Trademark is any unique expression related to a product or service that distinguishes it from others. This expression could be a word, slogan, photograph, logo, graphic, colour combination, sound or even smell; however, most businesses are only looking for a brand name registration or logo registration. Owners of trademarks have exclusive rights to their use under the categories they are registered in (there are a total of 45 categories, called classes).
Trademark registration enables owners to easily establish their right to the trademark in court and earn royalties. It also deters piracy and prevents similar company names from being registered by other businesses. You can conduct a trademark search, to check if your brand name clashes with existing trademarks. In India, you could get a ™ within three days, but it takes up to two years for it to be registered so that you can use the ® symbol.
Advantages of Trademark Registration
If you believe your registered trademark is being infringed, it is easy to establish your right to it in court. If you haven’t registered the word, slogan or logo, you would not be able to do so. Particularly in sectors in which piracy is rampant, trademark registration is essential.
A trademark is an intangible asset that can be enormously valuable, should your brand succeed. Think of Tide, Nike or McDonald’s. Businesses can earn huge money in royalties through licensing agreements or even transfer ownership to interested parties through assignment agreements.
You would want your customers to identify your products or services with yours only. Registering your trademark is the first step toward ensuring this. The court would then stop any similar words or slogans from being registered.
6 Essential Facts on Trademark
A trademark is essentially a characteristic of your brand. It could be your brand name, your brand’s logo, or even your brand’s slogan. For example, ‘Nike’, the ‘Swoosh’, or the slogan ‘Just Do It’. In some cases, the brand’s name and logo are combined into one, as in the case of BMW, or Coca-Cola. That is called a Logo Composite Mark.
A trademark grants you commercial rights to sell a particular brand name in a certain sector of the economy. There are 45 sectors and each sector is called a class. For instance, Class 28 refers to Toys, Games, and Sports. So if you want to protect your toy brand, you need to make an application under Class 28 and get exclusive commercial rights, to sell your brand of toys under that class.
If you have a certain brand name, or a logo, or a slogan in mind, we can do a trademark search for you. A simple way to do this yourself, is to just go online to the internet and check if there is a similar company with a similar name to yours, on the internet. You should also check if the domain name of your brand is available or not.
No need to worry. If your trademark brand name is taken, you can prepare a Logo Composite Mark by combining your logo and your name, and apply as one. This is a common strategy used to apply for a trademark, even if the trade name itself has been taken.
You need to give us a signed letter, allowing us to apply for your trademark. This is called an Authorisation Letter. Once an Authorisation Letter has been received, we prepare your documents, make the application for you online, and pay the necessary fees. Almost instantly, you get a confirmation of the application and you can start using the ™ symbol next to your name.
The trademark registration application process is done almost instantly. It can be done within a few hours of you giving us your Authorization Letter. The Government, after we make the application, takes 18 to 24 months, to confirm the registration and give you the confirmed Registration Certificate for your trademark. You can then use the ® symbol next to your name.
Trademark Registration Process
We first run a trademark search to check whether your unique name or logo or one sounding very similar to it has already been taken. Once it is confirmed, you must make the payment for the entire process. We will then send you an authorisation letter, which you must sign and return to us so that our lawyers can file your trademark application on your behalf.
This form asks for basic details about you (or your business, in case the trademark is being registered in its name), and the logo, word, slogan you’re registering. Pictures must be sent in the JPEG format only. Trademarks must be registered for a particular sector. So if you want to register a trademark in multiple categories, we need to file multiple Form-1s and you would have to pay for them separately. As soon as the form is filed, you can start using the ™ symbol.
The Trade Marks Office will first check your application to see if it’s already been taken. If it has, a trademark objection will be raised. The government may also object if it finds the logo obscene, hurts religious sentiments or believes that it is likely to cause confusion. If it has no objection, it makes an advertisement in the Trade Marks Journal. If there is no opposition from other businesses in the next four months, your trademark is registered around six months later. We will check the status of your application regularly over the entire 18 months and keep you up-to-date on the status.