A trademark is a visual symbol, which may be a word, name, device, label or numerals used by a business to distinguish it goods or services from other similar goods or services originating from a different business. A registered trademark is an intangible asset or intellectual property for a business and is used to protect the company's investment in the brand or symbol. A trademark is registrable if it is distinctive for the goods and services you provide. Proposed trademarks that are similar or identical to an existing registered trademark cannot be registered. Also, trademarks are not registrable if it is offensive, generic, deceptive, not distinctive, contains specially protected emblems, etc.,
Trademarks in India are registered by the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. Trademarks are registered under the Trademark Act, 1999 and provide the trademark owner with a right to sue for damages when infringements of trademarks occur. Once a trademark is registered, R symbol can be used and the registration will be valid for 10 years. Registered trademarks nearing expiry can be easily renewed by filing a trademark renewal application for a period of another 10 years.
Benefits of Trademark Registration in India
- Guards the Commercial Goodwill
A trademark’s registered owner has a right to create, establish and protect the goodwill of his/her products or services. The owner can stop other traders from using his trademark unlawfully. One can also sue the infringer for dilution of the brand name and claim damages for any infringement.
- Advertises Goods and Services
Registering a trademark creates a face of the company or the goods and services. This helps to distinguish and facilitate brand creation. Most of the companies find their identity via trademark hence it pays a pivotal role in advertising and increases the brand value.
- Legal Protection
A registered trademark gives its owner a legal right in case of infringement. Not registering a trademark may leave the owner of the original brand name without any remedy.
- Creation of an Asset
Trademark registration in India creates an intangible asset. Registered TM can be sold, assigned, franchised or commercially contracted to bring benefits to the company or the individual proprietor.
- You can Trademark many of these things like Name, Word, Numbers, Images, and Sound. Any business or person claiming to be owner can apply for a trademark including:
- It is preferable that you apply for the Trademark as an individual. In case of a Proprietor or Company, if you close or change the name of the business, your trademark will become invalid. However, in the case of an individual, this problem won’t arise.
Different Trademark Symbols
These are mainly three Trademark Symbols like;
- ‘TM’ Symbol: This symbol represents that it can use with the brand name until your Trademark is not registered and the application is in pending status.
- ‘SM’ Symbol: This symbol represents that it can use with the service It identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product.
- ‘R’ Symbol: This symbol is only applicable for your brand when the mark is being registered and the Certificate of Registration is issued by the Trademark Registrar.
Documents Required to Register a Trademark
- Proof of Applicant-PAN Card and Address Proof of Applicant Certificate of registration (other than an Individual applicant)
- Brand Name & Logo-The logo must contain the Brand Name applied to register a Trademark
- User Affidavit-If a specific user date is to be claimed, the user affidavit is also required to be submitted
- Proof of TM Use-To claim specific user date, documentary proof such as invoices, registration certificates, etc. with the brand name should also be provided
- MSME / Start-up Recognition-Partnership firm, body corporates (other than an individual) can provide a certificate of registration under MSME or Start-up India scheme to avail 50% rebate on the Government fee
- Signed Form TM – 48-TM-48 is a legal document that allows the attorney to file the trademark on your behalf with the trademark registry. The document will be prepared by LW professionals for the signature