It typically is a long process to pick the name for your brand; it takes time and effort. Did it take 12 cups of coffee and pages upon pages of scribbles before you settled on that winning brand name? This is a very common story. But before you finalise your trademark, be sure to register it because there could always be someone who thought of the same bright thing. We all know that a brand name and logo design are some of the first assets of a company and often can account for significant value in the set-up project. This brand name helps distinguish your brand from your competitors in consumers’ or clients’ eyes. Make sure you register your brand in India before other stakeholders come and attack its trademark.
What is a Brand Name?
When you think of a brand name, you might think that it is a trade mark. In actual fact, a brand name is only part of a trade mark. A brand name is a term that will distinguish it in future. A brand is considered successful when people remember it and are willing to connect it with a service or product in need. A trademark is tied legally to the organization. Only the company that claims the brand can use it because it is already registered, and no other firm can, or it is legal to launch a product.
Advantages of brand name registration include:
- Sole Ownership and Lawful Security: Once the brand name is registered, the brand becomes the exclusive user of that trademark. Exclusivity is a very powerful aspect of the trademark; it strengthens the brand’s reputation and gives it legal protection. No other person can use the name as trademarks are unavailable for others. Exclusivity is what keeps the brand separate and powerful in the market and also helps build trust in the minds of customers.
- Regulated by the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks (India): The controlling general of the registered patents, designs and trademarks is responsible for the process that registers your trademark and has a record of the same. This board provides a good, systematic, and dependable machine to register your trademark and gives the trademark owner the right to protect his intellectual property. It also gives several advantages as a trade mark holder. The downside to this office is it takes a long period of time to get your registration processed, and that period is usually 2-3 years.
- Online and Offline Registration Options: Available options for registering brand names make it convenient for brand owners through both online and offline methods. In the present digital era, online brand names can be registered and prove to be easy and streamline processes in the digital era. However, offline brand name registration services at trademark registry offices still exist that address different specific requirements as per the country’s regulations.
Brand name registration is thus a comprehensive process that helps safeguard the brand’s identity and intellectual property. It helps assert rights over your brands and helps create and increase its brand value to the company. At the global level, you will get the benefit from the following:
- Assert your rights.
- Stop others from using the same brand and goods and services you deal with.
- Boost your business.
- Grab your brand presence worldwide.
- Add value to your products and services, differentiate your products/services and your business from those of your competitors, create a public perception of your business and its values, and create a market position of your products/services that can be trusted. Take action against counterfeiters.
Reasons to Register a Brand Name
- Enhanced Brand Value and Reputation: Registering brand names adds significant worth and prestige to your company. It gives your brand credibility and trust with consumers and business partners by being registered with your trademark, which is a business mark that greatly strengthens the value of your brand.
- Legal Protection Against Infringement: Register your trademark is essential if you want to be certain your brand is legally protected; registration permits you to implement a legal action against anyone else that uses your registered company name, company logo or brand name for the registered goods or services without having your permission. This is a legal block for your trade name dilution and intellectual property theft.
- Monetization Opportunities: A person can make money from a trademark in many ways. A person can sell it just like almost any other property. Someone can have a different person write that they now own it, and with the person’s permission, you can’t use it anymore. Like a franchise, someone can write the executive office and pay good money to receive training, then can now open a new store or institute. Most people would never think that a person could franchise their mark, get paid some upfront money, and then receive a piece of the gross sales for every item with the trademark. If done right, picking good people is the lowest risk, and you don’t get your hands dirty. It also doesn’t cost much money other than the legal fees and upfront payment.
- Clear Brand Identity and Trust: Registered trademarks are essentially an embodiment of identity. When a consumer sees that the ® symbol is attached to your brand, they can instantly recognize the name as a legally protected and definite entity; this type of familiar recognition finds its way into the imagination and heart of the consumer and gives them a type of trust in the fact they the brands, products, and services that they are choosing to purchase from are within the knowledge and confines of what is officially registered and accountable.
- Increased Consumer Confidence and Sales: The trust that a registered name can establish directly ties into the trust that the consumer can utilize, making them more confident in choosing to come to you over your competitor. This legally protected name also increases sales and the number of returning customers you may have, as many customers value the reliability and quality that has been represented through this trademark.
Process To Register a Brand Name:
Many important steps in the brand name registration process help you protect your intellectual property. Here is a complete outline of the process, from registration to receiving your trademark certificate.
- Register on the Trademark Office Portal: You have to create a user account at the official website of the trademark registry for the initial step of brand name registration, and the login to your account can be done at https://ipindiaonline.gov.in/trademarkefiling/user/frmLoginNew.aspx. A user ID and digital signature can be used to log in to the account.
- Trademark Search: Before picking a company name or logo, you must conduct a thorough search. Suppose you try registering your company under a brand name already used by another company. In that case, you will probably end up in long-lasting litigation and probably be sued as well. For ENUM itself and how to make the registration for your brand name search, you can log in to the official portal from the site.
- Filing of Trademark Application: If we successfully finish a search for my trademark and have professional help lined up, will we be ready to file a Trademark for my brand name? A brand name may be filed with the appropriate TradeMark Registry after completing a successful Trademark Search. The application to register a brand name must be in the prescribed form. It must be accompanied by the required fees, along with various documents to support the application. Once this has been done, the website allows you to use “™” next to your brand name. The user can also file their application to the Trade Marks registry online.
It is essential to review the status updates of the application because the Trademark Department will review it.
- Examination of Trademark Application: A team of examiners at the trademark registry will conduct an examination. Should the registration conditions be met, the brand is advertised in the trademark journal. If no one sees this publication and has how to oppose the registration on absolute and relative grounds, then an examination report is issued. During this time, any issues raised should be addressed within the specified time frame.
- Show Cause Hearing: If the response to IR is inadequate, the person may request a Show Cause Hearing. The show cause hearing allows the applicant to meet /see the trade mark officer personally and present his case on why his trade mark should be accepted and allowed distinctively. The notice of hearing is sent to the address mentioned on the letterhead, and a copy of the hearing notice shall be uploaded to the portal.
- Trademark Registration & Certification: Once the application is put on advertisement in the trademark journal after the completion of the said period, then it proceeds for the issuance of the registration certificate under the seal of the Trademarks Registry, which is the conclusive evidence of the registration of the trademark. The Registered Trade Marks are then entered into the Central Register of Trade Mark, and the proprietor of the Trade Mark can start to use Registered Trade Mark Symbol ® next to the Trade Marks about the goods or services in respect of which the Trade Mark is registered.
Registering a brand name can take anywhere between six and twelve months. If your trademark is accepted for registration, be aware that a trademark registration, once granted, lasts indefinitely. However, if the mark is not used continuously for five years, it can become vulnerable to an action for removal from the Register for non-use. Therefore, you should get professional advice when completing a trademark application, as it is very important that your word or logo is accurately classified into the correct class or classes.