What is meant by trademark?
Today’s expediting world is highly influenced by ‘Brand value’ and the goodwill of a ‘Brand’. ‘Trademark’ is the paramount mode of creating such ‘brand values’ in any market. As the Trade Marks Act, 1999 defines, a mark includes a device, brand, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter, numeral, shape of goods, packaging or combination of colours or any combination thereof. A trademark is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from that of another and it is an excellent tool to protect one’s business in a competitive market and aids in maintaining the good will of a business. A trademark, legally, is a type of intellectual property, which once registered gives the consumer the absolute benefit of source identification thereby generating the advantage of better visibility of goods or services in the market for the trademark owner.
Why register your trademark?
In India, there are a lot of ‘mock’ brands imitating a brand which provides better goods or services compared to the former. In majority of such cases, the non-registration of trademark, primarily due to lack of knowledge or even ignorance, becomes the anti-hero whereby the original brand has to fight long legal battles against such ‘mock’ brands to proliferate their business in the market. As already mentioned, the key to registering a trademark is ‘source identification’, be it in a domestic or an international market. Once you register your trademark the fight against mock brands becomes easier since the identification of source of the original trademark becomes easier.
A registered trademark is also an asset for a business. It is an intangible asset. It can be traded like other assets. It can be sold, purchased and can be used as a security for a loan as well as for commercial contracts and franchising, just like other tangible assets.
Trademark registration is an even better tool when a product or service is launched internationally. When a brand already has a trademark registration in India, it is a strong paradigm for the brand’s recognition in the international market.
Trademark registration process:
Though the number of trademark registrations are increasing, people are less aware of the relevance of the same, be it ‘branding’, goodwill creation, economic benefits or legal protection. Trademark registration is not as tedious as anyone thinks if it’s done through a trademark attorney, preferably one with legal practise and expertise in the same. Once a ‘distinctive’ trademark is finalised capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from that of others especially those that of the same or similar class of goods or services, the rest of the registration procedures can formally be done by a trademark attorney with expertise in the same. Even today many business owners are either unaware or hesitant to register their trademark thinking it is an unnecessary process. But there is no other simple and better process available to protect your rights over your trademark.
So, have you registered your trademark?