5-Step Guide to Trademarking Your Brand

Last Updated at: Mar 13, 2021
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Trademark brand Registration

Starting or running a business? You might already have a fair idea about how important branding is for your business. Branding was once a concern only of big companies, but now it has become a staple even for most individuals. If you don’t create and protect a distinctive brand image, you will be lost in the sea of competition in today’s world. Or people will end up confusing your business with others which will cost you dearly.

If you already have a name that you want to trademark for your business, you can skip step 1.

1. Choosing Your Trademark

You can trademark any of the following: word, phrase, device, symbol or colours. Create a brand name or phrase or logo that is not used by any other business.

Here are the things you can consider while choosing your trademark:

  • Keeping it short
  • Making it memorable
  • It should be unique 
  • Avoid generic names or terms

If you are choosing a brand name, remember that two types of brand names work really well.

  1. Arbitrary or fanciful names that don’t necessarily have a meaning or don’t relate to the product you are selling. For example Twitter, Apple, and McDonald’s.
  2. Suggestive or descriptive names that hint at what your business or product is about. For example Tata Motors, Pizzahut, and Air India.

2. Difference between Colour Logo or B&W

Human beings are visual animals. We remember images way better than we remember names or phrases. That is why a logo is very important for a business, it helps people identify them in a split second.

So, remember these when you getting your logo trademarked:

  • Once you trademark a colour logo, the logo along with the colour sequence is protected. Any variations of it are not protected. 
  • You should be able to use it for the long term.
  • Ensure that the colours are relatable to your business and your audience.
  • Your brand image should be built around the colours in your logo.

Trademark Registration

Get trademark registration

Not sure if you have found your brand colours yet? No issues. 

You can trademark a black and white logo. This allows you to use different colour patterns in your logo as a black and white trademark only protects the logo pattern. Get this and experiment all you want until you find your brand colours. 

Did you know? Colours can be trademarked separately too! Cadbury has trademarked the royal purple colour that you see on their wrappers.

3. Check for Availability

The wordmark or logo must be available for registration. If a request is previously filed for a related or resembling mark, you will face difficulties and problems. So, you should first check the Trademark Registry for this. You can do so using this free tool.

If you are connecting to multiple classes, you should guarantee availability in each class. 

Here’s a pro tip: If you are looking to trademark both your brand name and logo, you can do it together under a single application. The only condition is that your logo should involve your brand name. This way you save time and money, instead of needing two trademarks.

4. Pick the Right Class

After you are done creating your brand name or logo or both, let’s move on to filing for trademark registration.

The first step here is to select a suitable class for trademark protection. The trademark registry has provided 45 classes in total, for different products and services. Based on your company activity, choose the most suitable class. If more than one class applies to you, you need to file many classes for registration. 

Remember, you can protect the trademark name or logo only under the class it is applied for. 

While creating an application you need to describe the goods and services. You may prefer the given description or customise as per the requirement. But know that you cannot modify the class and description after applying. Be liberal in your description and cover other goods as per your long-term plan. This makes your application cost-efficient and also gives proper protection.

5. Mention the User Date

Do you already have a brand name or logo that you have been using for a while? Great! Make it a point to mention from when you are using it under ‘user date’ in the application.

Why? Because in India, preference is given for those who started using the name or logo first rather than following the first-come-first-serve rule of trademark registration. This will help you get your trademark even if a similar trademark has been applied for by a brand new business. 

Conclusion

Got a fair idea about trademark registration? Make a note of these points before you set out to fill your trademark application. If you think it is better to get experts to do it for you instead of risking errors, you can always contact Vakilsearch

All the best!