Innovation needs to be protected, especially when used for business purposes. Trademark, a type of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) gives exclusive ownership rights to innovative products and creative activities to the innovators. Trademark registration helps them safeguard their innovation from getting copied and imitated.
Other IPR properties include copyright, patent, and design. Read this blog to get a thorough understanding of trademarks, what can and cannot be registered as a trademark, who can apply for trademark, its functions and benefits. Let’s dig into it in detail!
What is a trademark?
Trademark sets your goods and services apart from other brands or businesses. It can be a name, logo, sound, shape, letter, word, signature, and combination of colours. It gives you legal control to protect your brand’s unique identity against those who use same or similar marks.
What can you trademark?
- Product names and nicknames
- Business name
- Name of a person
- Logo or symbol
- Tagline or slogan
- Motion (moving logo)
- Colour combination
What cannot be registered as a trademark?
- The mark that is already in use or similar to it
- Generic descriptive words and phrases
- Government symbols
- Religious quotes
- Geographical location
- Quantity and quality of the product (Eg. 1 litre water or good water bottle)
Who can apply for trademark?
Any individual or business entity can apply for trademark to protect their product or service including:
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
- One Person Company (OPC)
- Private Limited Company (PLC)
- Public Limited Company (Ltd. Company)
- Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), trust or society
- Any individual or a person
Here is a complete guide for you to understand the trademark registration process in India.
What are its functions?
- Gives the brand a unique identity that distinguishes it from other brands and products.
- Stronger branding and marketing campaigns to register and interact with the customers.
- Builds trust, goodwill and customer loyalty for the unique brand.
- Signifies the origin of the products under that brand, leading to the customers building emotional attachment with the quality of the products.
What are the benefits?
- Distinct Identity: Trademark creates a distinct identity for the brand in the marketplace so that customers can easily recognize it from the competitors. Brands can communicate the vision and unique characteristics of the company.
- Exclusive Right: The owner gets the exclusive right to a registered trademark. It means, they have the right to stop and sue unauthorized users from using the same or similar marks.
- Intangible Asset: It works as an intangible asset for every organization. It gives the brand a space in the minds of the consumers.
- Trust and Goodwill: It builds trust and goodwill among the audience as they are very particular about the brand for certain products such as groceries, clothes etc. Trademark helps them recognize and choose the brand easily.
- Symbol®: It signifies that your business has a registered trademark and no one has the right to use it. In case it is used by the other party, you have a right to sue them.
- 10 years of protection: After successful trademark registration, the owner gets 10 years of protection under the Act. After that, it needs to be renewed.
- File for Infringement: You can file for infringement if another party is using a similar or same trademark without your approval as you already have the legal protection under the Trademark Act 1999.
- Global Business: If you are planning to commence your business globally, then a registered trademark helps to create a brand in another country. This will be used as a basis of the business registration that expands the business and goodwill in other countries as well.
Clearly, trademark registration has a lot to offer to businesses and innovators. While the process might not be too complex, you will need legal assistance to successfully get it done. Experts at LegalWiz.in will help you out to create a distinct brand identity in the market in a quick, hassle-free way.