Distinguishment in goods and services from others distinguishes liabilities and gains from others, and trademarking helps in doing so. So, let’s learn how to trademark your business name.
Uniqueness not always gives you an upper hand over others but also protects you from the fierce competition that comes with new-age technology.
A unique selling proposition or USP defines your business’s peculiar position and to protect that position trademarking your business becomes crucial. When a consumer purchases or identifies a particular good or service in an extensive competitive market, it grants them the assurance or promise provided by a specific trademark or business owner.
India has its law for trademarks, the Trade Marks Act 1999, that has dealt with registration, relief, protection, etc. however, being a signatory to the Paris Convention and Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property, it complies with the several principles enumerated. In this article, we will be discussing the importance that a trademark holds in terms of a Business.
What is a Trademark?
When a specific intangible asset has been created, referred to as intellectual property, one can gain rights in terms of ownership. Those rights are in the form of intellectual property rights.
Though India has different forms of Intellectual property rights, the trademark has a bigger impact because somehow it relates to appearance.
As per the legal provision of the Trademark Act of 1999, section 2(z) states that a trademark is a mark competent to be represented graphically and distinguishes goods and services from others in the form of the shape of goods, combination of colours, etc.
Ford for automobiles and Domino for pizza, the symbol, colour, shapes, and words they used depicts their goods and services. A phrase, symbol, design, or combination can determine your goods and services. However, generic, already-used, common, and religious quotes cannot be trademarked.
How to Trademark My Business Name?
Whenever we start our business, after a certain period, we all have a question, How to Trademark my Business name? The answer for the same is that a business name cannot get registered as a trademark. However, as an unregistered trademark, a registered business name can be used. The reasoning behind the non-registration is that a legal business name identifies its business and not goods and services.
In common parlance, a trademark is related to the branding of goods. Hence, a registered trademark and a registered business name though acting separately, complement each other.
Various types of Trademarks can be registered because it doesn’t follow a specific colour combination or symbol. A trademark’s purpose is to distinguish it from other businesses and let the consumers identify the source of those goods and services.
- Product Mark
- Service Mark
- Collective Mark
- Certification Mark
- Shape Mark
- Pattern Mark
- Sound Mark
There is a process that goes on to get a trademark registered. Just choosing a particular mark for your business is not sufficient. Below are the points to be considered for the registration of the trademark:
Before filling out the application for registration, it is crucial to do extensive research on identical or similar trademarks. If a particular mark is already used, a person or business cannot proceed with the registration.
After searching out the available databases, one can proceed with the filling procedure of the trademark registration application. With due diligence to the prescribed format and fees, an applicant can do the filing.
After submission of the application, the registrar will review the same and can reject, approve or object to the application. If approved, the trademark will be published in the journal for general public objection, if any. If rejected, an opportunity will be provided to defend the case. If objected to because of a few requirements, an applicant can refile the application by completing it.
What are the Advantages of Trademarking a Business?
Validity for Years
A minimum of 10 years of validity is available with the registration, which gives you an exclusive right of ownership. This validity period starts from your application date rather than the registration date.
Protection from Competition
There is no complete escape from the competition. However, giving clarity to the consumers, one more criterion for competing with others will not come. There will be no confusion in terms of the services or the products they are choosing.
There are possibilities that another business has the same business name as yours, and not getting your trademark could land you in legal trouble. Hence, getting a registered trademark will help you separate yourself from other businesses and provide access to legal representation, as you can stop another from furnishing the same products or services.
Cost-Effectiveness and Acts as an Asset
It builds your brand image, attracts potential investors, and opens new revenue streams. In this way, the initial cost might be high, but with time it opens up a source of revenue, lowering the cost involved.
Differences Between Trademark, Copyright, and Patent
Though all three comes under Intellectual property rights, they come up with notable differences.
In Common parlance, a trademark protects the graphical part of the products that distinguish itself to the extent that a person can identify the source. It advances the right to prohibit others from using similar marks, creating confusion for consumers or investors.
Copyright deals with the original works of authorship of recordings, books, artwork, literary work, etc. In this, the originality of the work is stressed to make it unique. Unlike a trademark, the work can be reproduced or circulated on due process authorization.
The patent protects new and novel inventions such as composition, machines, etc. Though the requirement is for a new invention, it also prescribes that it should be valuable. It restricts the use in terms of manufacturing, importing, or selling.
After knowing how to trademark my business name, we know that there might be other protective measures for your business, but trademarking opens up several ways as an intellectual property right.
Trademarks can be registered and unregistered, and both have their benefits according to your requirements. But a registered trademark will always be beneficial because it gives you an option of legal enforceability, which means you have an exclusive right on your trademark and there will not be prejudiced use. Safeguarding the interests of an owner is the rudimentary principle of intellectual property rights.