company logo.
- The whole brand/logo registration takes about 6-8 months.
- Once verified and accepted, it would remain valid for ten years from the date of application filing. The registered logo can be made perpetual by renewing it every ten years.
- One can go for trademark renewal by filling a Trademark Renewal Application i.e., Form TM-R. Remember, the application will go along with the requisite fees. Note: Registered Trademark will be removed from the Registrar’s register if it is not renewed before six months of its expiration date.
Registering a company logo is not mandatory by any means, but leaving it unregistered is not a wise move either. Unregistered marks could be easily copied, and defaulters can make tons of money by doing so. Therefore, it can be concluded that trademark registration is a savior for the company’s intangible assets. Fear of being copied is quite prominent with brands that lack trademark registration.
Availing trademark is not that easy as it sounds. There are instances when the applicant encounters numerous cancellations for the same from the authority. Staying compliant with Trademark Act during the registration process requires a good understanding of the same; therefore, if you find it daunting to fulfill said requirements, head over the CorpBiz’s associates without having a second thought.
Read our article:10 Invaluable Advantages of Trademark Registration