In this blog, we will get to know about register Trademark for your brand and also the eligibility for Trademark registration.
Generally, Trademark refers to a “brand” or “logo”. Trademark gives your business separate identity. It also indicate the origin as well as the quality of the goods. A brand could be a domain name, product name, business name, slogan, logo, term, design or other feature that distinguishes a product or service from an entity from those of others. Branding is more important for all businesses that are involved in manufacturing of products or providing of services. Brand name registration involves multiple processes such as domain registration, business name registration, trademark registration and copyright registration, as follows:
Register your domain
Branding starts with domain registration, as many people search through online for businesses, products and other services. Online presence has become a must for all businesses and it is important to lock-in the required domain name for the business, which is synonymous with the brand name. Domain name registration is the first step in brand name protection or brand name registration, as it is both cheap and instant.
Therefore, it is important to first register the domain related to your brand. Most popular domain names ending with .com or .net have already been registered, so a business have to settle for a domain ending with .in or .co.in or other similar extensions. Domain name availability can be searched through Google Domains or GoDaddy.
For start-ups setting up a new business, the branding exercise starts from the selection of business name. Business name is legal name of the entity, reflected on the bank account of the business, tax registration, legal documents, employment contracts, etc., Business name doesn’t have to match the brand name or website of the business. However, it is nice to have a business name that is similar to the domain and brand name. An example of a business name that matches the brand name would be Makemytrip; wherein, the brand name Makemytrip matches the company name – Makemytrip Limited. An example of a business name that doesn’t match the company name would be Health Kart; wherein, the brand name is Health kart and the company name is Aquamarine Healthcare Private Limited.
Once the brand name is decided, the Entrepreneur can use the Ministry of Corporate Affairs Company or LLP Name Check facility to search for available brand names. It is important to remember that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs does not approve any proposed business name that is similar or identical to that of an existing company or LLP or trademark.
Trademark registration is the registration that can afford absolute brand name protection. It can be used to protect the brand name, business name, slogan, logo, design and more. Therefore, businesses that are planning to invest significantly in branding or brand promotion must definitely obtain trademark registration. Application for trademark registration must be filed under one or more of the trademark classes that relate to the goods or services to be sold by the business.
Once a trademark application is filed with the Trademark Registrar, the TM symbol can be placed next to the trademark. Trademark registration is a long process that could take more than 1 year from the date of filing. Therefore, application for trademark registration should be made as soon as possible, and the application must be tracked until the trademark is registered completely. Once the trademark is registered, the R symbol can be placed next to the brand to put others on notice that the brand is a registered trademark. Trademark registration is one of the part of brand registration in India.
Example of trademarks
Coca cola and Pepsi are two trademarks from same beverages industry which distinctly identifies source or origin of the goods as well as an indication of quality.
In India, Trademarks are registered by the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. Trademarks are listed under the Trademark Act, 1999 and provide the mark owner the right to take action on the infringers.
However, any trademark, which is identical or similar to an existing registered trademark or trademark for which application for registration has been made, then it cannot be registered. Also trademark to register that are likely that are similar to cause confusion cannot to be registered.
Who can apply for trademark?
Consequently, Trademark can be applied by any individual, company, proprietor or legal entity claiming to be owner of the trademark. The application for trademark can be filed within one or two days, then you can start using “TM” symbol. The time required for trademark registry to complete all formalities is 18 to 24 months. You can use the R (Registered symbol) next to your trademark once your trademark is registered and the certificate is issued. Once a trademark is registered it is valid for 10 years from the date of filing, which can be renewed time to time.
Documents required for filing Trade Mark Application
- Trademark or logo copy
- Details of the Applicant like name, address and nationality and for company, the state of incorporation is necessary.
- Goods or services to be register
- first use of the trademark date in India
- Power of attorney which is duly signed by the applicant
Steps involved in Trademark registration in India
- Initially, Select and authorize a trademark agent or attorney to guide or represent you.
- The attorney conducts a Trademark search.
- Depending upon the results, the trademark attorney will draft your trademark application. In case, if the trademark is used by someone already, then you may have to change yours.
- The trademark attorney will file your trademark application with the Trademark Office and send you the details along with the receipt.
- After a few days, the trademark attorney will provide you the Original Representation Sheet of your trademark, as it has been filed with the Trademark Office.
It can take anywhere more than 1 to 2 years for the Trademark Office to decide whether or not to grant you the trademark. If there are objections from the trademark office then it may take longer. And your trademark will be published in the Trademark Journal.