Trademark Registration in India – The Leverages a Business Gains From It

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A sign that helps differentiate a product of one producer from another or one company from its competitors is called a trademark. By attaching an indication to a product or service, an enterprise can build an image in the minds of customers that last for a long time. A perfect trademark example is the red coloured thumb which is always connected to the cold-drink Thums-Up.

In India, a business can trademark:

  1. Word
  2. Name
  3. Logo
  4. Numerals
  5. Slogan
  6. Device

Once any of these receives a trademark registration, only the owner has exclusive rights to use it. In simpler words, the enterprise alone can use the trademarked word, slogan, logo, etc. For example, only Apple Inc. has the right to put the partly eaten apple symbol on its products.

Why Get a Trademark Registration?

Besides distinguishing a product from others, a trademark is an intangible asset for a trade. It protects not only the owner of the good but also the brand. Some other reasons to get trademark registration online are:

  1. It ensures that every consumer easily recognises the product through the logo or name.
  2. It offers a legal safeguard against duplicitous products and counterfeit services.
  3. It builds a sense of trust in customers which in turn leads to repeat and loyal buyers achieving the end goal of profitability for any business.
  4. It can be sold, franchised or transferred at any point of time which makes it an asset to the firm.

A Gist of Registering a Trademark in India

The law in India for trademark registration is called Trademark Act of 1999. When an enterprise applies for a trademark, they must select from 45 different classes. These are categories of products and services that are defined by the nature of the business. Once a trademark is registered it is entered in a registry which maintains all TM of a particular class. This is done to keep a record of all logos, symbols, words, etc. trademarked.

A trademark is valid for ten years. The registration can be renewed for another decade, as long as an application is submitted within a postulated time frame.

Advantages of Trademark Registration

  • An intangible property

For a trade, any property has value. A registered trademark is considered by law a property that is identifiable and intangible. It signifies that the trademark has a value to it because it is the symbol of the reputation the product or service has. Furthermore, a trademark registration works similar to other assets of a company. It can be sold or transferred at any point in time.

A common trademark, on the other hand, cannot be separated from the business, i.e., an unregistered TM is always attached to the enterprise. If another company wants to acquire the goodwill that comes with a common trademark, they have to purchase the entire trade and not just the mark.

  • The exclusive right

A registered trademark can only be utilised by the owner of the mark and product or service they cater to. If someone else other than the proprietor makes unauthorised use of it, they face legal charges. The authoritative legal remedies that come with TM registration is the most significant benefit of it. Some of the actions that can be taken are:

  1. Suing for infringement
  2. Interdiction
  3. Delivery of infringed articles
  4. Payment for damages
  • A major deterrent

The presence of a registered trademark deters other business owners from using the same or similar mark on their products or services. It guarantees that a good maintains its goodwill.

  • A security pledge

If an enterprise wishes to secure a loan, it can utilise the registered trademark in a manner comparable to immovable property. In other words, a trademark can be pledged as security to gain a bank loan.

  • Right to licensing and others

Only a registered trademark has the right to:

  1. Use the symbols┬« or “R” on an item or service.
  2. License the mark. The same is recorded on the trademark registry. It gives the licensee the legal right to initiate any proceedings in case there is an infringement.
  3. Be transferred to another entity, person or business.
  4. Obtain registration is a few foreign territories. This allows the brand protection at a global level while it is expanding its operations.
  • As evidence in proceedings

The act of registering a trademark is taken as evidence of the validity of the registrations and the rights that come with it. In a circumstance that required legal action related to the trademark, the certification proves a person as the proprietor of the trademark. The original registration record is taken as proof until it is proven otherwise.

  • A right to action

Under the Counterfeit Goods Act 1997, the owner of an intellectual property, which in this case would be a trademarked item or service, has the option to take criminal or civil action against a business or individual who was involved in counterfeiting. The CGA also affords the same right to any person who has an interest in the goods that were counterfeited.

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