Taking your business to the top and building up your own brand is not something that can be achieved in the blink of an eye. The whole process of going from scratch to hatch is a time taking process. It requires a lot of effort, time and huge amounts of capital. And if you want your brand to achieve the heights that you long for in the market you should be able to use one hell of a tagline for it, and you should have proper and complete rights on the brand logo, product packaging and product shaping, the sound and colour combinations of your product and all the other characteristics of your products. The best way to keep your product distinct, unique and one of a kind, you need to avail the facility of Trademark Registration. A Trademark is a kind of intangible property which is a creation of your own creativity which is the differentiating factor for your product or service. Simply put, it is a kind of intellectual property that creates a striking difference between your services and the services provided by your competitors in the market.
In India, the act that allows you to have a trademark is the Trademark Act, 1999. This act permits you to issue a trademark registration for your brand. It avails you with absolute and unparalleled ownership rights and forbids any other person from using your owned characteristics.
Once you have made a trademark registration, a symbol will be used with your brand. The symbol is represented by ‘TM’. In order to ensure the protection of your brand name, trademark registration in India is the best way. The process to perform a trademark registration is quite hectic and needs continuous government follow-ups, therefore seeking help from professionals is in the best interests of the applicant. The supervision of a professional will make sure that the trademark registration process goes on smoothly.
Who can apply for Trademark Registration?
In order to safeguard unique brand names, brand slogans or specific invented terms, Trademark Registration is in frequent use nowadays. Individual business owners, various business corporations and various non-profit organizations can easily file for a trademark registration in India. But, different organizations have different sets of requirements while filing for a trademark registration. The listed entities can apply for a trademark registration:
- A Single Individual: Any individual who is either doing a business or not can file for trademark registration for any sort of symbol or word that he wishes to use in the future.
- People who are joint owners: In order to perform a trademark registration, the joint owners need to mention both their names in the trademark application.
- A Proprietorship Firm: A trademark registration can be filed by a proprietorship firm under the name of its proprietor. However, the name of the proprietorship or the name of the business can not be used to file the trademark registration but you can separately enter those details in the application.
- A Partnership Company/Firm: A partnership firm can also file for trademark registration but the names of all the partners must be listed in the application form and the maximum number of partners are 10. In case of a minor partner, the name of the guardian of that minor partner must be mentioned in the application for trademark registration.
- An LLP: A Limited Liable Partnership or an LLP can also do a trademark registration however, the application needs to be under the name of the LLP. An LLP is an assimilation of partners and each partner has its own identity. Also, only the LLP has access to the trademark and none of the partners can be an applicant.
- A Company Based in India: Any company or firm established in India either private limited or limited or some other form, needs to file a trademark registration in the name of the company. And, since every incorporated body is assumed to have an identity of its own, the director of the company is not permitted to be an applicant for the trademark.
- A Foreign-Based Company: In case of a company or organization that is based in foreign, a trademark registration can be filed under the name of the corporation with which it has a registration in its own country. Also, the country, the law and the type of registration should also be provided in the trademark application.
- A Trust: In order to file a trademark registration for a trust, either the name of the chairman or the managing trustee or the secretary of that trust needs to be mentioned in the trademark application.
What are required documents for Trademark Registration?
- A Certificate of Incorporation(in case of an LLP or a company)
- A Deed of Partnership(in case of a partnership firm)
- A PAN Card(Of any Authorized Signing Authority)
- An Aadhaar Card(Of any Authorized Signatory)
- A signed Form ™-48(This is a legal document which gives your lawyer the right to submit your trademark on your behalf)
- A Logo for the Brand(The logo should not be uploaded in black and white in order to make sure that the registration covers all the colors of the trademark)
Different Trademark Registrations In India
There are a multitude of trademark registrations that can be made like service marks, sound marks, certification marks, shape marks, pattern marks and more. In Spite of the presence of so many marks, the main goal remains the same i.e. to provide uniqueness to your brand or service and make it easy for the consumers to differentiate your product from others. The various types of Trademark Registrations are listed below:
- A Product Mark: A product mark is a trademark that is applied to any product availed by your brand. A product mark is generally used to identify the origin of the product and the preservation of the reputation of the company. The product marks are filed under the trademark 1-34.
- A Service Mark: This mark is quite similar to a product mark except for the fact that it is helpful in identifying a service instead of a product. The distinct feature of a service mark is that it helps in differentiating a proprietor from an owner of similar services. These service marks are filed under the trademark 35-45.
- A Collective Mark: A collective mark is used to identify the services and products that are used in order to represent a group. This mark can also be used by a group in order to ensure the protection of goods on a collective basis. The collective mark holder can either be a public association or an organization or a corporation listed under Section 8.
- A Certification Mark: This mark is used by a proprietor in order to specify the origin of the product, the substances used, the quality of the product and any other specified date. The purpose of issuing a certification trademark is to ensure a proper standard for a product and to assure the consumers that the product has been subjected to various standardized tests in order to provide them with the best quality product. These can be seen on various toys, electronics and packaged goods.
- A Shape Mark: If you want to specify a shape to your product then you can register it using the Shape mark. This trademark registration allows consumers to be able to identify your product with a distinctive shape and helps them in buying it.
- A Pattern Mark: Patterns are definitely mesmerising and leave a distinct impact on anyone. In order to secure a distinctive and creative pattern for your product you can use pattern mark for the trademark registration. A pattern that stands out helps the consumers to distinguish your product easily from others.
- A Sound Mark: In case you want to link some specific sound to your brand or product, then you can easily utilize a Sound Mark. Sound logos can also be registered under this trademark registration and these can be used in the starting and ending of commercials as well.