Intangible works produced by the human intellect are included in the category of property known as intellectual property. Intellectual property rights are the privileges granted to people over their creative works. Patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets are the four primary categories of intellectual property. Creative works like text, images, computer code, and pictures are protected by copyright. A patent is an exclusive right given for innovation. You may protect your branding using trademarks. Trade secrets are hidden techniques and methods that offer an organization a competitive edge over its rivals. This article will cover trademarks as well as the registration process.
Trademark is a kind of intellectual property. Any institution or business that wants to distinguish its products from rival companies can obtain them. A trademark may consist of a logo, an image, a word or phrase, a color, or even a combination of these elements. Although words and images are the most popular, other distinctive markings may also be utilized if they can be represented graphically. It is also sometimes referred to as the brand name. Any corporate organization, person, or legal entity may hold a trademark.
In 1940, the first official trademark law was enacted. However, the Trade and Merchandise Acts, 1958 was introduced because of its limitations. The TRIPS Agreements, which established the fundamental guidelines for intellectual property rights, were signed by India in 1994. Several changes to India’s trademark rules were made to comply with these fundamental requirements. The most recent Trademark Act of 1999 replaced the Trade and Merchandise Act of 1958.
Section 2 of the Trademark Act of 1999 defines trademarks as “a mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include the shape of goods, their packaging and a combination of colors.”
The Trademark Act of 1999 focuses on trademark registration, protection, and preventing unauthorized use. It also covers the rights of the trademark owner, fines for infringement, compensation for damage, and procedures of trademark transfer. The validity of a registered trademark is ten years and it has to renew after that.
Having a trademark is beneficial. A trademark that has been registered grants its owner the sole right to use it, as well as the ability to sue anyone who seeks to infringe that right by misusing it. A trademark contributes to the credibility and reputation of a brand. Through the trademark, everyone recognizes the quality of your goods and services. Consumers are attracted to the quality of the product by its name and logo. A trademark creates a distinctive brand identity among rivals. A registered trademark creates a right that may be traded, transferred, franchised, or commercially contracted.
The procedure for registering a trademark is not challenging. A person must abide by the rules outlined in Section 18–26 of the Trademark Act of 1999 to apply for a trademark. According to the Section, anyone requesting a trademark must do it in writing and in the way specified for registration. The application must include the name of the mark, the goods and services, the class that the goods and services fall under, the duration of the mark’s use, and the applicant’s personal information, including name and address. A trademark in India typically requires two to three years to register.
A trademark registration application has been submitted to the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry or to the Trademark Registrar Office depending on the territorial jurisdiction both in online and offline mode. The following cities have some of these offices’ branches: Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Delhi, and Chennai.
First, we need to search for existing trademarks that might be confusingly similar to ours. A trademark search enables us to determine whether similar trademarks are in use, offers us a realistic picture of where our trademark stands, and occasionally forewarns us of the risk of trademark litigation. Once we are certain that the brand name or logo we have picked is not already registered with the Trademark Registry of India, we can opt to register it. An official receipt is instantly generated after the application is submitted for future reference. An examiner examines for any errors in a trademark application once it has been submitted.
The examiner may accept the trademark unconditionally, with conditions, or with objections. If it is accepted without conditions, the trademark is published in the Trademark Journal. The requirements must be fulfilled within the prescribed time if not accepted due to some irregularities. The trademark is then published in the Trademark Journal after such a response has been approved.
The trademark registration procedure includes the advertisement process so that anyone who objects to the registration of the trademark has the chance to do so. If there is no opposition three to four months after publication, the trademark is registered. The Registrar conducts a fair hearing and renders a ruling if there is an objection.
A registration certificate with the seal of the Trademark Office is granted once the trademark registration application has been completed and has been published in the Trademark Journal. This certificate must be renewed constantly after every ten years. As a result, you can register your brand name or emblem to enjoy permanent protection.
We now understand how crucial it is to register our business and how to do so to safeguard our organization’s goodwill. Trademarks are the exclusive rights that an individual has in relation to his or her goods and services. Trademark infringement refers to the breach of trademark rights. When a trademark or a mark that is substantially similar to a trademark is used on products or services of a similar nature without authorization, that usage is referred to as trademark infringement.
In that case, the party with trademark rights may file a lawsuit against third parties for trademark infringement.