- A trademark is essentially any name, logo, numeral, label or any characteristic depiction even colour combination, sound and smell that represents your business.
- It helps customers to identify your business as one that is distinguishable from that of another providing similar products or services.
- It establishes a unique brand with which people associate a particular product or a service.
- Trademarks in India are registered under The Trademark Act, 1999 by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
Trademarks that cannot be registered
A trademark will not be registered if it is generic, deceptive, not distinct with a likelihood to cause confusion, or offensive.
Advantages of Trademark registration
Trademark registration primarily helps to build and retain loyal customer base while deterring competitors from using similar names or selling their products or services using your name.
It also prevents any confusion clearly identifying from which business house a product or service originates.
A trademark registration in essence protects the goodwill earned by your business.
A registered trademark proprietor of a business has the right to sue against any person or legal entity for any infringement and obtain an injunction to cease from any such infringement and also pay financial compensation in the form of damages or on the account of profits made.
A Trademark being the intellectual property of a business needs to be cautiously protected with proper registration as this will be needed in the future if you plan to franchise the brand or enter into any commercial business arrangement based on the strength of your brand.
Disadvantages of not registering a trademark
- Any business that has not registered its trademark will not be able to avail the statutory protection under the Trademark Act.
Period of validity of a registered trademark
- A trademark registration is initially valid for ten years and thereafter subsequent renewal will further extend the trademark protection for another period of ten years.
- To facilitate easy classification of businesses the Indian Trademark registry has assigned groups (classes). There are 45 classes in total which group various product and service offerings. This basically brings any business you choose to pursue into any one of these 45 classes.
- Upon registration of your trademark, you will be allowed to use the R symbol to denote that the trademark has been registered and enjoys protection under the Trademark laws of India.
- The TM symbol is generally used to indicate that there has been a trademark application filed and pending before the Trademark registry and serves as a warning to infringers.