As soon as you have set-up a business or trade, you need something that makes your business and it’s brand unique and separate from the crowd of other firms in a similar business. This will also assist in establishing a visual representation of your brand. Your Trademark needs to be distinct to differentiate your company, that reflects your company’s Brand Personality and make a niche in the market. And, you need to make sure to get it registered to protect your Trademark design from being copied/stolen by other companies. Trademark Filing will secure you from incurring the consequences for infringement by other companies that may, if not registered, try to encash on your success, by causing confusion in the market.
Who cannot recognize the company’s name just by glancing at the Trademarked Logo’s of the golden “M” of McDonald, the four floating squares of Microsoft, the swoosh symbol of Nike, the bitten apple of Apple, the overlapping circles of Audi?
Getting their Logo’s trademarked and registered helped them create an identifiable brand and limited the situations where competition could copy it to mislead the customers.
There’s no denying the fact that your Trademark, Logo, and Copyrights are intangible assets of the company that might be used wrongfully by your competitors. So to ensure that your originality and the idea behind setting up the business is not stolen is the primary reason behind for Trademark Registration.
A trademark is a unique sign that is used to represent a business or its products. It may be a symbol (“in” from LinkedIn), a word or numerals (Levi’s 501), phrase (McDonald – I’m Loving It), logo (HP or Toyota), graphics (Nike) or even a sound or music (the famous Nokia or Apple ringtones). Once registered, that same symbol or series of words cannot be used by any other organization, forever, as long as it remains in use and proper paperwork and fees are paid.
Trademarks, being in the memory of people, never end. Legally, the registration is valid for 10 years, according to the prevalent Indian Laws. This has to be renewed, with the Govt Agency, by paying a Trademark Renewal fee. The company is allowed to keep renewing, indefinitely.
With time, trademarks become interchangeable with the company’s name, as recognizable as the company’s name, if not more. And this instant association and familiarity is their biggest advantage. The easy recognition, to the customer, becomes a symbol of the item’s genuineness, ultimately, converting into better sales.
Trademark Filing is a legal process provided for under the Trade Marks Act, 1999.
Steps to Trademark Filing
Once you have selected the Logo, the steps to Trademark Registration in India are given below:
- Apply Trademark
- Submit supporting documents along with the application
- Filing for the brand name registration application (manual or e-filing)
- After receiving the application, the Registrar would check whether the brand name is compliant with the applicable law, is not conflicting or in dispute with other existing registered or pending brands
- After examination, the logo or brand name is published in the Indian Trade Mark Journal. In case no objection is raised within the stipulated time, from the date of publication, the brand name proceeds to acceptance
- Once you have received the acknowledgement, you can start using the (TM) symbol next to your brand name
- Once the certificate is issued, Congratulations. Your journey for Trademark Registration in India is complete.
Selecting the Right One for your Business
Since the Trademark is going to be associated with the brand image, so it is crucial that the Trademark is created skillfully. It has to demonstrate the whole business idea and offering from the company. It is a visual representation of the progressiveness and pro-activeness of the company. The use is significant and long-ranged. The business must, essentially, deliver an outstanding idea by conducting a Trademark Search to have an attention-grabbing distinctive Trademark.
Given below is the list of alternatives available, under Trade Marks Act, 1940, to creating and applying to Register Logo:
- A name – this can be a person’s name or surname or even signature of the businessperson, alive or not;
- An Arbitrary word or words, whether in any dictionary or not, may not be a direct description of the character or quality of the goods/service;
- Letters or numerals;
- Devices, including fancy devices or symbols;
- Combination of colours or even a single colour, maybe a combination with a word or device;
- The shape of goods or their packaging;
- 3-D Marks;
- Sound marks when represented in conventional notation or described in words by being graphically represented.
As it would be the sign that is going to market your particular product or service, it is essential to make an extensive sign or logo which is capable of marketing your particular product or service stand out, a way to create recognition for your customers. To proceed for registration and hold the right to protect your trademark, make sure your application is for the correct class because the manufacture of goods and services have been grouped into different Classes of Trademark.
The “TM” or “R” mark next to your brand’s logo conveys a message to your competitors that you have a legal claim to this design. You don’t, always, need to include it alongside your logo, just having the trademark itself is enough. But including the “TM” symbol does send a message to anyone else who might be thinking of using or copying it without permission.
Why Registration of your Trademark is important
Among the many Benefits of Trademark Registration, the few tangible ones are that it provides you with an exclusive right, which means that no other company can use your trademark for marketing their product. Your trademark and logo are an integral part of your brand image and your business, so getting it registered is an important consideration.
If any company hopes to protect its Brand Image from misuse, theft or duplication, must get its Trademark, as well as Logo, registered.
The key benefits of creating and registering:
- you can send notice to other businesses thinking of using the same trademark
- A legal presumption of ownership, which can help prevent would-be users
- The exclusive right to use the trademark
- It identifies the goods/or services and their origin
- It guarantees its genuine quality, adding to the brand reliability
- It’s a way to advertise the company.
You may even add a catchy Tag-line to make your Trademark stand-out more.
Things to avoid
Now that you are ready to get a trademark filing done for your company, make sure you look out for these lethal mistakes:
- Conduct a Trademark Search among the state registries, various news publications, and especially internet domain names before selecting one;
- Also, you need to avoid one that is too similar to the one that is already registered;
- The ownership of the Trademark must be in the name of the company that is going to use it, and not for any sister-concern, else it will invariably create mix-up in the market;
- It has to be devoid of deceptive, offensive, vulgar, profane and obscene language, to avoid the customers become embarrassed overusing it;
- Using generic and non-distinctive words or symbols, as they are weak to hold up in a court of law, such as “Cotton Cloth” or “Fast Car” or a simple circle;
- Over-estimating, the product you are offering will sell only when you provide a quality product to your customers, as well as a valuable service. Remember, creating an image in the market for your brand is a never-ending and on-going process;
- The last but, definitely not the least important is to protect your Trademark, by getting your Trademark Registration done, and done fast.
If you plan on using variations of your logo also – such as different colours or shapes – you are advised to file for trademarks for every such variation to maximize the ownership.
Getting your Trademark and Logo registered is like protecting the identity of the business in the marketplace. And, if this all seems very time-consuming, one can always delegate this daunting task to the skilled experts in the field.
To give your business profits this hike, give us a call at +91 8750008585. For further information, you can visit our website: TrademarkCart. Our experts will guide you in the best possible way.