A trademark is a special image or phrase to identify a company or its goods. If a mark is registered, it can never again be used by another organization as long as it is in use and all necessary paperwork and fees are paid.
Eligibility Criteria for Trademark Registration
The following entities in India are eligible for trademark registration:
1. Joint owners
2. Proprietorship firm
3. Partnership firm
4. Limited liability partnership or LLP
5. Society or trust
6. An individual or a person
Types of Trademark Registrations
1. Product mark
Instead of being utilized on services, a product mark is a trademark applied to any good or product. This trademark indicates a product’s place of origin and aids in preserving a company’s or organization’s stellar reputation.
2. Service mark
The sole distinction between the service mark and the product mark is that the service mark is applied to any service rather than a specific product. It functions for every non-product item. The primary goal of the service mark is to set the proprietors apart from the true owners of that service.
3. Collective mark
These are specific trademark types that associations and organizations own. A collective mark is used to draw attention to the exceptional features of a service or commodity that represents a partnership.
4. Certification mark
A certification mark is a trademark designating a product’s origin, material, quality, or other particulars the owner specifies. This sort of trademark’s primary goal is to set standards for any good or product and to provide the consumer with a guarantee of the goods.
5. Shape mark
A shape mark is a specific kind of trademark used to protect a product’s or good’s shape so that the consumer can recognize that the product is connected to a specific manufacturer and choose to only purchase the product from the location of origin.
6. Pattern mark
A pattern mark is used to safeguard a certain product’s pattern. All businesses that produce goods with a certain pattern use this kind of trademark so that no other business may imitate them.
7. Sound mark
Any business or organization uses this sound mark to safeguard a specific melody or sound. No one else is allowed to utilize a company’s sound mark for any song or sound without their consent, and if anyone does so anyway, it is a serious offence.
The IPL’s enchanting theme music is the most recognizable sound in India. To secure a sound mark, a corporation must demonstrate the sound’s originality and the ability of listeners to instantly recognize the good or service it is associated with.
Before submitting an online trademark registration, one can conduct three different sorts of trademark searches. It allows you to do a self-directed, informal, preliminary trademark search. However, only skilled trademark attorneys can conduct thorough trademark searches. A thorough trademark search is always the best option among searches since it provides you with more information and protection against the possibility that your trademark application will be rejected.
Trademark Application Process
The steps in the trademark application process are as follows:
- Trademark search
- Trademark application
- Examination by the registrar
- Publication of the trademark
- Issuance of trademark registration
Trademark Registration Timeline
A trademark application requires time because it goes through multiple stages. If the brand name is distinctive, the registration certificate can be obtained in 6 to 8 months. The Trademark Ministry processes the application, so the time it takes depends on how quickly the government handles requests. Use a distinctive business name to avoid a protracted registration period.
Trademark Renewal Process
The procedure for renewing a trademark is summarized below, along with a list of the necessary paperwork:
Step 1: Application filing
Send a Form TM-R renewal application to the Trademark Registry. Add the following information:
- Trademark registration number
- Current status of the trademark
- Applicant’s contact information
Step 2: Verification and examination
The Registry will check the application, and the trademark will be checked for inconsistencies. Based on the trademark’s validity duration and compliance with renewal regulations, it will also evaluate renewal eligibility. If a conflict is discovered, the registry will object and ask the applicant for more information. The clarification must be submitted in the allotted amount of time.
Step 3: Publication in Trademark Journal
The details of the trademark renewal will be published in the Trademark Journal for four months after the objections have been resolved. This permits any objection to the trademark from third parties. If an objection is voiced, the applicant must respond within the allotted time frame; otherwise, the department will schedule a hearing to determine the reason.
Step 4: Issuance of a renewal certificate
After the publication period has ended successfully and any opposition has been resolved, the Registry will issue the Trademark Renewal Certificate. This document attests to your trademark’s renewed validity for 10 years.
Importance of Trademark Registration for a Brand Name
1. Protection of intellectual property
There are four types of IP protection for businesses:
Patent, trademark, trade secret, and copyrights
2. Brand recognition
The degree to which a consumer can correctly identify a specific good or service only by looking at its logo, tagline, packaging, or marketing campaign is known as brand recognition. An aural cue, such as a jingle or theme tune related to a brand, can also cause brand recognition.
3. Legal rights
The following are some of the legal rights associated with trademark use:
- The right to exclusive use: The exclusive right to use the trademark concerning the products and goods for which it was registered under some conditions.
- The right to statutory remedy for any infringement
- Right to assign
- Right to register correction
4. Increased business value
As the brand’s image improves, its value may rise over time, resulting in a bigger market share and more devoted customers. The ability to license, franchise, or sell a trademark increases the company’s worth and creates chances for business alliances and collaborations.
Trademarks are becoming more and more significant to business owners. Poems, inventions, paintings, drawings, novels, music, and other creative works are considered intellectual property, or IP. IP also comprises the logos and signs companies employ to indicate the country of origin of their goods and services.
When trademarks protect your firm, customers can more easily find your company and the services or products you offer.
Some people choose not to register their trademarks because of the cost; if they do not, they run the following risks:
- Damaging the reputation
- Destroying the brand
- Failing to protect the IP associated with the trademark
One may also contact Chennai-based Kanakkupillai, a top legal consulting firm in India that provides comprehensive services relating to trademark registration, to register a trademark for a brand name.
The following services are provided to you by their trademark registration agents:
- Gathering information and starting the process
- Application drafting
- Reviewing the draft and making any required modifications
- Submitting the application