If you have started business and have stared getting market for your product then you will want to know what is Trademark and Why to and How to apply for it. Before investing in advertising and running big campaigns it is recommended to file your trademark / servicemark in India. You are protected the moment you submit your application for trademark protection.
What is Trademark
A trademark, is a recognizable sign, design or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity trademarks are also being displayed on company buildings.
Trademarks are used to safeguard business interest and to give a brand identity of Goods and services in the market place.
A Trademark (TM) in India includes:
- Word or letter
- Visual symbol which may be a word signature,
- Label, ticket, name, signature
- Three dimensional shapes
- Numeral, shape of goods, packaging or
- Combination of colors
- Sound mark
- Brand Name – Apple
- Logo – Apple bitten
- Slogan – “Think Different”
- You will have to apply separately for name,logo and slogan.
Why to Apply for Trademark
- To create a brand identity for your organization
- To protect your logo from being misused by anyone
- To protect your tagline from being misused by anyone
- To protect your brand / logo from being copied in any form by anyone
- To protect your tagline from being copied in any form by anyone
- It guarantees its unchanged quality
- It advertises the goods/services
- It creates an image for the goods/ services.
- It stimulates further purchase.
- It serves as a badge of loyalty and affiliation.
- It may enable consumer to make a life style or fashion statement.
Types of Trademark
- Name – including personal or surname of the applicant or predecessor in business or the signature of the person, which is not unusual for trade to adopt as a mark.
- Word – An invented word or any arbitrary dictionary word or words, not being directly descriptive of the character or quality of the goods/service. Don’t use Best, perfect, excellent etc.
- Letters or numerals or any combination thereof.
- Devices – including fancy devices or symbols
- Monograms – A graphic symbol consisting of 2 or more letters combined
- Colors – Combination of colors or even a single color in combination with a word or device
- Shape of goods or their packaging
- Marks constituting a 3- dimensional sign.
- Sound marks when represented in conventional notation or described in words by being graphically represented.
- Your website domain name
How to Apply for Trademark
- Finalize whatever that is you want to file trademark for
- Do a search on government site if somebody is already using the same or similar sign. This service costs you Rs. 500 and you can conduct the search yourself by registering on the site and making the payment online (use Java script enable IE browser for best results). Link for conducting search is here http://188.8.131.52/tmrpublicsearch/frmmain.aspx , Guidelines for searching
- For filing new applications there are prescribed forms depending on the nature of application such as Form TM-1, TM-2, TM-3, TM-8, TM-51 etc.
- Rules of filing Trademark here http://ipindia.nic.in/tmr_new/tmr_act_rules/tmr_rules_2002.pdf
- FAQ’s http://ipindia.nic.in/tmr_new/default.htm
- Trademark Act 1999 http://ipindia.nic.in/tmr_new/tmr_act_rules/TMRAct_New.pdf
More About Trademarks
- They are valid for 10 years in India and can be renewed after that within one year of expiration.
- Submitting a copy of your logo in black / white will protect your trademark in all different color variations.
- You can use the ® sign next to your brand only after you get Trademark registration certificate. Until you get approval you can use “TM” or “SM”– to show that you can claimed the rights for the same.
- Indian Trademark registration is not valid outside India
- Trademarks can be altered/modified with application to Registrar
- Trademarks can be removed with the application to Registrar