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
- Trademark Protection
It is a marketing function. Normally the marketing personnel of an organization will take care of this trademark policy letter known as Brand Management.
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 –
- Filing requirements
- Absolute grounds for refusal or
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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
- Appellate Board proceedings
- Trademark searches locally and internationally
- Clearance of title
- Domain Name Search
- Brand selection advice
- Journal watch services
- Post-registration service
- Trademark Portfolio Management
- Assignment, Licensing and Franchising
- International Trademark Filing (Madrid Protocol Filing)