As an Entrepreneur, if you are using or is planning to use a brand name, business name, person name, label, logo, brand mark, caption, slogan, jingles, mascots & characters, pattern trademarks, shape & 3D marks for your goods and services then you should Register it so that you will receive intellectual property rights over it. Trademark is your most valuable business asset. Trademark registration will help you to prevent third parties from piggybacking on the time, money, and efforts you have invested to build up your goodwill and reputation. Doing so puts you in a position whereby you can take action against anyone counterfeiting or using them without your authorization. Trademark is for all kinds of businesses and it is affordable. It is an investment and not a liability. Trademarks can be sold, licensed and mortgaged just like any physical property if you have the Trademark registration certificate.
The Trademark Registration process does, however, involve some time and effort. It needs to be handled by experienced Trademark Attorneys. The minimum time taken to Register Trademark is 6 months and may take even a few years in some cases.
Filing of Application
Application Number Allotment
Formalities Check Pass/ Fail
Vienna Codification of marks
Substantive Examination & Issuance of Examination Report
Show Cause Hearing
Acceptance & Advertisement in Journal or Refusal
Await Oppositions from third parties for 4 months
Registration in case of no opposition
In case of Opposition file Counter, evidence, Opposition Hearings
Refusal of Application or Registration of Application
In case of Refusal Appeal to Commercial court
Trademark consists of a visible Brand name, Brand mark, Business name, Logo, Label, Tagline /Slogan,Trade dress, Composite mark which is a combination of Logo, trade name and a tagline, Jingle/sound mark, Smell/Olfactory mark, Ticket, Coupon, Colour mark, Shape and 3D marks, Pattern marks, Titles, Numerals, Person name, Surnames and Initials, Mascots and Characters, Position marks etc. A person who sells his goods or service under a particular trademark acquires the limited exclusive right to use the mark in relation to his goods and services. Such a right
is acquired by use and is recognized as a form of property in the Trademark.
Jewellery brand, clothing brand, drinking water brands, medicine brands are
Servicemark is the same as Trademark except that it is
for Services. Hospital brands, Hotel brands, Builders trade names are examples.
Under modern business conditions, a trademark performs
The main object of trademark registration is to protect the goodwill
and business reputation and also to protect the consumers from deception
Using your Trademark without legal protection would be like building a house illegaly on a public property. All the investment you have made on promotions or advertisements or brand building will go to waste if you dont have any legal right over it. Trademark registration though not compulsory under the Trademarks Act, is Essential to register and protect your trademarks just like any other physical property. Brand name or Business name does not hold value if it is not registered. To own, tranfer, mortgage and protect Trademark registration is necessary.
What is more important than protecting the brand you have worked so hard to build ?. Building a brand without registering it is like building a multi storied building without proper foundation. "If your goodwill and reputation are lost then everything is lost" so it is very important that you protect it immediately. Trademark registration normally takes 6 months to 1 year. There are more than 6 million-plus trademarks already registered and pending at the Trademark Registries in India therefore all kinds of names and logos are getting saturated and all the more difficult to register. As time passes similar or phonetically similar marks which are likely to be applied or registered prior to your application are more. Several thousand applications are being filed on daily basis at different Trademark Registries in India. It is possible that you may never be able to register your Trademark if you do not act now. Even if you are able to register your mark by proving your long user at a later stage then you may have to coexist with another competitor who may have a similar or identical Trademark registered prior to you. Cost of Trademark registration now is reasonable and affordable to all. Cost of Trademark litigation without proper registration would be very high.
Would you build a brand which you cant protect ?
All kinds of names cannot be registered as Trademark. Get Trademark register-ability expert opinion from Trademark Attorneys with experience. Know as to whether you could register the name you have selected.
Would you sell a brand which will infringe upon the IP rights of another company and invite trouble ?
Get a Freedom To Operate Trademark Search opinion from Trademark Attorneys with experience before launching your product in a particular market.
Your trademark is the most important asset your business will ever own. A good trademark will distinguish you from the competition and help you stand out in a crowd. A poor trademark will entangle you in legal disputes and blunt your marketing efforts. When you are ready to launch a new product or service and are thinking about selecting a new trademark, please follow these simple guidelines.
There is no point in investing in a trademark that you cannot protect. Registering the mark protects it from competitors, ensures your ownership rights in the mark, and makes it easier to enforce your rights against copy cats i.e. Marks already been registered by others for the same services. As you will read below, certain types of words are inherently difficult to register and should be avoided.
