First of all we must know that brand is not a product, but it represents a product. It's the stuff that feels intangible. Good brand name plays a vital role in sale of product or services. It differentiates between you and your competitors and makes a promise to the quality of the product and services.
Many small businesses overlook an important first step in securing their brand. Protecting a brand is necessary for the development of a business and to stop competitors from copying your most valuable asset.
In this article we will discuss protecting your business name, signature, unique Word, letter, Symbol,tag lines,logo by registering it with Registrar of Trade Mark in India.
Trademark-A visual symbol of Business
Trademark distinguishes the goods and services of one person from those of others and also builds brand loyalty among customers. A trademark allows the seller to protect the misuse of its brand by competitors. It prevents confusion or manipulation of consumers, in particular, quality--with a distinct brand. Protecting your trademark can make up a noteworthy value for a company on their balance sheet.
Since brand name of your product directly connects your business with your customers, you should consider trademarking it. It also brings about range of business opportunities and gradually become large part of your marketing, as you use it while advertising your product.
Register Your Trade Mark- Get protection from Infringement
Trademark registration is an important asset for any company. It creates goodwill and increases company's value.Registration of mark, allow a company to secure rights before it begins using it. If you want to protect your brand, you need to do it through use of trademarks registration.
If you claim to be the proprietor of a trademark used or proposed to be used you may apply to "The Trade Marks Registry" in writing, in prescribed manner for registration.
- Filing of Application: In India any Natural Person, Partnership Firm, Joint Proprietor, Trust, Body corporate,HUF, Association of Persons (in case of collective Trademarks), Society, or Government Authority/Undertaking claiming to be the proprietor of the mark in relation to goods and /or services may apply for the registration of such mark to the Trade Marks Registry in the prescribed Form. The application should be in English or Hindi and shall contain the details of the mark, name and address of applicant, the period of use of the mark etc. along withspecification of goods and/or services, date since when the mark is used, address for service, email id etc.
- Examination of Applications: The Examiner or any officer assigned the duty of examination of application, thoroughly examine the application filed for registration. He prepares an examination report by scrutinizing the document. He may raise objection to accept the application if he found some earlier trademarks is registered in the name of persons other than the applicant. The Examiner shall communicate objections or acceptance of the application for registration,to the applicant or attorney as the case may be.
- Applicants reply to examination Report: If objection(s) is raised in examination report, the applicant shall submit proper response to waive office objection(s). The reply to the objections shall be submitted by the applicant or attorney to the applicant to the Trade mark office within the prescribed time, if reply is not filed with the time prescribed, the application is treated as abandoned.
- Publication of applications in the trademarks journal: If application has been accepted, it is advertised in the trademark journal along with conditions or limitations, if any.
- Show Cause Hearing: In case any objection is received to the registry by any third party, a notice shall be sent to the applicant communicating the objection.The applicant on receiving the objection may eitheramend the application or may apply for a hearing. The Registrar shall send notice to the parties who have objected the registration of the mark. This hearing is scheduled and conducted at the appropriate office of the Trade Marks Registry. The concerned Hearing Officer after hearing both the parties may withdraw or accept the application or change the conditions or limitations imposed while accepting the application, as the case may be.
- Certificate of Registration of trademarks: If no opposition has been filed before the registrar, or if objection was filed but has been disposed of favour of the applicant, then the registrar shall issuea Certificate of Registration and make entry on the Register kept for the purpose.
Benefits of Registration - Think about it
By registering a trade mark, you'll be eligible for several benefits, including:
- Registering a trademark for your business is as similar as obtaining a certificate of title in relation to land.
- Registered trademark significantly creates goodwill and increases company's value, and hence customer is likely to pay much more for the goodwill that you build up.
- The Registered Proprietor of a trademark has the right to use symbol '®' alongside with the mark.
- Trademark registration prevents other traders from using marks that are similar or identical to yours in relation to goods and services like yours.
- If anyone makes infringement of the mark, proprietor can sue the person for infringing his registered trademark.
About the author: Satyendra Kumar Mishra
Satyendra Kumar Mishra is the founder and CEO of EmpressLegal.com which was founded with the singular objective of offerings the highest quality corporate and incorporation services to its clients all over the globe. Since its foundation, EmpressaLegal.com has helped entrepreneurs across India to incorporate their businesses in a fast and secure manner.