Your brand name is how customers are going to identify you. So, don’t leave it up for grabs without registering it as your trademark.
A business is identified by its company’s name and logo. It is a trademark that distinguishes the goods and services of other companies in a competitive marketplace. If you fail to register your trademark, then someone else can. A company logo and brand name are also accepted and consigned by the customers. Hence, most businesses apply for a trademark in their early days.
It is globally accepted that a unique brand and logo is the most important asset for a business, as customers can quickly identify your product or services among competitors’ products. It has become very crucial to protect your brand name and logo from misuse or duplication by others. Registration of a trademark gives a number of advantages over using an unregistered brand name and logo.
Protect your Brand!
Using a trademarked logo and name for your business is the initial step of your proactive plan for staying ahead of the competition. Industry experts also declare that customers are also influenced by business brand names and logos.
A trademark assists to build the confidence of customers in your brand and is an important asset to the company. It helps the business to develop. Here are seven simple steps that you must follow to trademark a brand name.
Here’s How You Can Apply for a Trademark
1. Decide on a Unique Brand Name and Logo
There are some guidelines to follow before choosing your mark. A word that is common in your industry or is used as a measure of quality cannot be trademarked. For example, if you sell shoes, you can’t trademark the word ‘shoe’ as a brand name. Moreover, the trademark should be unique and distinctive for your business.
2. Conduct an Online Search
Trademark violation or infringement, even if done accidentally, can lead to severe legal consequences. Hence, it is very important to conduct online research to make sure that the trade name and logo of your company has not been used by somebody else.
The trademark registrations in India are regulated by the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trademarks and you can check their database to see if your mark is available. Alternatively, you can use our free trademark search tool or seek professional help from Vakilsearch’s expert team. To run a trademark search, you need to provide:
- The trademark name you have chosen
- Class of trademark (there are a total of 45 distinct classes to choose from).
3. Fill in the Trademark Application
After verifying the uniqueness of your trademark, you must file to register it. The application form expects you to submit the following documentation:
- Identity proof of the executives (if there are many owners) along with address proof
- Business proof (depends on the type of business)
- A standard 9 x 5 cms image of your symbol or logo
- A summary of your goods or services (not more than 500 words)
4. Filing for Brand Name Registration
Filing of the trademark registration application can be done manually or you can do an e-filing. In the process of manual filing, you’ve got to apply for a trademark by submitting the form in person at any of the trademark registry offices. You will get the confirmation within 15-20 days of filing.
E-filing is easy, and acknowledgement of the application will happen almost immediately.
5. Examining Your Application
The application is now examined by the concerned Registrar to check the uniqueness of your brand name. The Registrar notes that the name does not clash with the current or even pending brand name application and makes sure that legal formalities are satisfied. If you had really racked your mind when coming up with a unique name, this one will be easy for you.
However, the Registrar might have some objections that they might send through a notice. You have to respond to that notice within 30 days.
6. Publication in the Indian Trade Mark Journal
Your trademark name and logo will be published in the Indian Trade Mark Journal once the objections are cleared. Moreover, if there is no opposition against your chosen company name, then, within 90 days, or even 120 days in a few cases, it’s time for recognition.
If there is opposition by a third party, you have to submit a written response with the necessary proof to show your claim over the mark. The Registrar might call for a hearing if need be and the decision will be passed based on it.
7. Receiving the Trademark Registration Certificate
If the Registrar gets no opposition within the prescribed time, your trade name and logo will have official protection. You will then receive the trademark registration certificate with the seal of the trademark registry.
You finally made it. The whole process that you go through right from when you apply for a trademark to the point you collect it takes a period of 15-18 months. Additionally, your trademark registration for the name and logo is valid for a period of 10 years and can be renewed easily by paying a renewal fee.
Rather than doing all this by yourself, you can use Vakilsearch’s trademark registration service. Since trademark experts will be handling your application, the chances of objection and opposition are significantly reduced and you don’t have to break your head over the whole process.