A trademark is a type of intellectual property that has grown in importance in recent years. Here’s A to Z you need to know about Trademarks.
We immediately think of its brand and provider when we think of a product and even recall the iconic jingles, logos, and colour scheme of the product packaging.
The signs, symbols, logos, and jingles that give a product its identity are its trademark.
Today, product owners and manufacturers are well aware of the significance of a trademark and the rights conferred on the owner upon registration of such a trademark. There are several types of trademarks in India; each entitles the owner to legal rights and protection upon registration. And the process of registration of trademark ensures that the proper steps are followed for the registration.
What is a trademark?
It is a mark that effectively aids in identifying a product by distinguishing it from other goods and services of the same class. When there is market competition, it helps to identify the product. According to Section 2(ZB) of the Trademark Act of 1999, a trademark is a mark capable of graphical representation and distinguishing goods and services owned by one person or an entity from others.
The trademark includes the shape, combination of colours, and packaging of goods. The primary function of a trademark is to distinguish itself from other brands in the same class of goods and services, so a distinctive mark is the best type of trademark.
A trademark protects a symbol, word, phrase, design, logo, or combination of these elements. It gives a product an identity representing a source of goods or services. Trademarks are governed under and protected by the Trademark Act of 1999 and common law in India.
The Trademark Act makes it optional to register your trademark. However, once registered, a trademark provides its owner with legal rights and protection for ten years, and this period is extended upon renewal.
A trademark’s advantages include ease of marketing, creating a distinct identity, and serving as a source identifier.
What is trademark registration?
Trademark registration is critical for a company or starting a new business or trade. The company’s logo, name, or signature should be the first thing that distinguishes it from the competition. So, it should be kept safe from others.
The Trade Marks Act of 1999 makes trademark registration a legal process. A trademark is a symbol that establishes the legality of a mark. As a result, registering your mark under the trademark act is critical for a company so that the mark can be protected from the rest of the business’s competition.
Benefits of trademark registration
Trademark registrations have become increasingly important for any business entity since the Company Act in 2013. With increased awareness about trademarks and intellectual property, thousands of “marks” are registered as trademarks each year.
According to the new Company Act 2013, a company’s name cannot be similar to a registered trademark. As a result, obtaining trademark registration is essential for establishing any business entity.
A trademark can be a word, a symbol, a design, a logo, or a combination of any or all of them. It is critical to register one’s trademark because registration provides protection and other benefits to the trademark owner.
The following are the advantages of registering a trademark in India.
An asset for all kinds of businesses
A trademark is an intangible asset that adds value to a business. It distinguishes the product or service from the market’s competitors. Trademarks are similar to brands in that they attract customers, stand out, and are easily identifiable from the crowd. A trademark is a marketing tool for your company.
A trademark is a symbol of a company’s dedication, reputation, and integrity that aids consumers in making purchasing decisions. As in the real estate industry, the value of an asset increases over time. Similarly, the value of a trademark increases exponentially as the business grows.
Trademarks, like tangible assets, can be bought, sold, or used as collateral for a loan from a financial institution. As a result, it is critical for all businesses to safeguard this valuable asset.
Ten years of validity
Once registered, the trademark will be valid for the next ten years. There are no legal obligations, fees, or other statutory requirements to maintain trademarks between these ten years.
Also, just like a passport, a trademark certificate can be renewed just before it expires, and the owner can protect the trademark from third parties.
If we look closely, we can see that trademark registration is much cheaper than domain registration in the long run and can be maintained indefinitely.
Saves money on advertising and branding
Advertising and branding are essential in today’s competitive markets. Businesses invest in various advertising mediums, including digital, newsprint, radio, and television, to promote their brand among consumers.
If a brand is not trademarked, anyone can claim the brand. As a result, it is critical to file a trademark application for the brands before the start of advertising campaigns.
Easier trademark registration process
The process of registration of trademark is now easier than ever. Trademark registration can be obtained through the government’s online portal.
Trademark registration in India is relatively inexpensive. Through the government’s portal, the cost of filing a trademark has been reduced to Rs.5,499/- (inclusive of professional fees, government fees, and taxes).
