Modern-day and age, intellectual property law has become one of the most rapidly developing sectors of law. In addition to copyright law, patent law, design law, geographical indication law, plant varieties law, trade secret law, and trademark law are some of the legal aspects of intellectual property. There is no doubt that trademarks have become part of our daily lives, from TV to everything else in the business world.
How does a Trademark Work?
These trademarks are protected as intellectual property rights1 because they identify specific goods and services produced or provided by a company or an individual1.
Coca-cola and Pepsi are two examples of trademarks from the same industry, i.e beverages, but are distinct.
Registration of Trademarks
There is a distinctive identity for every enterprise that provides specified goods or services. Intellectual property law evolved to protect the same distinctiveness. It is for this reason that trademarks are essential. A trademark registrant is responsible for ensuring that such a symbol or logo, color, or shape does not resemble an existing trademark or brand. Certain functions are important for a trademark.
- In the beginning, it identifies the product or service and its source.
- As a second advantage, these standards ensure the quality of the goods and services.
- Secondly, it will help to distinguish one product from another, which will promote and increase product popularity.
Can Anyone Apply For A Trademark?
Identifying who can file for a trademark is essential before diving into the details of registration.
A trademark application is filed by anyone who satisfies the requirements of section 18(1) of the Trade Marks Act of 1999.
Applicants for the registration of a Trade Mark may be any person claiming to be the proprietor of the trademark. Clearly identify the owner as one. In general, the word ‘person’ encompasses the following:
- The Natural Person,
- Incorporated Body,
- An organization based on partnerships,
- In HUF
- In the case of collective trademarks, the association of individuals.
- There is a Trust,
- It is a society.
- The government or an organization
The trademark application may be applied for either because it is already in use, proposed for use, or intended to be used. Lastly, the trademark is intended to be assigned to a company that is about to be formed and registered under the Companies Act 1956 with a view to the company using it in relation to these goods and services. Government fees for individuals, start-ups and small businesses are 4500, for all other businesses they are 9000, and the trademark attorney professional fee is 3500. A start-up with a DIPP certificate won’t have to pay professional fees. However, their official fees will be $2,500.
As discussed in section 24, Jointly Owned Trademarks are one type of joint ownership. A joint proprietorship application is generally filed by two or more individuals who use a trademark independently or propose to use a trademark independently. A trademark application can be filed with the TM symbol. All paperwork must be filed with the Trademark Registry within eighteen to twenty-four months. It can be used once the trademark registration certificate has been issued and it has been registered.
Trademark registration is one of the most crucial steps that a business enterprise needs to take to protect its brand in India. One can use the unique symbol in trademark registration to distinguish one’s products or services from those of one’s competitors. Besides trademark rules, there are some basics and cardinal steps that must be followed as a part of trademark registration. There are four of them:
- The first step is to submit a trademark registration application to the appropriate national authority, for registration at both the federal and state levels.
- A clear reproduction of the sign filed for registration must accompany the application, including color, design, or any other characteristic of three-dimensionality.
- Also included with this application is a list of the goods and services to be covered by this sign.
- It is necessary that the sign meets the conditions in order to be protected under trademark law. For consumers to identify the products, they should stand out from any other signs.
- Customer information must not be false or misleading in any way.
- Last but not least, the rights requested can’t be similar to those granted to another trademark holder. National officials need to ensure this.8
The process of Trademark Registration in India
As per Chapter II of the Trade Marks Act 1999, registration conditions and the appointment of Registrars are outlined. Indian trademarks are registered online with the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks. A trademark is valid for ten years but can be renewed from time to time according to this section. Section 25(1) of the 1999 Act provides for this.
In Section 3(1) of the Act, someone is appointed to serve as the Registrar of Trademarks, and whose title is Controller-General of Patents, Designs, and TradeMarks.9 Section 4 of the Act details the powers of the Registrar.
As provided by Section 6 of the Act, the Trade Marks Registry maintains a Register of Trademarks, containing names, addresses, and other descriptions of trademarks and other registration matters.
To register a trademark, the Registrar shall classify the goods and services according to the International Classification of goods and services for trademark registration10.
The Basics Of Registration
- In the first step, the applicant must give his or her name, nationality, and address.
- In the second place, the details of the goods or services that need to be registered must be provided.
- Additionally, a soft copy of the registered trademark must be submitted.
- Last but not least, all foreign words must be translated.
To register a trademark in India, just follow these simple steps.
- To represent oneself, one must first choose a trademark attorney or agent.
- Furthermore, a trademark search must be conducted in order to ensure that the mark has not already been used by someone else.
- After the trademark search, an application for registration must be filed at the Trademark Office based on the results.
The Purpose of Trademark Registration
The trademark of a business enterprise is very important. Additionally, it makes products and services stand out from the crowd. I have listed them below.
- The primary advantage of trademarks is that they help to generate a great deal of goodwill for them. In addition, trademarks also help to stimulate further purchases.
- As a further benefit, a registered trademark prevents others from using the brand name or logo of your business.
- Third, trademarks and other assets can be licensed or assigned, just like any other asset.
- In addition, it ensures the integrity of the goods or services.
- A fifth purpose is that it serves as a means of establishing an identity and affiliation.11
The Advantages of Trademark Registration
Once we discuss the details and the importance of trademark registration, it is essential to know why it is so important, rather what can one gain by registering a trademark, and what are the benefits? As discussed below, these benefits are listed.
- As a first benefit, it grants exclusive rights. In the case of a trademark, the owner has exclusive rights over the product. The same applies to all products in the class.
- Furthermore, the owner has sole ownership of the trademark. In the event that a trademark is registered, it ensures that the person attempting to use it in an unauthorized manner will be held liable.
- Furthermore, it builds goodwill and creates trust. Through the trademark, everyone knows the product’s quality and the establishment behind it. This creates loyal customers.
- Thirdly, it helps differentiate the product from competitors. Creating a separate identity for the product creates differentiation. Often, the logo associated with a brand represents the company’s thoughts and aims.
- In addition to this, the product quality is recognized. Branded products have high quality and are recognized by customers.
- Fifth, it protects the owner from infringement. It will be held accountable if anyone attempts to use the trademark unnecessarily for their benefit as the trademark has already been registered.
- As a sixth advantage, trademarks create an intangible asset known as an organization’s Intellectual Property.
- As a seventh benefit, the trademark is registered for a period of ten years at a minimal cost. The process is cost-effective and stimulates the creation of a unique brand image for the company.
- Additionally, it attracts people for job purposes when the brand instills a positive image into their minds.
As trademark law has developed over the years, it has remained constant in its evolution. With each new case, a new interpretation is seen. There is great importance and use to the technology in the present day, as well as its immense benefits. Intellectual Property rights in general, and trademarks in particular, continue to grow by leaps and bounds.