The growth of 'branding' is huge. This growth, however, has led to a number of companies using some very similar names. This can be a huge cause of concern for companies who have had their brand name trademarked. Trademark registration is a brand's identity. If someone is using the same name, it can cause confusion for your consumers. These are the reasons why you should register your trademarks. If your brand name is not trademarked, you are not doing your job.
Trademark protects a business or brand and distinguishes it from others. It also gives the right to the mark and allows the holder to file a lawsuit against infringers. It is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of other companies.
The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. These can be located on the package, voucher, labels, and products, etc.
Trademark is segregated into 45 different classes as per the NICE classification for a trademark, also known as the International Certification of Goods and Services out of which 1-34 are for goods and products and 35-45 are for services.
A trademark offers legal protection for a word, symbol, phrase, logo, design, or combination of those that represent a source of goods or services. Types of trademarks for products include five main categories: generic mark, descriptive mark, suggestive mark, fanciful, and arbitrary mark.
Trademark offers many benefits such as:
- Exclusive Rights
- Builds trust and Goodwill
- Creates Asset
- Infringement Protection
- Unique and Differentiates
- R symbol
- Brand and subsequently customer protection
- Protect your right to use before someone else registers
Process for Trademark registration:
- Before you start registration of your trademark, you need to conduct a trademark search in which you need to search the trademark database to check whether there is any other similar or identical trademark.
- After the completion of the trademark search, Trademark registration can be filed with the fees in the Trademark Registrar. Then the registration application is allotted to a Trademark officer, who decides whether the application is accepted or rejected.
- If the trademark registration application is rejected, the applicant can appear before the officer to address the problem that occurred at a given date and time. When the application is accepted it is published in the trademark journal with other trademark registrations for the public to see and if needed then oppose.
- If there is no objection within 90days then registration is accepted. But if there is an objection then a hearing is called before the Trademark hearing office where the applicant and the objecting party give evidence for their stand.
- Based on the evidence and hearing the officer decides to accept or reject the Trademark registration. If not opposed then the Trademark registration certificate will be given.
Documents Required for Trademark Registration
- Date of using the Logo/Tagline (Any supporting document for the same)
- Power of Attorney signed by the applicant
- Softcopy of the Logo/Tagline/wordmark
TRADEMARK REGISTRATION PROCESS FLOW
A small example as to why trademarks are important
The Coca Cola Co. v. Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd.
Bisleri, the original owner of the mango drink MAAZA trademark, sold it to Coca-Cola in India. Bisleri later applied for MAAZA trademark registration in Turkey and began exporting mango drinks bearing the MAAZA trademark. Coca-Cola filed a lawsuit in India, seeking an injunction and damages against Bisleri for trademark infringement, as well as an order barring Bisleri from disclosing the drink's recipe. Coca-Cola was successful in obtaining a temporary injunction against Bisleri for trademark infringement.
If you haven’t yet registered your trademark in India, you could be missing out on an opportunity to protect your business and the products you sell. By registering your trademark, you can make sure your brand identity is safe and make it known to customers that your products are authentic. If you’re looking to build your brand, protect your products, or sell in India, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options.