What is a Trademark?
A trademark is any unique expression related to a product or service that distinguishes it from others. A trademark can be a visual symbol, which may be a word, a name, a device, label or numerals used by a business to distinguish it from other goods of different business.
It is your silent salesman, your legal umbrella, your asset to flaunt. Owners of trademarks have exclusive rights to use trademark under the categories they are registered in (there is a total of 45 categories, called classes). Only Trademarks that are registered under the Trademark Act, 1999 provides the trademark owner right to sue for damages when infringements of trademarks occur.
What can be Trademarked?
1. Name: A name including personal or surname of the applicant or predecessor in business or the signature of the person e.g, the name John Alex can be trademarked
2. Word: A word which is not being directly descriptive of the character or quality of the goods / service. For example Google is a word which has been trademarked
3. Numbers: Alphanumeric or Letters or numerals or any combination thereof. For example 555 brand
4. Image: Image, symbol, monograms, 3-dimensional shapes, letters etc. For example the tick in Nike logo
5. Sound: Sound marks in audio format. For ex the sound in the ad jingle
Who can apply for Trademark?
Any person or business claiming to be owner can apply for a trademark including:
It is preferable that you apply for the trademark as an individual. In a case of a proprietor or company, if you close or change the name of the business, your trademark will become invalid. However, in a case of individual, this problem won’t arise.
Advantage of Trademark Registrations
You become the legal owner of the registered trademark and no another person has the right to use your registered trademark without your prior permission. No action can be taken against a 2nd party if the trademark is not registered with the government. The registered trademark holder can take some legal action against anyone who tries to copy the trademark with any prior permission.
One of the best qualities of trademark registration is that it helps you to establish a unique identity of your company. And no other competitor can apply or use your trademark for similar goods or services.
Creation of Asset
Registered trademark can act as an asset as the owner of the trademark can easily sell, franchise or allow it on the contract basis to another party. It creates a kind of intellectual property for the same.
Trust or Goodwill
As registered trademark brings the uniqueness to your product, it can easily create a sense of trust, goodwill and quality in the minds of your customer.
Popularize your brand
Registered trademark is easily searchable as it is available in government trademark database. It also helps you to get popular among people which are a great sign for your company.