After applying for trademark registration, it can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years for the government to process the application and grant the certificate. The first application received priority over subsequent applications.
If the “mark” proposed by another party is similar to the “mark” submitted by you, the trademark application for that party may get rejected. As a result, the application for trademark registration is processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Process of registration of a trademark
The process of registration of a trademark is very simple to register a trademark for your company. Anything important for a business, such as a symbol, mark, or signature, should be registered so that others do not misuse the company’s assets.
In India, the court decided on trademark infringement based on the evidence presented by the parties. In the 1980s, the shoemaker wanted to stop a company selling foam materials under the same name. “How would the individual know that the company is not producing foam?” the judge wondered.
The judge reasoned that customers would not inquire about the manufacturer from the seller. Even though the classes were completely different, Bata won the case.
Cadbury owns three trademarks that include the word “eclairs.” Also, they own the purple wrapper that no one can use for chocolates. However, because all three names were not in use, ITC won the case.
Before registering a trademark, one must understand and take precautions, as this can result in a court hearing.
The following is a step-by-step procedure for that:
- The registration requires a soft copy of the logo in JPEG format.
- TM 48 Form of Authorization
- Name and address of the Mark owner, or names of all partners if the firm is a partnership.
- Fees associated with registration.
- According to Sections 9 or 11 of the Trade Marks Act, it should not be similar to an earlier trademark.
- Colour combinations, or even a single colour in combination with a word or device, as defined in Section 10.
- Sounds like Mark
The registration application should contain the following
- The class(es) of goods/services for registration is required.
- The proprietor’s name and address
- Trade Description of a Proprietor
- Agent/Attorney Specifics
- Trademark text that will be registered.
- The location where a trademark has been registered
Term of trademark registration in India
Section 23 of the Trademark Act governs mark registration, as amended in 2010. The amendment added a clause to the provision that states that once an application is accepted and not opposed, or if opposed and decided in favour of the applicant, unless otherwise directed by the Central Government, the Registrar must register the trademark within eighteen months of applying.
Trademark registration is a lengthy process that typically takes 18-24 months if a third party files no opposition.
Correction of a clerical error in the registration certificate
The Act also provides the amendment or modification of any clerical error in a registration certificate, stating that the Registrar may amend the register or certificate of registration to correct an error or an obvious mistake.
Trademark Renewal in India
Trademark registration in India can be renewed after completing the trademark term, which extends for an indefinite period by paying the renewal fees, failing to remove the mark from the Register of trademarks. Each term of renewal is for ten years.
The following is the process of registration of trademark for renewal in India:
- If accompanied by the required renewal fees on the prescribed form, a request to renew a trademark in India can be filed within six months BEFORE THE EXPIRY OF THE REGISTRATION/RENEWAL TERM.
- In India, a request to renew a trademark can also be filed six months AFTER THE EXPIRY OF THE REGISTRATION/RENEWAL TERM if accompanied by the required late renewal fees on the prescribed form.
Restoring a Trademark in India
If a trademark is removed from the Register of Trademarks due to non-renewal, it can be restored by filing an application in the prescribed form and following the process of registration of trademark for restoration of the mark within six months and one year of the date of expiration of the mark’s last registration.
Trademark registration benefits a business; it creates a distinct brand image and gives businesses the legal right to fight infringement. The procedure for registering a trademark necessitates legal knowledge.
You can consult with us on trademarknight.com if you want to register a trademark for your company or venture. We provide a wide range of services, beginning with Trademark Registration and ending with Trademark Renewal. Furthermore, we can assist you in filing a response to the Trademark Objection. Our team is well-known in the industry for providing Trademark services, and we have helped multiple companies from the process of registration of trademark to trademark enforcement.
Before registering a trademark, it is critical to understand the level of protection it provides to the owner, and it is because each of them contains unique elements and essentials.
A trademark is a valuable tool that an owner can use to monetise both his trademark and his product. Trademarks also serve as a shield, shielding the registered trademark owner’s rights from other market competitors.
Finally, a trademark can be used as a weapon by the owner, who can use the rights granted to him to take legal action against those who infringe on his trademark. As a result, before registering a trademark, it is critical to consider it carefully.