A collective mark serves as an effective collective mark or service mark to be used for business, by an association or group, which indicates their association with the brand! It is a trademark that is used for differentiating between goods or services of an organization which is not within the scope of the Indian Partnership Act, 1932. Collective marks are required to meet industry specifications and compliance standards, for it to be eligible to be used. It also helps in signifying the quality of the product or service. The primary purpose of a collective mark is that it distinguishes the features of the goods or services offered by a brand or business.
For instance, the term “CA” is used by the members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, or “ICA”. Section 61 of the Trade Marks Act, 789, defines a collective trademark in the Indian context.
A business owner, entrepreneur, or industrialist knows the benefits of a collective trademark. They are as follows;
Exclusive trademark rights:
When it comes to collective trademark registration, the business owner secures exclusive rights over the use of the trademark. For this reason, the owner has the right to utilize the collective mark for all the products produced by his/her business or services rendered, submitted in the trademark application. Hence, the business owner has sole rights over the trademark, which Preventions others from using it. And in case it is used, the owner has the privilege to prosecute anyone who does.
Builds reputation and goodwill
A trademark on the product helps build brand reputation, and generate goodwill. This will further help customers identify products accordingly, and form a trust. Thus, enabling a loyal set of customers who will always choose products belonging to one particular brand, for regular use.
Concerning competition, a good service mark registration can help in making a service unique and further help in its promotion as well. The trademark will represent the vision or quality of the brand and in turn, help associate the business with it.
Another benefit of trademarking a product is that it helps in attaching identity to the value provided by the product. This way, the brand also becomes part of that identity prompting customers to associate the same value and draw in new customers or clients. They will be able to distinguish the quality of the product by its trademark.
A trademark essentially acts as a product brand name registration, which automatically makes it an intellectual property for the business. The rights for trademark use can be sold, assigned, franchised or economically contracted. This makes the trademark an asset for the business which gives its association an added benefit.
A registered trademark can use the symbol on its logo, to communicate that it is part of a registered trademark and no one can use any of its symbols. It is inclusive of its different uses just as rights. If someone, replicates, the design, logo or symbol then that person can be sued by the business.
Protection against infringement
Through a product brand name registration, the trademark becomes an exclusive right for the owner of the business, in terms of the usage. Hence, competitors or individuals cannot use the trademark or logo without the endorsement of the business owner. Thug registering a product helps in protecting against infringement of the logo.
Registered trademarks have a 10-year validity and can be renewed indefinitely. It is cost-effective and enables the business to create and maintain a unique identity.
International collective mark Registration:
To secure a ™ on products, in foreign countries, the trademark needs to be applied for in that respective company. For this reason, the trademark applied in India can be used as a premise when applying in other countries. This will be used as a base when applying for a trademark in other countries, along with the goodwill earned in India.
Attract Influential Personalities
A good brand will help in attracting talented people or celebrities as brand ambassadors. These people will further enhance the brand image and business.
The advantages of trademark registration are more than the invested amount in registering. Its esteem may not be determined in fiscal terms in the present moment yet the market turnout offered by the enrolled trademark assumes a key role for the business development. Thus, make an application for Trademark Registration on most on the dot before another person registers it.
Describe what the business offers
With respect to the business, trademarks should identify what it offers. A collective mark will indicate that the business sells physical products and therefore aligns with the respective business trademark. Hence, a product brand registration should reflect the respective collective mark, and be able to describe what the business offers.
Local, national and international distribution
With respect to distribution, a business can choose to sell its products within a state or across several states. Thus, product trademark registration should be executed in accordance. The same rule applies when selling products internationally. Trademark registration should be done in such a way that it cannot be replicated abroad as well.
It also helps to secure trademarked business names as the website name as well. However, a website’s domain name registration and trademark registration are not executed by the same legal bodies. For instance, if a business’s name is in use as a domain by another entity, the business may approach it for purchase. If the domain name was registered before trademark, the business won’t be able to sue them either.
Basis of use
When it comes to figuring out how to trademark a product name, it is very important to clarify whether the trademark that is being registered is for ‘use in commerce’ or ‘intent to use’. It is on the basis of this that the status of the application will differ. Obviously, collective marks not in use, or not used for commercial purposes will be marked under ‘intent to use’. And collective marks used for commercial use will be filed under ‘use in commerce’. Trademarking collective marks that are already in use, will require proof in the form of images of a collective mark in use or advertisements or labels, related to your product offerings
Identify Trademark Class
When applying for trademark registration it is important to understand the different classes in the trademark registry. In total, there are about 45 sectors and each sector is named as a class. Goods and services are classified into 45 different classes by the Trademark Registry. The trademark offers you the right to sell under a particular brand name within a certain sector in the economy.
It is always better to seek legal assistance when it comes to the question of how to trademark my product. The reason being, there are several legal hurdles or mistakes one can make if that person is not knowledgeable about the trademark process. For instance, the trademark application can be rejected or can be filed for the wrong class in the Trademark Registry. Bearing all this in mind, it is better to opt for legal counsel when it comes to trademarking a product
Step 1: Trademark Search
Even with a distinct brand name in mind, it helps to perform a trademark search to make sure that the name is not taken. The purpose is to avoid infringement issues and trademark litigation. By executing a thorough trademark search, it helps in establishing where a brand or trademark stands, its popularity, and it's worth.
Step 2: Filing Trademark Application in India
Once you have ensured that the brand name chosen by you is not in the Trademark Registry India, you can go ahead and file a trademark application from any of the trademark offices located at Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, or online on the Trademark Registry website. A receipt is issued for future references. The status of the application can then be viewed online.
Step 3: Trademark Examination
After a trademark application is filed, it is examined by the examiner for discrepancies which can take anywhere between 12-18 months. Only upon unconditional acceptance of the examiner does the trademark gets published in the Trademark Journal. If the examiner feels there are objections to be raised or conditions required before publications, the examiner will mention conditions or objections in the examination report. The applicant will be given a month’s time to to satisfy these conditions, or respond to objections. After which the trademark is published in the Trademark Journal. However, if the response has not been accepted, the applicant can request a hearing, where the applicant can respond and clarify to those objections again, after which the examiner can accept the application and publish the trademark in the Trademark Journal.
Step 4: ™ on products
This step takes place during the registration procedure and before the registration process. It is for those who want to object to the registration of the trademark, which has to be done within 3-4 months of the trademark publication in the journal. A hearing is arranged, where the registrar will hear the objection and make the decision to approve or reject the trademark registration. However, if there are no objections to within 3-4 months of the trademark publication in the journal, the trademark proceeds for registration.
Step 5: Registration Certificate
After the trademark is registered, a registration certificate is issued to the applicant, with the Trademark Office seal.
Step 6: Trademark Renewal
A registered trademark has a validity for 10 years, with the option to renew it indefinitely.
To file a trademark application, the following documents are required.
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