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What is Trademark?

A trademark is a graphic form of a visual symbol which represents a business brand and distinguishes the identity with other traders. It may be in the form of a logo, signature, name, label, word, letters, numerals, shapes etc. Trademark symbolise the identity of the business so company decides it after making research to make the trademark unique and attractive. Being an intangible asset or intellectual property, it is used to differ products or services from other similar products or services generated by a separate organisation.

Though trademark is not compulsory by the law or government, Yet It symbolises the brand, identity & Quality of a firm.

When can a Trademark not be registered?

Trademark supposed to be an asset of a company. So a trademark similar or copied from other organization will not be registered. so it should not be similar or copied from other companies. Apart from this, a trademark which is illusory, offensive, identical, containing prohibited elements etc. Can not be registered by the Law.

Why to register a Trademark?

Being an important asset, it needs to be registered to restrict the other business owners to use your own business identity. It protects the company rights or Investments which it had invested in a Brand or Logo. An example can be highlighted with the help of giant companies like siemens, Apple, Pepsi and Coca-Cola belonging to same industry yet signifying separate brand. Likewise, we can find numerous examples of live companies bearing trademark as a brand like LG, Godrej etc. Trademark, as a business identity, distinguish a company with other companies a brand. Once registered, company get recognition by trademark, along with the business name. Trademark serves a badge, brand, quality, loyalty, goodwill statement,

How to register a Trademark?

Registering a trademark does not consist complicated procedures, just to follow the simple procedures. Trademarks are registered under the trademark act, 1999 by the controller general of patents design and trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India to sue the other traders in case of infringements of company trademarks.

Who can apply for registration of Trademark?

Any individual, proprietor, company, partnership firm, a legal entity can apply for the registration of the trademark and can use symbol ‘TM’ till the registration is approved. Once trademark gets registered, the company may start using ® after getting certification. The whole process may take up to 2 year or 18-24 months. Registered trademark is valid for 10 years which needs to be renewed later.

A trademark is a guarantee of service, products, quality, and advertisement. So should be taken care of misusing the same. Trademark should not be similar to others

Documents required filing an application to register a Trademark?
To file a trademark application, one need to attach the following documents:-
Trademark or logo copy,
Applicant details – Name, address proof, Nationality proof
Company details,
Products or services which are to be registered
A signed copy of the Power of attorney on a 100Rs. Stamp Paper
First date of using the trademark before getting or applying for registration

The company may perform the work on its own or through legal representative owned by the company. It may also delegate the work to some experienced consulting firm having expertise in Registration work.

The process of Trademark and its Registration?

As we mentioned, Trademark is the visual form which is usually taken as Logo of a Company. A logo is designed through a Graphic Designer or any Photoshop maker but one should follow the strict guidelines before designing a logo. A company must carry a research through trademark agent to verify the similarity of the trademark. These agents check the trademark office to ensure the credibility of the trademark or never registered by some other company. This verification can be done through any mode I.e., online verification & offline verification. One may adopt both the procedures to double ensure the accuracy and uniqueness.

Once trademark verified through trusted resources, Company may work further. In the case of duplicity, it needs to get it re-design again and will have to conduct the same research again till exclusive trademark found. Once uniqueness achieved, Company or representative must require drafting an application along with the requisite documents. After filing an application, the company may use ‘™’ till the approval received.

Once the application reached to Trademark office, they will check the data to avoid duplicacy. In the case of duplicate application, last application can be rejected. Otherwise, the mentioned trademark will be published in Trademarks Journal for 4 months to check any voice raised against the said trademark. If anyone creates objection, Trademark will be in issue for hearings till the issue get resolved. Once all the clarifications received from legal sides, Trademark can be sent for registration and will be approved within 6 months. Application status can be checked or reviewed online through application number assigned to the trademark owner.

Trademark being an intellectual property and intangible asset holds an important place in business for at least 10 years which is to be renewed after 10 years. A company may renew the same trademark or can apply for the new trademark while following the same process mentioned above.

Trademark registering firms usually have their qualified staff who adhere the whole process responsibilities on behalf of the company with a certain amount of consulting fee or charges. Hearing charges, reply charges (in a case of opposition filed), may be separate apart from the Trademark registration charges. Opt for the experienced legal representative or trademark consulting firm to handle the whole registration process till approval.

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