This blog addresses questions related to trademark, its types and benefit and states the trademark registration fees along with the registration form.
Table of Contents
What is a trademark?
In India, the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India is responsible for the registration of trademarks.
The Trademark Registry in India regulates the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and ensures protection against the fraudulent of use trademarks. The function of a trademark registry is to aid in the registration of trademarks that fulfil the criteria of the act.
A trademark refers to names, words, labels, devices or numeric characters signifying an exclusive identity for the goods and services sold by individuals and companies. It helps differentiate between goods and services from similar items sold by distinct businesses including shapes, packaging and colours of the commodities.
A registered trademark becomes the intellectual property of the business which safeguards the company’s brand and idea. A tendered trademark cannot be registered if it is identical or similar to an already registered trademark or it contains deceptive or offensive content.
Benefits of a registered trademark
There are various benefits to having a trademark registered. Some of these are:
- Safeguard of the exclusive brand and idea of the company
- Exclusive identity in the crowded market competition
- Helps build a strong connection with the consumers by ensuring reliability, quality and assurance. Moreover, it renders a lasting association with the business
- Aids in the advertisement of goods and services
- Evade infringement of laws
- Avoid copying or duplication of trademarks
- Getting a ™ is economical. Once the trademark gets registered it is valid for 10 years. The trademark registration fees are a one time cost. after its expiration, only the renewal fees need to be paid.
What are the different types of trademarks?
1. Word Marks
Wordmarks are the common form of trademark. This is suitable for brand or product names that only contain text like Infosys, NDTV, Nestle etc. after the wordmark gets registered the owner has the absolute and exclusive right to utilise the word in any form, font or style for all products relating to the business.
2. Service Marks
Service marks are used by businesses that provide specific services in different fields. for example- Amazon, FedEx etc.
3. Device Mark: composite mark
A logo is a symbol that contains either a designed figure/character or text/letter/word or a combination of both. Words/texts that are also used as logos need to be registered under both word mark and device mark. Filling two application is costly not only monetarily but alos in terms of time thus one can easily file for both in a single application. For example Apple, Nike, Jaguar etc.
This gives the trademark holder the right to use a combination of image, text and design collectively. As compared to a standard work mark protection of words and texts is more restricted in the logo mark. This is because the protection under a device mark is to a large extent applicable only to the symbol and text as a whole. So any other entity can register a trademark by designing a distinct appearance or combination of styles, colours or images.
4. Shape of Goods
The shape of goods can also be trademarked wherein apart from the logo or text, the shape of the product and its packaging can also be used to distinguish between similar products in the market. This can be seen in the case of the shape of coca-cola bottles, KitKat and Toblerone.
5. Series Marks
Series marks are trademarks containing common syllables denoting a group of marks with a collective name differing only in terms of product, price, quality etc. A famous example is Mc Donalds that has a series marked ‘Mc’. all their products are labelled as ‘Mc’-Mc Veggie or Mc Puff.
6. Collective Trademarks
Collective trademarks refer to marks linked to a group of people belonging to a specific organisation instead of an individual business or company. They can be used by the members of the group to represent them and the services they provide. For example- the holder of the title of CA or Chartered Accountant is a member registered under the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Cambridge etc.
7. Certification Mark
A certification mark symbolises a particular feature of the product. it emphasises that the quality standard promised through the advertisements of the product are met. This ensures that the consumer is aware of the reliability of the good as assured by the certifying body or institution. For example FSSAI Certification for quality assurance of packaged food items.
8. Geographical markers or Indicators
A geographical mark on a good is used to indicate its place of origin. additionally, it also helps exhibit the uniques feature, nature and quality possessed by other goods belonging to the geographical location. This mark can usually be seen on agricultural or handicraft goods. For example Darjeeling tea, Kohlapuri slippers etc.
Who can apply for a trademark?
Any individual business company or proprietor claiming to be the owner of an idea or brand can apply for a trademark. Once the trademark is registered the person whose name was written in the application is declared as the owner of the trademark and can start using the TM sign. The time required for the completion of the trademark registry is 8-24 months.
The trademark is valid for 10 years from the date of completion of registration, which will be required to be renewed before expiry. The initiation of the renewal process can only begin one year before the expiration date. If one fails to renew the registry then the trademark will be removed. However the trademark can be reinstated through a proper procedure and filing the prescribed form.
Trademark Registration Form Sample
Symbols for trademark
1.Trade Mark (™) and Service Mark (SM)
TM stands for trademark. It is usually used in superscripts. Although it symbolises an unregistered trademark but can be used as a temporary shield to prevent infringement. This symbol can be used irrespective of whether a trademark registration has been filed or application for the same has been refused. In case of a service providing business instead of TM, SM is used.
2. ® Symbol
The ® sign symbolises a registered trademark. It used to suggest to the public that a particular brand or idea has been trademarked and any usage by duplicating or copying can lead to legal action. In some cases, the illegal use of ® without registration is a civil or criminal offence.
This symbol signifies the copyright of the owner over his or her workpiece like software, videos, books etc. Its validity lasts for a lifetime. The © symbol is usually followed up by the name of the copyright holders and the year of being copyrighted.
What is the Government Trademark registration Fees?
|TYPE OF APPLICANT
|Individual and proprietory firm
|Pvt. Ltd.Companies and Partnership Firms
What is the cost of registration?
|Filing New application (Company or Partnership Firm)
|Filing New application (Individual/Start-up or MSME)
|Filing for Renewal
|Adding another Registered user
|Registration certificate or duplicate of registration certificate
Liabilities are costly. Having an unprotected trademark is a liability. You are limiting your brands potential and capping earnings. To convert your liabilities into assets get your trademark registered today!