You need to register a trademark to prevent unauthorized use and protect the interests and reputation of your company. Here’s how you do it.
A trademark is a symbol of a company’s product – it gives consumers an idea of what precisely the product or service is all about and its quality. The last thing any company needs is someone else copying the trademark and profiting from its reputation. It is important to understand how to register a trademark and ensure your company can use it exclusively.
What is a trademark?
The first thing you need to do is understand the concept before you go through the trademark application process. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a trademark is a symbol that distinguishes the goods as well as services of one enterprise from that of the others. A trademark could be a word or a combination of words, letters, and numerals. It could also be drawings, symbols, three-dimensional features such as shapes and packaging of goods, non-visible signs such as sounds or fragrances, or colorshades, as distinguishing features.
How to apply for trademark in India
You can get a trademark registered by applying at the office of the registrar of Trademarks, which is in New Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Chennai. Before applying it is better to do a public search of trademarks on the website of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks to see that your logo has not been registered by someone earlier. The trademark filing process is carried out under Trade the Marks Act, 1999. It is administered by The Trade Marks Registry.
The trademark registration process is as follows:
- Come up with a unique trademark. The commonly known words and combination of words would have been used up. Hence, keep it creative and unique.
- You can make your application at the head office or any branch of the Office of Registrar of Trade Marks. Furnish the following information – logo or trademark, your name and address, classification of the trademark, the trademark used till date, and the description of the goods or service.
- The application is then scrutinized to see if the trademark can distinguish the applicant’s goods or facilities, whether it is prohibited for registration under any law, or if it will cause confusion because of earlier identical marks.
- If accepted, the trademark is published in the Trade Marks Journal, an official gazette of the Trade Marks Registry.
- If anyone opposes the trademark registration, they can file an objection within four months. A copy of the opposition’s notice is served to the applicant, who is required to register a counter-statement in two months, failing which the application gets abandoned.
- How do you register a trademark – file it manually or online? If you’re doing it manually, you will have to visit the offices in the cities mentioned above. E-filing is a quicker way of doing it.
- If no objection is raised, you can get your registered trademark three-four months from the date it is published.
Now that you are familiar with trademarks and know how to register your trademark, you can use this information to help further your entrepreneurial goals. A good trademark is the first step and crucial in making a mark in the market. It is an essential condition, but not a sufficient one. To succeed, you need a unique product or service that caters to consumer needs at the right time and the right place.