When an outsider looks for startup business, the first thing they notice is the trademark. A trademark is the identity of a business lies. It is the name and symbol under which a business undertakes its trade and commerce, which represents the company.
In India, trademarks are regulated by the Trade Marks Act of 1999. The Act aims to provide registration and better protection towards trademarks while preventing the use of fraudulent marks.
How to Choose a “Good” Trademark?
- The mark(s) should be easy to remember.
- It should be short and easy to spell and write.
- It may be aesthetically appealing.
- It should not ideally be descriptive in its nature.
- It can be fanciful and coined, to avoid confusion.
“APPLE/ASUS/DELL/HP/LENOVO” for computers are an example of a non-descriptive and arbitrary mark, which makes for good trademarks.
“KODAK” for cameras is a coined term; that also makes a good trademark.
“MICROSOFT” for software, “LAKME/AMWAY/AVON” for makeup, are all good examples.
How to Apply For a Trademark?
- Conduct a trademark search that will let you know if there are similar trademarks that are already registered.
- Apply for a trademark registration. You can do this by yourself through the Government website, or get a lawyer to do it for you. The procedure of application is laid down in the Trade Marks Act, 1999.
- An application number is allotted for every pending registration, which can be tracked on the website.
- If the application is accepted, it will be published in the Trademark Journal. If there are no oppositions, your trademark will be registered to you. However, if there are oppositions, there will be a hearing in the Trademark Hearing Office to decide on the final registration of the mark.
Benefits of Registering Your Trademark
- A registered trademark identifies and advertises the good/service.
- It protects the commercial goodwill of the trader/owner of the trademark.
- It protects consumers from buying forged or inferior goods.
- In the case of an infringement of a registered trademark, the owner has the option of civil and criminal remedies. In the case of an unregistered trademark, the only remedy available to the owner is the option of filing a suit of passing off.
In India, it is not compulsory to register a trademark. However, there are certain obvious benefits of registration of the same. The benefits are enumerated as above:
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