It is commonly seen that people remain confused between brand and trademark of a company. The two concepts, despite many similarities have different purposes and nature that people either overlook, or are not aware of.
What is Brand Name
In common parlance, the brand name is a name which identifies a product or a service. Functionally, a brand indicates the source of origin of the product or service.
What is Trade Mark
A trade mark is the legal expression of a brand name. In a true sense a trade mark is also associated with a product or with a service to identify the source of origin. A trade mark is not necessarily to be a registered one, but in case of registered trade mark the easy legal proceedings can be initiated in case of any imitation. Therefore, the registration of a trade mark is not mandatory, but helpful take action against duplication of trade mark.
Registration of a Trade Mark
For a company or a business man, choosing a trade mark or a brand name is very important issue for the future of the business. By adopting or commercially exploiting a pre-existing trade mark may lead to litigation rather than moving towards a prospective business. Thus, a trade mark should be chosen with care and with the advice of a Trade Mark Attorney.
Principally, a trade mark should be distinctive in nature and should not have any similarity with any pre-existing trade mark. It is suggested to follow a trade mark search procedure to have the details of the pre-existing trade marks in the same line of business or service chosen by competitive commercial houses. On completing the trade mark search, one can conduct a safe business without any conflict with other competing business houses.
In the next step, it is advisable to prepare the documents and file the application for registration of a trade mark. The procedure for registration of a trade mark in India is easy and within a short span of time if there is no legal battle. The application for trade mark registration is filed before the Trade Marks Registry, Government of India under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and Trade Marks Rules, 2003. The application for trade mark registration is then examined by the Learned Examiner of the Trade Marks Registry, Government of India and on qualifying all the legal parameters for the trade mark registration, the subject trade mark will be accepted and advertised in the Trade Mark Journal.
After a certain period of time, the advertised trade mark can advance for registration, if there is no opposition from any third party.
A registered trade mark is valid for a period of ten years and is subsequently renewed after every ten years.