A trademark is any unique expression related to a product or service that distinguishes it from others. A trademark can be a visual symbol, which may be a word, a name, a device, label or numerals used by a business to distinguish it from other goods of different business.
It is your silent salesman, your legal umbrella, your asset to flaunt. Owners of trademarks have exclusive rights to use trademark under the categories they are registered in (there is a total of 45 categories, called classes). Only Trademarks that are registered under the Trademark Act, 1999 provides the trademark owner right to sue for damages when infringements of trademarks occur.
ADVANTAGES OF TRADEMARK REGISTRATION
You become the legal owner of the registered trademark and no another person has the right to use your registered trademark without your prior permission. No action can be taken against a 2nd party if the trademark is not registered with the government. The registered trademark holder can take some legal action against anyone who tries to copy the trademark with any prior permission.
One of the best qualities of trademark registration is that it helps you to establish a unique identity of your company. And no other competitor can apply or use your trademark for similar goods or services.
Creation of Asset
Registered trademark can act as an asset as the owner of the trademark can easily sell, franchise or allow it on the contract basis to another party. It creates a kind of intellectual property for the same.
Trust or Goodwill
As registered trademark brings the uniqueness to your product, it can easily create a sense of trust, goodwill and quality in the minds of your customer.
Popularise your brand
Registered trademark is easily searchable as it is available in government trademark database. It also helps you to get popular among people which are a great sign for your company.
WHAT CAN BE TRADEMARKED?
1. Name: A name including personal or surname of the applicant or predecessor in business or the signature of the person e.g, the name Dhirubai Ambani can be trademarked
2. Word: A word which is not being directly descriptive of the character or quality of the goods / service. For example Google is a word which has been trademarked
3. Numbers: Alphanumeric or Letters or numerals or any combination thereof. For example 555 brand
4. Image: Image, symbol, monograms, 3-dimensional shapes, letters etc. For example the tick in Nike logo
5. Sound: Sound marks in audio format. For ex the sound in the ad jingle
WHO CAN APPLY FOR A TRADEMARK?
Any person or business claiming to be owner can apply for a trademark including:
It is preferable that you apply for the trademark as an individual. In a case of a proprietor or company, if you close or change the name of the business, your trademark will become invalid. However, in a case of individual, this problem won’t arise.
STEPS IN TRADEMARK APPLICATION
Step 1: Trademark search (1 day)
LegalRaasta run a thorough check to make sure that your desired name or design has not already been taken or isn’t too similar to an already existing trademark. You can also check existing trademarks at search.legalraasta.com. Because being exclusive do matters. This check well ensures that are no issues & there are minimal chances of an objection being raised in the future.
Step 2: Create trademark application (1 day)
Once we ensure that your chosen name or design is available & exclusive, we send you an authorisation letter which has to be duly signed by you and returned to us. These letters give our lawyers authority to file a trademark application on your behalf.
Step 3: Trademark application submission (1 day)
Once we receive the authorisation letter & provided that no information is incorrect or partial, our lawyers will file the trademark on your behalf, and you can immediately start using the ™ symbol. We will provide you with the TM application number.
We file the trademark different at the central trademark department office or via online. A trademark can be filed online only by a registered lawyer or agent.
Step 4: Trademark registration (1.5 years)
Once a trademark application is complete, your application will be verified by the trademarks office. The government can also raise an objection on if your name similar to some other trademark in the same class, or the name is deemed obscene, hurts religious sentiments.
In case no objection is raised, the trademark registrar will publish an advertisement in the trademarks journal. If no opposition is filed by any party within a period of 4 months, the trademark should be registered within the next 6 months. During this period, we constantly provide you with updates regarding the status of your application. You will need to pay the additional fee in case of such objections.
Step 5: Hearing before Registrar
If the objection has been filed on your trademark and the opposition doesn’t agree with your response, then hearing is held before the registrar. We appoint lawyers (charges extra) to take up your case in front of the registrar.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TRADEMARK SYMBOLS: ‘TM’, ‘SM’ AND ‘R’
This symbol can use with the brand name until your trademark is not registered and the application is in pending status. This is to inform the public of his exclusive claim over the brand. The claim may or may not be valid depending upon the result of trademark registration.
It is also a kind of trademark which Service Mark, but it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. For example, you will use TM for a product and SM for a service like housekeeping.
This symbol is only applicable for your brand when the mark is being registered and the Certificate of Registration is issued by the Trademark Registrar.
Among all the words which are being mentioned above, TM is the most common word which is being used frequently by owners of the brand.