Trademark (popularly known as brand name) in layman’s language is a visual symbol used by one undertaking on goods or services or other articles of commerce to distinguish it from other similar goods or services originating from a different undertaking. which may be a: Word , Signature, Name, Device, Label, Phonetics Numerals or Combination of colors
The legal requirements to register a trademark under the Act are:
- The selected mark should be capable of being represented graphically (that is in the paper form).
- It should be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others.
- It should be used or proposed to be used mark in relation to goods or services for the purpose of indicating or so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services and some person have the right to use the mark with or without identity of that person.
Function of a Trademark
Under modern business condition a trademark performs four functions
- It identifies the goods / or services and its origin.
- It guarantees its unchanged quality.
- It advertises the goods/services.
- It creates an image for the goods/ services.
Application for Trademark
Any person, claiming to be the proprietor of a trademark used or proposed to be used by him, may apply in writing in prescribed manner for registration.
- The application should contain the trademark, the goods/services, name and address of applicant and agent (if any) with power of attorney, the period of use of the mark. The application should be in English or Hindi. It should be filed at the appropriate office.
- The applications can be submitted personally at the Front Office Counter of the respective office or can be sent by post.
- These can also be filed on line through the e-filing gateway available at the official website.
Different types of Trademarks that may be registered in India
Any name (including personal or surname of the applicant or predecessor in business or the signature of the person), which is not unusual for trade to adopt as a mark.
- An invented word or any arbitrary dictionary word or words, not being directly descriptive of the character or quality of the goods/service.
- Letters or numerals or any combination thereof.
- The right to proprietorship of a trademark may be acquired by either registration under the Act or by use in relation to particular goods or service.
- Devices, including fancy devices or symbols.
- Combination of colors or even a single color in combination with a word or device.
- Shape of goods or their packaging.
- Marks constituting a 3- dimensional sign.
- Sound marks when represented in conventional notation or described in words by being graphically represented.
Benefits of registering a Trademark
The Registered Proprietor of a trademark can create establish and protect the goodwill of his products or services, he can stop other traders from unlawfully using his trademark, sue for damages and secure destruction of infringing goods and or labels.
The registration of a trademark confers upon the owner the exclusive right to the use the trademark in relation to the goods or services in respect of which the mark is registered and to indicate so by using the symbol (R), and seek the relief of infringement in appropriate courts in the country. The exclusive right is however subject to any conditions entered on the register such as limitation of area of use etc. Also, where two or more persons have registered identical or nearly similar marks due to special circumstances, such exclusive right does not operate against each other.