A trademark is any logo, symbol, word or a combination of words, symbols and numbers that makes a brand stand unique in the market. It is an important intellectual property for a business registering a trademark deters competitors from using similar names or logos. Trademarks are grouped into 45 classes wherein specific goods and services fall under each class.
Trademarks are of different types like product mark, shape mark, service mark, certification mark, sound mark, collective mark, pattern mark, etc. and some of them are:
A product mark represents a provider or brand of a product or goods and comes under Trademark classes 1-34.
A service mark identifies a service provider and is classified under the Trademark classes 35-45. Service marks are usually slogans. Often service marks and product marks are confusing because some services also offer products. For instance, take McDonald that offers service and product but in which category does it fall is the question. It is fast food, service-based company offering products like Big Mac which is trademarked.
A company that wants to protect the shape of its product can opt for a shape mark. This also increases the chance of attracting more customers to relate its product with the shape. For example, popular toy company Lego have a three-dimensional shape of a red logo brick as their trademark.
Any individual or organization can apply for trademark to protect their product or service. The application has to be filed mentioning the trademark, name and address of the applicant along with the agent and Power of Attorney.
Following entities in India are applicable to do a trademark registration
The Joint owners of a company together can file for a trademark and both their names have to be mentioned in the application.
One of the simplest business forms with respect to cost, level of maintenance and set up, a sole proprietorship firm is not a separate legal entity and the person who runs the business is solely responsible for its debts. Hence, a proprietorship company can file a trademark application under the name of its proprietor but not under the business name and proprietorship name. If a proprietorship name and business name are included in the application, then those details will be considered separately.
Governed by the Indian Partnership Act, a partnership firm is formed when two or more individuals run a business together as partners with the aim of gaining profits which are equally shared or as mentioned in their agreements. While registering for a trademark, a partnership company has to mention all the names of the partners in the application, with the maximum number being 10. If there is a minor partner, then the name of the minor’s guardian has to be mentioned.
As LLP companies are incorporated on their own identities, this type of companies can file for trademark registration under the respective LLP’s name. However, the partners themselves cannot be applicants.
For any Indian company whether private limited or limited or any other type, the trademark application has to be made in the company’s name. It is to be noted that any incorporated entity has its own identity due to which a director of a company cannot be a trademark applicant.
Organizations that are created with the aim of social service rather than profits fall under Trust or Society. It is called a Trust if it is formed based on a legal agreement in which a beneficiary holds the property and nominates trustees to control the assets and operations. It may be registered as a Society if there more persons coming together to fulfil a particular purpose.
Both Trust and Society can do trademark registration, provided it is done on behalf of the Trust or Society and the names of Chairman, Managing Trustee and Secretary are mentioned in the application.
Any individual who wants to register their unique words or symbols are eligible to file for trademark registration under their own names. However, it is not necessary that they have to do business.
Only the entities who have their trademarks registered can create, establish and protect their goods, services and products thereby stopping other unlawful use of their mark.
It is recommended that trademarks are registered through certified, third-party trademark agents or trademark attorneys who clear preliminary exams conducted by the Trademark Registry annually. Seeking professional assistance benefits in many ways. Vakilsearch provide assistance on every step of the registration process
Know the reasons for trademark registration in India.