Trademarks

Trademark Registration – Complete Guide

Trademark laws help regulate and govern the legal rights associated with brand-building elements, including symbols, logos, and company names. These are an integral part of the modern-day business world as they help companies protect their brand identity and combat imitations and counterfeit products.

Brand identity is an integral factor in the modern business world as consumers use it to gauge and compare companies. All businesses are trying to come up with unique ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. Can you imagine companies like Apple or Samsung’s trademark without their iconic logos and brand names? 

These companies rely on such branding strategies to stay memorable and build up customer loyalty. As a result, protecting their brand name from getting tarnished becomes crucial to staying successful. Trademark registration provides businesses with exclusive rights over their brand name, logo, and other visual symbols. Further, here’s a look at everything you need to know about tm registration, the documents required, and the benefits it provides.

What Is a Trademark?

A trademark is any logo, symbol, word, or combination of words, symbols, and numbers that make a brand unique within the market. Moreover, it is an important intellectual property for a business, as registering a trademark deters competitors from using similar names or logos. Additionally, they allow companies to build a comprehensive brand identity by enabling customers to associate various visual cues with their products. 

Over time, these cues evolve to become unique selling points of the brand, helping them popularise their products. Moreover, it also enables businesses to differentiate themselves from competitors. 

Recently, the Department for Promotion of Internal Trade and Industrial Policy has reduced the application fee for registering a trademark in one class by 50% for startups registered as MSMEs under the Udyog Adhaar Scheme.

Vakilsearch‘s free trademark search tool helps you to check trademark availability before you begin the registration process.

Functions of a Trademark

  1. Helps in the identification of a product or service
  2. Gives brands exclusive rights over visual elements that make them unique
  3. Ensures the quality of the product and service by associating it with a credible manufacturer
  4. Helps promote and market product or services
  5. Serves as legal protection against counterfeit and copycat products
  6. Makes it easier to introduce a product into new markets and segments
  7. Enables the business to build better goodwill, trustworthiness, and credibility.

Types of Trademark

The various trademarks that companies or brands can register are as follows:

  1. Image, symbol, 3D shapes, or letters
  2. Audio format sound marks 
  3. Combination of letters and numerals for depicting a brand
  4. Name of the brand
  5. Logo or graphic design

Application for Trademark

A person, company, or any legal entity who trades in any product(s) or service(s) can apply for trademark. Further, tm registration can take anywhere between 18 to 24 months to be completed. Upon successful registration, companies can use the ® (registered symbol) with their tm to highlight its registration. 

Companies will also receive a registration certificate to guarantee the legal protection provided by the Trademark Office. Additionally, a registered tm remains valid for ten years from the date of filing, and trademark holders have to renew the tm to enjoy continued protection.

Documents Required

  1. Copy of trademark or logo
  2. Details of the applicant 
  3. Specifications of goods and services to register
  4. If the tm has been in use, mention the date of usage on the application
  5. Power of Attorney, if needed

Process of Trademark Registration in India

  1. Since trademarks must be unique and genuine, entrepreneurs should research and run public searches to gauge the availability of a tm. Before applying, applicants must check to see if identical trademarks are available to ensure their application does not get rejected.
  2. After choosing the trademark, individuals must file an application with the Trademark Registry in India. Further, they have offices in Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. Additionally, the authorities now allow businesses to file applications online. However, it is advisable to get the help of a professional to ensure there are no errors in your application.
  3. Further, on receiving an application, the examiner scrutinizes it and conducts a formal examination for anywhere between 12 to 18 months. After the examination, they publish the tm in the Trademark Journal
  4. During this period, people have the right to oppose TM registration. In case an opposition arises, the applicant will have to attend a fair hearing and defend their right to register the mark.
  5. On successful clearance, the TM Office issues a registration certificate, following which you may use the ® symbol. However, for continued protection, the applicant must renew the tm after every ten years.

How Vakilsearch Can Help

The process of tm registration is time-consuming and requires extensive documentation. However, it ensures the safety and sustainability of your brand’s products and services. Therefore, companies should rely on professional legal services to obtain tm registration. Further, Vakilsearch offers a comprehensive package that enables businesses to protect their brand identity with ease. Feel free to reach out to our representatives for expert guidance and assistance with all trademark-related queries. 

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