WHAT IS A TRADEMARK
A trademark is a visual symbol to distinguish the goods or services from other similar goods or services originating from different businesses. It can be word or words, name, label, numerals or combination of colors legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product.
Some examples of trademarks are Philips and Pepsi are two trademarks which distinctly identify the source or the origin of goods and indicates the quality of the products.
WHO CAN APPLY FOR TRADEMARK REGISTRATION
Any person who is an individual, company, proprietor or legal entity claiming to be the owner of the trademark can apply. You can start using the “TM” symbol once the trademark application is filed. You may use the ® symbol next to your trademark once your trademark is registered and registration certificate is issued. A trademark is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of filing, renewable from time to time.
WHY TRADEMARK REGISTRATION
The trademark is one of the most important assets of a business and significantly contributes to its goodwill. It is as important as any other form of asset. Even big businesses like Apple protect their business by trademark. once your trademark is registered, you can prevent others from using your registered business name or logo with regards to the concerned goods and services. It gives an identity of the goods and services. It indicates the quality of the good and stimulates further purchase by the consumers.
PROCEDURE FOR REGISTERING TRADEMARK IN INDIA
Step I: Trademark Search
The main purpose of a trademark search is to check whether your intended business name or logo is similar to other already registered or pending trademarks. Usually, a trademark attorney does this search with the Trademark Office either online or offline, to check if there are any similar marks registered already. If the mark is unique, one can proceed to the next step.
Step II: Create a Trademark Application
Based on the results of the search, the trademark application has to be drafted by the trademark attorney. If a same or similar mark exists in the particular class, then your mark needs to be changed. Or if you are of the opinion that the trademark is rightfully yours and you are using it since long even before the registration of the other party’s mark, then you can start using a ™ symbol as soon as you file the form of the trademark application.
Step III: Trademark Registration
The Trademark Office will check the application to see if it’s already been taken. If taken, an objection will be raised against the registration.
It there are no objections, the Trademark Office will make an advertisement in the Trade Marks Journal.
If there is no opposition from other businesses in the next four months, the trademark will be registered.
Info by Biswajit Sarkar – a Trademark registration lawyer