A trademark is an intellectual property right. Trademark registration is done for the logo that you use for your company. Once you register a trademark for your company, no one else can use your brand name, and it becomes easy for normal people to recognize your brand. Trademarks can be broadly classified into two categories. One is the ordinary trademark registered under the Trademarks Act 1999, and the other is a well-known trademark registered under the Paris Convention. Moreover, the ordinary trademark is registered for a term of 10 years, whereas a normal trademark is registered for 20 years. If you want to register a trademark for your company, then it is advised to consult a professional, as it is a complex process. In this blog, we will discuss how to protect your brand with Trademark Registration.
What is a Trademark?
It is a form of intellectual property right that protect your brand. A trademark can be of anything from a word, symbol, logo, design, etc., that is unique and differentiate your company from others. Moreover, it provides legal protection to your company so that no one else can copy your company’s brand name or logo. A trademark provides protection for a period of 10 years, and then you will have to renew the registration.
Although trademark registration is not a necessary requirement but, it is advisable that you take a trademark for your company so that no when can copy your brand, and in case anyone does so, you will have the authority to take legal action against that person.
Types of Trademarks
You can register four types of trademarks in India, namely:
- Ordinary Trademarks
Ordinary trademarks are usually used to register words, phrases, logos, or other designs that differentiate a particular business from another. This type of trademark is registered with the trademark registry of India.
- Sound Trademarks
If your brand has a particular sound or tune that differentiates your brand, then such a sound or tune can be secured under the sound trademarks so that no one else can copy it. Sound trademarks can be registered with the trademark registry of India.
- Shape Trademarks
Shape trademarks secure any kind of shape, packaging, or three-dimensional object through which people can easily identify your brand. This type of trademark is registered with the trademark registry of India.
- Collective Trademarks
Collective trademarks are used as a mark by the people of an organization to distinguish their goods and services from others. This trademark can be registered with the trademark registry of India.
What Is The Need For Trademark Registration To Protect Your Brand?
A trademark gives security to the owner so that no one else can copy his brand name or logo. If there would have been no trademark, then there would have been no brands. As anyone could have copied, anyone’s name and no big player can become a brand. Therefore, in case no trademark exists, people may also start making fake companies by the name of big existing players, and it would have been complicated for ordinary people to determine the real company.
Moreover, a trademark gives the right to protect your brand from others to copying their brand name. So that no one can confuse people by making another company with a similar brand name, it is to be understood that while creating a brand, a person invests a lot of money and hard work. Therefore, it is fair that he has this right to refrain anyone else from creating a brand with the same name and identity.
What Cannot Be Trademarked?
There is a whole law that defines what can and what cannot be trademarked, but there is a simple thing that cannot be trademarked, as you cannot trademark a general word or term. For example, you cannot trademark the word ‘orange’ for a brand of fruit because ‘orange’ itself is a fruit, and it is a general term used by people to refer to a fruit.
In the same way, the word ‘orange’ can be trademarked if it is a brand name of a clothing brand because orange is not a generic term if talked about clothes. Therefore, while selecting a brand name, you must be careful not to choose a generic name and provide a description of your brand.
Importance of Trademark Registration to Protect Your Brand
Here are a few things that will make you understand the importance of getting your logo trademarked to protect your brand:
- If your logo is not trademarked, then you cannot stop others from using the same logo even if you have used it first.
- Once you get the trademark of a logo, you have the right to use it worldwide. If your logo is not trademarked, anyone else can use it while sitting in a different area or country. In contrast, a trademark gives you the right and authority to use your logo anywhere worldwide.
- If you have a trademark of your logo, then you can easily sue anyone using your logo without your permission or consent. In several cases, having a trademark is deemed enough for winning a case. Moreover, you can also bring criminal charges against a person for using your logo.
- If your logo is trademarked in India, then you have the power to get it trademarked in other countries as well, which will help you expand your business worldwide.
- If someone uses your trademarked logo, then you sue that person and recover monetary damages from him.
Who Can Apply For Trademark Registration In India?
Anyone who wants to use a particular mark, logo, or design to identify his brand can apply for trademark registration. This means an application for trademark registration can be filed by an individual, a company or a firm, a joint, an association, or a body corporate. During the registration, the trademark is granted on the name of a person whose name is mentioned as an applicant in the registration form.
Process of Trademark Registration in India
In order to register a trademark, here are a few steps that you should follow:
- Search for a unique name
- Prepare a trademark application by arranging the required documents.
- Apply for the brand name registration by way of Manual Filing or e-filing.
- The registrar of trademarks will examine the process of registration of a brand name.
- Publishing your brand name in Indian Trade Mark Journals.
- Waiting for trademark opposition for three months.
- In case of trademark opposition, the registrar of trademarks will hear the trademark opposition, and you will be allowed to submit a counter statement.
- Issuance of trademark registration certificate.
Steps To Be Followed After Trademark Registration
Here are a few steps that you must follow after registration of your trademark:
- In order to keep track of everything, you must maintain a register of all your intellectual property rights, including trademarks.
- Keep a check and identify if someone is illegally using your trademark. If you find any such activity, then you must take immediate legal action against such a person.
- You can also register other intellectual property, such as patents and copyright, in order to secure your brand and make it look more authentic.
- Most importantly, keep a regular check on intellectual property laws and comply with the changing law.
Trademark registration is important if you wish to protect your brand. It can be difficult, so you may require consulting a professional who can help you from start to end. Moreover, we have tried providing you with the basic information to help you register your brand.