A trademark could be one of the most valuable assets for your company. A trademark is a way to identify your company and helps build its public image. A trademark can be described as a visual symbol that includes a word, name, or combination of colors. It helps customers identify a brand or company by being unique. The Trademark Act, 1999 governs trademark registration and laws.
- A Visual Representation
There are many types of trademarks that you can register. These are just a few:
- Word Marks
- Service Marks
- Logos and symbols
- Shape of Goods
- Series Marks
- Collective Trademarks
- Certification Mark
- Geographical Indicators
- Pattern Marks
- Sound Marks
- Color Marks
- Three Dimensional Marks
- An Intangible Asset
Your business will be a well-known brand and a trusted name. A trademark is a type of intellectual property that can bring many benefits to a company. A trademark can be registered and traded as a commercial asset.
- Protection Against Infringement & Other Legal Protection
If there is any infringement of the registered trademark’s logo, brand, or slogan, the owner can exercise his legal rights. Without the permission of the owner, the owner can sue anyone who uses the trademark.
- Trademark Search
To verify if a trademark is already in use, a trademark search is often performed. You can search through the Indian Trademark Registry database, or via a third-party provider website.
- Class Selection
Here, the goods and services are divided into 45 different categories. Each sector is called a class. Each logo and brand name must be registered under the correct class at the time of application. Of the 45 classes available, 34 are product classes and 11 are service classes.
- Voluntary Registration
Trademark registration is voluntary. If a trademark has been registered, it is tangible evidence that it belongs to the person who made the effort to register it. The party who registered the trademark will receive all legal decisions.
The validity period for a registered trademark can last up to 10 years before it must be renewed. The renewal process can only be initiated within one year of the expiry of the registered mark. Failure to comply with this deadline will result in the trademark being removed. The trademark can still be restored in the prescribed form, even after it is removed.
- Trademark Symbols
- Service Mark (SM), and Trade Mark (TM).
This signifies that the trademark is not yet registered but that an application for it is being considered. This is to warn other parties that they may infringe on the trademark. The application has not been approved by authorities so it does not have any legal significance.
- R Symbol
As the proud owner of the newly-registered trademark, you are allowed to display the R symbol beside it once the trademark application has been approved. This symbol signifies that the trademark has been officially registered and that any infringement by a third party will be punished by law.
The R symbol is optional. It protects the trademark owner in that, should someone rip-off the product, the third party can sue the owner for infringement to recover all profits lost. The court demands that the owner prove that the infringer knew that the trademark was registered, but continued to use it without permission.
- C Symbol
The C symbol can be used to indicate copyright the owner holds over creative work. This applies to:
- Literary Works
The C symbol is good for life. The symbol can be used along with the name of the copyright holder and the year that the work was published in the country where it was copied. There are many things to be aware of regarding trademarks and registration. This process is complex enough that the applicant should do thorough research about the subject. Registering your trademark can bring you many benefits, provided that it is done properly.
9. Benefits of Trademark Registration in India
A trademark is a distinctive symbol or sign that can be used to identify your products or services. It may include a number, label, or combination of colors. Trademark registration can be obtained under the 1999 Trademarks Act.
A trademark allows you and a third party to differentiate your products or services from those of your competitor. It is important to remember that trademark registrations cannot be made for common names, common trade terms, and common abbreviations.
A Trademark must be unique and easy to use. It should also make your products more marketable and help you create brand recognition. Trademark registration offers many benefits for the owner.
- Legal protection Trademarks that are registered as trademarks are intellectual property, and therefore are protected against infringement. Trademark registration grants exclusive rights to use the trademark in relation the the “Class” of goods and services it represents. After you have filed the trademark registration, the symbol “TM” may be used in conjunction with your products. Only after your trademark registration has been obtained, the symbol “R” may be used. You can only use the symbol “R” for the products and/or services that are listed in your registration certificate.
- Product differentiation. Trademark registrations can be distinguished from the products or services they are associated with. Your trademark will allow you to differentiate your product from the products of competitors. Trademark registration is valid for all goods and services represented by the trademark. This will allow you to clearly identify your products. Different trademarks are uniquely identified by customers, creating a customer base.
- Brand Recognition: Customers associate product performance, quality, and features with the company that makes such products. The logo of the company that makes the product is what customers use to identify it. Trademark registration allows you to be recognized for your products and services. The trademark registration also helps to build goodwill for the brand. Your brand is recognized and has a long-term market value. Reputation for your brand is a way to attract new customers and retain loyal customers.
- Creation and use of an asset: A trademark registration creates an asset that can be used by a business entity. A trademark is an intangible asset that can be used for income tax and accounting purposes. Trademarks are intellectual property. They have a value that is associated with the products they represent. Trademarks are available for sale, franchising, assignment, or commercial exploit in any other way. The value and cost of trademarks can be recognized in the books and claimed deductions for depreciation, as well as income.
- Goodwill and business valuation: Registering and associating your products with trademarks will increase your industry’s overall business value, goodwill, and net worth. Your trademark conveys your brand’s quality assurance, distinctive features of your products, and your organization’s mission. Trademarks are essential for the success of your business. Trademarks help you retain loyal customers and preserve your goodwill.
- Trademark Recognition: Trademarks registered in India are valid for ten year from the date of filing an Application. The trademark can be renewed. If you plan to use your trademark in other countries or expand your business beyond India, approval must be obtained from the appropriate country. Your trademark registration and Indian business serve as a foundation for registrations in other countries.
- Business expansion: The trademark is a link between customers and products of an organization. You can build a customer base by offering unique and efficient products. Your trademark can help you retain and expand your customer base. Your trademark registration grants you exclusive rights for 10 years and protects business revenues. Businesses can reap the benefits of their customer base by introducing new products or expanding their business.