Words that describe the nature or quality of the goods or services sold with the mark are not permitted to be registered. Hence, the mark “Cold Beer” for use with malt beverages cannot be registered because it describes the actual product being sold. If registered, it would prevent anyone from using the terms Cold and Beer to describe their malt beverage. Eg. Prime coat for paints, Food world for Restaurant. Descriptive terms cannot receive Trademark Registration unless, over a period of years, the terms have acquired a special, identifiable meaning in the minds of the public Eg. Surya lights, Reliance
Surnames trademarks should be avoided as many people may have the same surname. The mark “Wilson Power Boats”, for instance, is a poor choice for a trademark because the word Wilson is a surname (and the rest of the mark is descriptive). However, some Family names would make it distinctive. You can register such names if they have become distiguishable due to long and substantive user
A trademark that is confusingly similar to a registered trademark cannot be registered. Hence, the mark "Nutriesol" cannot be registered if the trademark "Nutrisole" has already been registered for a similar type of product. A search of the Indian Trademark database is a good idea.
The goal is to select a trademark that is as unique and distinctive as possible; therefore, avoid generic words. Examples of generic terms include “green, superior, Indian, Kerala, deluxe, gold, premium, quality and a plethora of others. These words are generic and if you incorporate them into your trademark, you ensure that you blend into the crowd, not stand out in front of it. You will have to disclaim such words while registering a Trademark.
IBM, CTV, and ATT are distinctive trademarks because their respective owners poured tens of millions of dollars into making the marks famous. Even a poor trademark can be made famous if you throw enough money at it. But acronyms are intrinsically difficult to remember, while words, especially colorful words, are easily remembered. Hence "ELS Software Solutions" is not as memorable as "Volcanic." Likewise, avoid using numbers in a trademark as they tend to be less memorable. Furthermore, there are a limited number of unused acronyms available, so there is an excellent chance that your TLA will be confused with someone else's.
A "Suggestive" mark is one that merely suggests some quality or characteristic of the services. If the mark is determined to be suggestive, and non-descriptive, the mark is entitled to Trademark Registration and to the same protection as a "distinctive" mark. However, the Suggestive marks are very weak, in that they often do not provide the owner with the ability to stop others from using marks which are very similar to similar goods, or even identical on different goods.
Avoid famous and popular trademarks. Some names are prohibited from being registered at the Trademark registry. Eg. Philips, Bajaj, Telco, Volvo, Omega, Rado, etc..
Avoid marks which are prohibited Swami Vivekananda, ISO, Interpol, Aldrin, Balaji, National, Nehru, etc..
Invented words are words that do not exist in any language, apart from your trademark. Examples include Spandex, Exxon, Kodak, Viagra, and several other famous trademarks. Invented words are a good choice for use as trademarks because they are not descriptive and they tend to be quite distinctive. You can create an invented word by simply combining parts of other words. For example, Microsoft is a combination of “Microcomputer” and “software.”
Animal and plant names tend to be quite memorable and, if used appropriately, can convey a good image while still being distinctive. Apple Computers, Tiger Balm, and Ford Mustang are good examples.
It is often necessary to add descriptive words to the trademark in order to convey what is being sold or marketed in association with the mark. If generic words must be included then it is doubly important to ensure that the first word of the mark is as distinctive and unique as possible.
The following are some trademarks that are strong because they are not descriptive of their product:
For marketing purposes, you may want to link a fanciful or suggestive mark with a word or phrase describing your product or service, i.e. Kodak Film, so that your customers do not have to guess about what you are offering. But this is far better than choosing a descriptive mark that has great potential for conflict with other descriptive marks and that will never be granted broad legal protection. Taking this approach is likely to save you lots of money in attorney's fees and many problems down the road. Once you have selected one or more marks, we will be happy to help you search them and register them.
Registrability of an existing descriptive, similar, or generic mark shall depend upon several factors like a user, goodwill earned, popularity, etc. An experienced Trademark Attorney would be able to help you in overcoming the obstacles and register the same.
As registration of a trademark in India is time-consuming due to the heavy backlog of applications it is advisable to start using the mark after an application for trademark registration is made. An application will put a claim to proprietorship of the mark even if it is only proposed to be used. You may use the letters TM or SM very near to your trademark from the date of application this will indicate that you have taken steps to protect your trademark.
