A trademark is a phrase, symbol, word or combination of the mentioned aspects which is used to identify a product. The process to obtain a trademark requires steps which must be followed by individuals to obtain a trademark for their product or service. Online Trademark Registration is a mandatory requirement as it protects the brand which takes years to build, develop and reach a certain level. It is easy for people to steal someone’s original work and claim it as theirs. Therefore, protection of your work must be your first priority.
What are the types of Trademarks?
The first step in acquiring a trademark is to understand several types of trademarks that exist. Trademarks which are relevant to the product or service must be selected before moving to other steps. Below mentioned are certain types of trademarks:
- Word Marks
- Service Marks
- Logos and Symbols
- Shape of Goods
- Series Marks
- Collective Trademarks
- Certification Mark
- Geographical Indicators
Reasons to obtain a Trademark
Obtaining trademarks is time consuming, complicated and in many cases expensive. But at the same time it is important and highly recommended. It is significant for individuals to understand the significance of trademarks.
- In this section, we will discuss some importance of a Trademark:
- It helps in the expansion and growth of the business.
- It provides protection to both businesses and consumers.
- It helps in the utilization, sale and amendment of a product.
- It helps in the differentiation of a company’s product or service from that of the competitors.
- It helps in attracting the right set of customers who, later, become loyal customers.
- Trademarks are intangible assets. Therefore, it is considered as an important property for a company.
What information is required to register a Trademark?
Below mentioned are certain information which are required to conduct trademark process in an efficient manner:
- A graphical representation of the trademark
- Description of the goods or services on which the trademark will be used.
- Name, address, legal status of the applicant
- Trade description of the applicant along with other details
Who can own a Trademark?
Certain individuals are permitted to apply for and obtain a trademark. They are required to follow certain steps stated by the authority. Below mentioned are individuals who are granted a permission to own a trademark –
- A body incorporate
- Limited Liability Partnerships
- Trust or society
- Hindu undivided family
- Government departments
- Small enterprises
What is the procedure to obtain approval for a Trademark?
If an individual wants to obtain a trademark, he must get it approved by the concerned authority. By following the steps involved in the registration of trademark, an individual can obtain a trademark within a stipulated duration. Trade Marks Act, 1999 regulates the registration of trademarks and also aims to prevent fraudulent and unauthorized use of the mark.
The below mentioned process must be followed to obtain an approval for a Trademark:
Selection of a trademark which is unique and different is a crucial step. Thus, it must be undertaken in a proper manner. Only after a proper research, the trademark must be finalized. Selection of mark is the first step in acquiring a trademark.
Next, trademark search must be conducted to ensure that it is unique and different from the already existing trademarks.
Filing an application for Trademark
An application is filed for a trademark with the Trade Marks Registry by the applicant in respect of specification of goods or services in TM-A. This can be done in two ways – filing for “one class”, which means application will be filed only for one class (TM-1). The other option is to file for multiple classes or series trademarks or collective trademarks. TM-A form must be filled to register a trademark beyond one class.
Evaluation of the Trademark Application
The application is then examined on the grounds of refusal and an examination report is released which contains objections. In reply, the applicant releases a document in his defense.
Application filing in Trademark Journal
After the arguments are resolved, the application is filed in the Trademark Journal for inviting oppositions under section 21(1), 64, 66 or 73. Form TM-5 is used to file in an application for the opposition to application for registration of a Trademark.
Application sent for Registration
Within four months, if there are no objections, the application is forwarded for registration.
Arrival of Trademark Registration Certificate
After the application is approved, the applicant receives an allotment number after which he receives a trademark registration certificate.
Acquiring a trademark is important for a brand as it protects work and offers many other benefits. Companies that own a trademark are able to utilize the potential of the brands and take it to new stages of growth and development. Even though the process of registering a trademark is long, once acquired, companies can introduce new and innovative segments of products or services to fulfill customer’s requirements.
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