A trademark can be defined as the unique identity that makes your company, product, or service stand out from the rest. A registered trademark is your business’s intellectual property/ intangible asset. It protects the investment made into creating trust and loyalty among your customers.
The registration provides the right to sue against others who try to copy your trademark and prevents others from using a similar trademark to the one registered by you.
Initially, you have to provide us with the following details:
With Comfunda you can register your trademark and protect your brand in 3 simple steps
Many aspects of your brand image can be registered as a trademark. The aspect you need to consider is which aspect of your brand stands out to your customers. Pick that aspect(s) for registering.
a. Product Name: You can register a particular product’s name as a trademark. Apple’s iPod is a product name trademark.
b. Business Name: Registering a company name as a trademark is the most common route businesses take. Ex: Bajaj.
c. Person’s Name/Surname: If your name plays an important part in generating revenue, then you can even trademark your name! Ex: Shah Rukh Khan has trademarked his name.
d. Abbreviations: Abbreviations of a company or brand name can also be a trademark. Ex: BMW.
It is highly recommended to trademark a logo because it visually represents your brand. Your customers can recollect a logo faster than a name. A great example of a logo trademark is the ‘swoosh’ of Nike.
If you have a tagline for your brand, you can go ahead and trademark that as well. A tagline tells your customers what you stand for as a business. For example, KFC’s ‘It’s finger lickin’ good’.
a. Colour Mark: You can trademark a colour or a combination of colours. (Ex: Cadbury has trademarked the colour royal blue)
b. Sound Mark: Musical notes or sounds can be trademarked if we can prove that it’s distinctive. Nokia has trademarked its tune.
c. Scent Mark: Even scents can be trademarked.
Trademark registration is important and necessary for a business because:
There are 45 trademark classes and all the goods and services are categorised across these classes. You need to be very careful while picking the classes as it will determine the validity of your trademark for your business’ products/services. If your business operates across different goods/services that fall under different classes, you have to ensure that you apply for the trademark under all the applicable classes.
In some cases, the trademark examiner might see certain problems or issues with the registration of your trademark. These issues can be either the filing of an incorrect trademark form, incorrect name/details, the usage of deceptive or offensive terms, insufficient information on goods or services, or the existence of an identical or deceptively similar mark.
When an objection is raised, the status on the register will show as ‘Objected’, following which an expertly drafted response will need to be filed after an analysis of the objection itself and with any supporting documents and proofs. Objection response is your opportunity to strengthen the claim over your mark and create urgency.
If the response is accepted, the application will be processed further for registration and advertisement in the Trademark Journal. If it is not accepted, or if there are additional clarifications sought by the examiner, there could be a trademark hearing scheduled and this will be communicated to you by a notice.
The process typically takes 2-4 months from when the objection is first raised. Once completed, the chances for approval, while not guaranteed, are much higher.
On the other hand, A trademark opposition is a legal proceeding in which one party attempts to put a stop to a trademark application from being granted. A trademark opposition is filed by third parties who feel your trademark could in some way impact them or their own trademark, in writing, in the form of a notice, with the trademark examiner. If the examiner sees any merit to the opposition, they are to forward the notice to the applicant, who is required to send in a counter statement to the Registrar within 2 months.
If the Registrar feels the counter statement addresses the opposition substantially, they may dismiss the opposition. Alternatively, if the registrar feels there is more to be weighed, they may call for a hearing with both parties appearing before them and presenting their cases. After the hearing, the Registrar will rule on the validity of either the application or the opposition. This ruling can be appealed before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board within 3 months of it being made public.
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