Trademark Registration plays an important role in the protection of brand name. A trademark is a name, word, symbol or design that is used by a business to identify its products and services. There are some chances that your business could be involved in trademark infringement issues in future if you do not register your brand name properly with the Trademarks Office. Accordingly, trademark registration for brand name protection requires satisfying the trademark eligibility requirement as per trademark law. If a company without a registered trademark passes off goods, services or its brand name as the same of another company, then this may lead to trademark infringement. Trademark infringement can lead to trademark litigation. A trademark registration process covering international jurisdictions can help you avoid such issues by helping you fully protect your brand name.
One of the most vital things you can do to safeguard your brand from copycats is to register your trademark. It’s a straightforward process that just necessitates proof of use once every decade. It is crucial that you take every precaution to guarantee that your trademark is secure. Seeking legal counsel as soon as feasible is recommended due to the potential cost involved. Consult a trademark lawyer if you want to make sure your brand is safe. This expert can lead the way and help you secure your brand’s future against imitators.
Protecting your brand name from being watered down is just one of many advantages of registering your trademark. A distinctive mark enjoys broader protections than a less distinctive one. Maintaining brand exclusivity is essential to avoiding consumer confusion with competing products. However, it’s important to keep in mind the dates for renewals, threats of revocation, and declarations of invalidity. Issuing proper cease and desist notices can also help lower your likelihood of an infraction.
Protecting your brand name through trademark registration process increases its worth. Differentiating your brand from the competition is crucial. You’ll need a memorable brand name and logo to stand out from the crowd. Brand protection by trademark registration is important because it prevents competitors from imitating your products. Trademark registration for brands is a great way to safeguard against this situation. In the event of a legal issue, it can also serve as a legal defense against allegations of trademark infringement.
The issuance of trademark examination report is the second stage of trademark registration in India with first being the filing of trademark in India. Once the filing of trademark application is done, it is sent for the examination after which the application is either accepted or rejected. If not accepted, the Registrar of Trademark, raises objections with specific reasons. Subsequently, the objected application i.e, the Examination Report is sent to the applicant, to which he has to reply within the stipulated time which is one month. The objections raised fall within the ambit of section 9 and section 11 of Trademark Act, 1999.
If the trademark does not have distinctive features, not able to distinguish between the goods & services and or trademark applied for is very similar to the already existing mark, then the application is objected to. The objections are raised in the Examination report which is sent to the applicant. Reply to trademark examination report has to be submitted within one month, if not, the application is deemed to be abandoned. Furthermore, if one requires more than one month, he can fill form TM-M for the extension of time for filing a reply to the Examination report. Section 9 of the Trademark Act includes the absolute ground for refusal of registration of trademark. Section 9 objections raised in the Examination report includes Section 9(1) (a) wherein trademarks that are devoid of any distinctive character that is not capable of distinguishing goods or services from that of another person cannot be registered under Trademark Act.
Furthermore, Section 9(1) (b) restricts the registration of trademarks that are common language words or descriptive words until such trade names have acquired reputation and goodwill in the market. Such a trademark must have acquired distinctiveness/secondary meaning to be registered. Moreover, Section 9(1)(c) restricts the registration of those marks that have become customary in established practice of trade. However, such mark shall not be prohibited from the registration if it acquires a distinctive character before the date of application or is a well-known trademark.
Furthermore, if the mark causes confusion and is of such a nature that it deceives the public at large, hurts religious sentiments, contains scandalous matter, then it is prohibited for registration under Section 9(2) of the Trademark Act. Section 9(3) prohibits the mark that consists exclusively of the shape of the goods resulting from their nature, gives substantial value to the goods, or is necessary to obtain a technical result. This was to prevent monopolies created under the Trademark Act.
If the application is objected, the status for the application is further changed to OBJECTED by the Registrar. The reply for the trademark application is filed within one month of receipt of the copy of the Examination report. Furthermore, proper answers to the objections with supporting documents and evidence should be submitted as a response to the trademark objection to the Registrar of Trademark. If the response is accepted, the application is proceeded for registration and is published in the trademark journal. However, if the trademark response is not accepted, the registry mark for hearing, notifying date and time of hearing to the applicant/trademark agent.
It is mandatory to reply to the examination report within the stipulated time, otherwise the application is considered as abandoned. Requisite documents for filing of the response to the Trademark objection include, Power of Attorney (if application filed by trademark agent), Reply to Examination Report and Documentary proof of use of Trademark.
In addition to the crucial points stated here relating to trademark strategy, the future business models based on brands and innovation may regularly need assistance for Patent Searching. The results of a patent search report for new inventions and strategic projects can assist in determining if Patent Drafting for new inventions is the next step for a strategic International Patent Filing along with the USPTO Patent Filing. In case of blockchain based business models adapted from new innovations, utility token Legal Opinion Letters may also be needed for such new inventive projects, along with a set of applicable contracts and agreements.
Our team of advanced patent attorneys assists clients with patent searches, drafting patent applications, and patent (intellectual property) agreements, including licensing and non-disclosure agreements.
Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter.
Quoted in and contributed to 50+ national & international publications (Bloomberg, FirstPost, SwissInfo, Outlook Money, Yahoo News, Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard, Quartz, Global Legal Post, International Bar Association, LawAsia, BioSpectrum Asia, Digital News Asia, e27, Leaders Speak, Entrepreneur India, VCCircle, AutoTech).
Regularly invited to speak at international & national platforms (conferences, TV channels, seminars, corporate trainings, government workshops) on technology, patents, business strategy, legal developments, leadership & management.
Working closely with patent attorneys along with international law firms with significant experience with lawyers in Asia Pacific providing services to clients in US and Europe. Flagship services include international patent and trademark filings, patent services in India and global patent consulting services.
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