According to the Trademark Act 1999, a trademark can be defined as a mark that can distinguish the goods and services from one person to another. The trademark should be distinct and not devoid of a distinct character.
A trademark may include a symbol, word, name, shape of goods, a combination of colors, and more. A trademark should be capable of being represented graphically. A trademark is used by companies to identify its goods and services uniquely. This will help the customers to distinguish one’s goods from others.
You need to register a trademark as it is legally authorized by the Government to provide exclusive rights to the owner for branding, selling, manufacturing, and using those products or services.
Benefits of trademark registration
The benefits of trademark registration are as follows:
- When a product or service is sold under a registered trademark, it helps to build trust, reliability, and goodwill in the minds of the customers. It helps to build a unique identity that the customers will look for while buying products. It helps in the recognition of the quality of products and services.
- If someone copies your trademark, then you can take up the issue legally and sue them if you have registered your trademark. When you register a trademark, you get legal protection.
- Registering a trademark will ensure that competitors do not use it, and hence, it remains a company’s unique asset. A trademark will identify the products and services only with the brand.
- If your business succeeds, then the trademark will become a valuable asset. It can also be commercially contracted, sold, and franchised.
- When a trademark is registered in India, it can also be registered in other countries. Foreigners can also get the trademark registered in India.
Procedure for registration of trademarks
The following procedure has to be followed for trademark registration:
- To register a trademark, you will have to adhere to all the provisions of the Trademark Act of 1999. Once you decide on the trademark, it is important to search the trademark database to confirm that it is unique. There should not be any trademark similar or identical to the chosen trademark. This can be easily done online.
- Depending on the goods and services the business undertakes, you can apply for trademark registration as single-class or multi-class. The Form TM – A can be easily filled out online through the IP India website.
- Along with the form, various documents also have to be submitted. You will have to give the complete details of the proposed trademark. The name, address, and nationality of the applicant. If you have a company or LLP, then you will have to give the Certificate of Incorporation. A detailed description of the goods and services the trademark is intended for has to be given.
- You will have to fill out Form – 48, as it is the authorization form from the applicant to the Trademark Attorney to file the trademark registration application on his/her behalf. This form has to be signed electronically, and you will need a Digital Signature Certificate.
- After examining the application to register a trademark, the authority will issue an examination report. Within one month of issuance of the examination report, a reply has to be filed with the Registry. If the registrar is convinced by the answer, then the application will be forwarded to the journal. If the registrar is not convinced by the answers or the objections still exist, then the application is put up for hearing. If the objection persists, then the said application will be rejected.
- If the trademark registration application passes, then the trademark is advertised and also published in the Trade Marks Journal for four months. This is done to invite the general public to file any opposition to the registration of the trademark.
- If there is no opposition to the registration of the advertised and published trademark, then the trademark is issued an auto-generated registration certificate within one week. It is valid for ten years. Then, it has to be renewed.
- If a trademark application is opposed by filing Form TM – O within four months of publishing it in the Trade Marks Journal, then the due process of law has to be followed.
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