It is an offense to use ® unless your Trademark or Servicemark is registered and a registration certificate has been issued by the Trademark Registry, Government of India.
You may use the letters TM or SM very near to your trademark from the date of application this will indicate that you have taken steps to protect your trademark. It will also incresae the credibility of the goods or services represented by your brand or trade name.
It is not enough that you have registered your trade name under the Companies Act or with the Registrar of Firms. Registration of your company or firm does not protect your Business name or Brand. It is for making your company a legal entity and name search is conducted only among the LLP's or companies already registered as Pvt. Ltd or as Limited Liability Partnership(LLP). There is a possibility that a Proprietorship concern or a Partnership concern will use it as there is no bar to such use. It would be risky, difficult, and expensive for you to prove that you actually used the mark. Therefore, it is always better to register your marks at the earliest. Even prior to using the mark or logo you can file your application as ‘Proposed to be used’ as registration expenses are reasonable and affordable to all.
Trademark once registered is valid for 10 years from the date of application and it can be further renewed for a period of 10 years and so on. Trademark renewal can be done up to 1 year from the date of renewal by payment of the necessary surcharges or fine.
If a similar or identical trademark is registered by a subsequent user you have the right to initiate rectification/cancellation action against your competitor. You also have the right to initiate a civil (passing off action) and criminal action against your competitor who is violating your mark in India. It is ideal to apply for TM application prior to initiating any invalidation proceedings
Priority in adoption and use prevails over priority in registration by a subsequent user
Under the Indian trademark law, you may file an application with the user date as proposed to be used however you must have a bonafide intention to use it in the future in respect of your goods or services. An applicant can claim rights from the date of filing such an application.
Yes. You have the option to file the same trademark under multiple classes i.e. for different goods and services.
Yes. You may register the same trademark in black color as word mark or with artistic work and in color.
The mere filing of a TM applicant does not confer such rights. Only on registration of the mark an applicant can claim exclusive right over his mark and can claim any damages in case of infringement. An applicant should continuously and consistently use the mark to claim proprietary rights over the mark.
The transborder reputation of a foreign well-known brand is recognized in India by the Trademark Office, High courts, and the Supreme court due to the increasing globalization of trade and industry. No distinction is made between foreign and Indian trademarks by the Indian Trademarks Act. An advertisement and report regarding product launch in India are sufficient to establish the user in India.
The basic principle is that trademark once applied for should not be substantially altered affecting its identity. Some changes can be made subject to the Trademark rules.
Apart from an injunction preventing further use of the mark penalty prescribed under criminal law for selling or providing services under a false trademark is a minimum of six months and a maximum of three years with a fine, not less than Rupees fifty thousand up to Rupees two lakhs. Moreover, the court can also order confiscation of infringing goods, packets, covers, brochures, etc.
The proprietor of an unregistered mark may file a civil suit for passing off on the basis of the prior user. Further, he can also lodge a criminal complaint against the infringers.
To register Copyright in a Trademark, trade name, or mark with a particular Artistic work/label/Logo design/ mascot / you need to get a No Objection Certificate from TM Registry and file a Copyright application
There are several consultants and lawyers who offer to file applications at cheap rates having no knowledge, experience, or intention to prosecute the same properly until registration. To register a trademark in this highly competitive environment skill and experience of qualified Trademark attorneys are required. An applicant is free to entrust his trademark application to anyone he wishes by providing a fresh Power of Authorisation. We can takeover the matter midway and prosecute the same till registration is granted. We are also providing Intellectual Property portfolio management services and this helps you manage all your intellectual property assets at one place.
The term Intellectual Property Management may mean different things to different people. However, it is the judicious and effective exploitation of Intellectual Property rights or IPR to maximize profits and enhance competitive positions.
For managing intellectual property a company should adopt the following five steps like
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Registrar of Trade Marks,
15/27, National Chambers, 1stfloor,
Ashram Road, Ahmedabad 380009
Registrar of Trade Marks.
Intellectual Property Office Building,
G.S.T. Road, Guindy, Chennai-600032
Registrar of Trade Marks,
Intellectual Property Office Building,
CP-2 Sector V, Salt Lake City,
Registrar of Trade Marks,
Boudhik Sampada Bhawan, Antop Hill,
S. M. Road, Mumbai - 400 037
Registrar of Trade Marks,
Intellectual Property Office Building,
Plot No. 32, Sector 14, Dwarka,