Trademark A Trademark consists of brand name / slogan or logo. It identifies with the services or goods of one person and distinguishes it from that of another. Brand name can be word / combination of words. Slogan is short phrase or sentence and logo is distinctive picture or symbol. It provides a distinctive identity in the market place. With a registered trade mark, nobody else can use this trade mark or one that is confusingly similar. If this happens, legal actions may result. Trade Mark is prerequisite to brand building and the journey from Trademark to brand and brand equity is tedious. It needs proper blending of resources, mere advertisement does not help. A trade mark not appropriately protected may give rise to legal conflicts and may also restrict a corporate from using the respective mark that signifies its very existence. Object of trademark: Is to deal with the precise nature of the rights which a person can acquire in respect of Trademark. The mode of acquisition of these rights, the method of transfer of those rights to others, the precise nature of infringement of such rights, and the remedies available in respect thereof. Functions of trademark:
It identifies the product of its origin
It guaranties its unchanged quality
It advertises the products and
It creates an image for products.
What is a good trademark?:
It should be easy to pronounce and remember in case of word mark
In case of a device mark - should be capable of being described by a single word
It was be easy to spell correctly and write legibly
It should not be descriptive
Tips on trademark management: A trademark is similar to a human being, because the life of a trademark may be correlated to the life of a human being. Everyone is named immediately after birth in this earth and on the same line every product is to be identified with a trademark. Hence there is need to nurture trademarks.Trademark is a major asset of any company.
Trademark Management in an enterprise comprises two aspects:
Trademark Policy: It is a marketing function. Normally the marketing personnel of an organization will take care of this trademark policy letter known as Brand Management.
Filing: In India, the usual time taken by the Trademarks Registry from filing to registration is between 18-24 months for a normal mode application. The Indian Trade Mark Office examines all applications with respect to the following – (a) Filing requirements (b) Absolute grounds for refusal or (c) Relative grounds over the earlier identical or confusingly similar trademark’s applications / registrations for the goods or services concerned within 10-12 months. If it is found to be registrable, the examiner will accept the same and forward it for advertisement in the Journal. In case of objections, the examiner issues an examination report and the applicant has to prepare and file a response in 30 days. If the Registrar decides that it is again against the registration of the mark, the Trademark Registry fixes a date of personal hearing. The Applicant is then required to represent his case before the Registrar and satisfy the Registrar regarding acceptability of the proposed mark for registration. If in the affirmative then in that case it will be published for the opposition of third parties for 4 months in Official Trademark Journal. Application will be registered within 2-3 months after expiry of period of filing notice of opposition, provided that no opposition is received. Opposition: Any interested party may oppose a trademark application during the four months period of its publication. In case there is an opposition to the proposed mark, the Registrar gives notice of such opposition to the Applicant. On the receipt of notice, applicant is required to submit to registrar, a counter statement of the grounds in support of his application. Before announcing his decision, the registrar will call both the parties for hearing and listen to their arguments. Filing Requirements:
Full name, Address, Nationality of the Applicant
Description of the Trade/Service Mark
In case the mark is stylized/logo, graphical representation of the mark
A Power of Attorney signed by applicant or any authorized person of the applicant, in original. The same can be submitted subsequent to Filing as well
Goods or Services to be covered under the mark
If the mark has been in use, the exact date since when the mark has been in use.
Renewal: Registration of Trademark under Indian Trade Marks Act 1999 is valid for a period of ten years but can be renewed from time to time. A application for renewal can be filed not more than six (6) months before the expiration of the last registration of the Trademark. If in case of the application for renewal is not filed after receiving notice from the registrar on this behalf, the mark may be removed from the register. Subject to the discretion of the registrar, the mark may be renewed within one (1) year from the expiration of last registration.
Services we provide:
We provide following services in trademark search, registration, infringement & litigation
Filing and prosecuting Trade Mark and Service Mark applications at the Indian Trademarks Registry
Filing and prosecuting Trade Mark and Service Mark applications internationally with the cooperation of our foreign associates or under the Madrid Protocol
Infringement and validity opinion
Litigation: Opposition, Revocation, Rectification, Appeals, Criminal and Civil Suits for infringement and passing off, anti-counterfeit action
Trademark is very critical to ones business. It has reputation and goodwill related to it. It is your identity in the business world. Though the trademark can be chosen as per the will of the person but the chosen mark should not be identical to someone else’s trademark. Even if one chooses a trademark without attracting any legal issues from other owner’s of trademark still it requires years of bonafide business practices to develop a valuable trademark. It requires investment of time and money to make a trademark known to public and to make it acquire goodwill and reputation.
A trademark can be registered or unregistered. However, the safest business practice is to get the mark registered. It gives the owner much greater protection. If you have a unique brand, logo or slogan which identifies your business no-one else should be able to copy it. The purpose of trade mark protection is to stop other businesses imitating you and confusing purchasers, who may go to the competitor, by mistake because its trademark resembles your trademark.
The specific issues related to trademark are:
To acquire a valid registered trademark which would take into account other existing trademarks and thereby obviate the chances of any future liability or litigation.
To stop the use of trademarks, some or similar to your trademark, by others, so that you do not lose your business to the person who imitates your trademark.
To maintain trademark portfolios for facilitating your business requirements and any future transactions relating to your trademark.
Agnihotri & Jha Associates® provides solutions to every issue concerning- procurement of registration for a trademark, trademark maintenance, stopping unauthorized use of trademark, transactions relating to property in trademark, advising on any other related issue.
WHAT IS TRADEMARK?
Trademark is a type of protection which is available for certain names, symbols, devices, or words that will be used in connection with a good or service. Technically, if a certain mark is associated with a service, it is called a "service mark," but trademark is commonly used to refer to both marks associated with services and goods. The purpose behind trademarks is to allow companies and individuals to indicate the source of their goods or services and to distinguish them from others in the industry. Simply, a trademark can be a symbol, word or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product or any business. Examples of famous trademarks are McDonald’s, KFC and Revlon.
WHAT CAN BE REGISTERED AS A TRADEMARK?
Generally, the following can be registered as trademarks.
Invented words - one or more
A word, or combination of words, a logo, device, symbol, phrase, design, or a combination of any of these which do not directly allude to the character or quality of the goods or services
Words without geographical significance and words which don’t connote a personal name, surname or common abbreviation
A trademark which has acquired distinctiveness through use over a fairly long period of time
WHAT ARE TRADEMARK CLASSES?
The Indian trademark classification system divides all goods and services into 45 trademark classes – 1 to 34 for goods and 11 for services. There are many goods or services that fall into each class, and they’re not always obvious from the class name. For example, class 25 (clothing) includes aprons, dresses, t-shirts, socks and shoes. Class 29 (meat, fish, poultry) includes meat and milk, but also jam and potato chips, while class 30 (coffee, flour, rice) includes popcorn, spices, ice cream and cereal in addition to coffee. Goods and services are never lumped together in the same class. So if you sell bags of coffee to grocery stores, you’re selling a product that’s in class 30. But if you operate a café, you’re providing a service that belongs in class 43 (food services). Depending on your business (if you sell roasted beans at your coffee shop, for example), you may need to register in both classes.
how TO FIND TM class?
According to the trademark registry the trademark classification is done by the 10th addition of NICE classification of goods & services, the said classification can be viewed AT NICE CLASSIFICATION OF TRADEMARK