Trademarks are defined as the objects which represent a distinctive identity of the business. These can be words or three-dimensional objects or logos or anything which is unique about the business. The basic idea of trademarks is to protect the brand identity from infringement. There are various types of trademarks which can be registered.
Words: Trademarks for words involve the registration of a word or a couple of words or a combination of words and numbers for the business.
Figures: Figurative trademarks make the logos for the business. There can be figures and words designed in unique styles, colors, and fonts.
Textile: Textiles are also registered as trademarks for the production of the design as an original product of the company.
3D objects: If an item is created in an exclusive design, then the company has the right to register a trademark for the object and protect its design.
Sound: Any jingle or soundtracks produced by a brand can be protected through trademark registration.
The process of trademark registration in India is lengthy but simple to follow. It involves conducting the trademark search as its foremost step. It is mandatory to ensure that a similar trademark does not already exist. It is also helpful for getting aware of the kinds of trademarks that exist in the business world. Secondly, the trademark application form is filed by the business lawyer of the company. The application requires 2 to 4 days for drafting. The lawyer does a check for the trademark’s uniqueness and checks for any mistakes. This form is then submitted to the trademark office where the registrar has the right to accept to decline the trademark.
If it gets accepted, then it will be published as an advertisement in the trademark journal. The government waits for 4 months for any objections regarding the mark. If there are none, then the registration process is commenced. This is a long process and involves a wait time of around 18 to 24 months for the registration.
There are a few do’s and don’ts to be followed while registering your business trademark in India.
List of Do’s
1. Run a trademark search
The very important step is to conduct a clearance search for the chosen trademark. This will help you in avoiding any unintentional lawsuit for infringement. It will also help you to recognize the kinds of trademarks that already exist. You can get the inspiration for creating an attractive trademark with this search.
2. Choose smartly
It is essential for the trademark to be inventive and attractive. Since the trademark is the representation of your business, therefore it should be able to catch the attention of people and draw them towards your brand. You should choose the trademark as wisely as possible. Too cliché choices are sure to bore the public and generic names and surnames are not recommended at all. Something unconventional is required for the brand trademark
3. Register at the earliest
The business world witnesses a multitude of startups every month and it is advisable to get your trademark registered as early as possible to provide the coveted protection. Unregistered trademarks do not have the right to file cases of infringement. Therefore, to avoid any infringement mishap, it is recommended to register at the earliest.
4. Ensure maintenance
The registered trademarks should be maintained with the thought of future expansion of the business. The business’s growth would require more trademarks and therefore, there should be a maintained record of all the registered trademarks for the proper renewal process.
List of Don’ts
1. No nouns
A wordmark should always be an adjective for the business. A noun should never be used as a trademark. An adjective can be followed by a noun word for making a trademark. For example, photography cannot make up a trademark whereas Kalon Photography can be registered as a trademark.
2. Avoid pluralizing
Trademarks should not be registered in the plural forms. A cycle brand, for instance, can be named Tiger Cycle as a registered trademark. But Tigers Cycle would be deemed as a wrong trademark.
3. Right Class
There are 48 categories of goods and services offered by the Trademark Registration Office in India. It is compulsory to choose the right class of goods and services which your business provides or else your trademark will not be registered. Do not choose the wrong category for the business.
Trademarks are very crucial objects in the business world. Apart from representing the business in the public, they also provide protection from infringement and copying. These trademarks must be chosen smartly as well as cautiously for getting registered in the first attempt.
About the Author
Lokesh Sharma is working as Marketing Manager at QuickCompany.in, a leading website for Trademark Registration in India.