How to Protect Your Trademark?
A trademark is the backbone of a brand. Therefore, protecting it is crucial to its success. This article lists down a few steps such as searching for similar marks, evaluating existing trademarks and conflicts, filing an opposition and using the R symbol for protecting your mark as well as what to do in case you find someone infringing on your trademark.
Trademarks in India may be registered or unregistered under the Indian Trademarks Act, 1999 ('the Act').
It may surprise you to learn that your trademark receives some legal protection, even if it’s not officially registered with the concerned authority. Such protection for unregistered marks is based on common law, which unregistered trademarks (denoted by ‘TM’ symbol in superscript) obtain simply from use.
While the extent of protection is limited but it is still protected against infringement. You can pursue legal steps against the infringer who is misusing your trademark by proving that it’s a valid trademark, and you have been using it before the culprit infringed upon it.
Below are a few possible steps you can take to protect your trademark:
1. Search for Similar Marks:
One of the best ways you can protect your trademark is to look for marks that appear similar to yours. Being on the lookout for things as such can help you deal with possible infringements and ensures that your trademark is not misused/misrepresented by third parties.
2. Evaluate Existing Trademarks for Conflicts:
This is valid for people who want to register a trademark and want to address any conflicts that may arise in the future. Ensure that you always do a cross check of existing trademarks in the market to avoid any objections that could arise out of it.
3. File an Opposition:
If you find a particular trademark and feel that it’s violating yours, then you should file for opposition (For more on this read: Filing trademark opposition)
4. Using the ‘R’ Symbol:
Always use the ‘R’ symbol to let people know that your trademark is registered. This is one of the best ways you can protect your trademark since doing so sends out a signal that your trademark is registered and anyone copying it would be infringing upon it.
What to do in case of infringement?
The first step is to contact an attorney specialising in trademark law. He or she will help you through the next steps:
- Send a cease and desist letter to the infringing business and demand that they stop using your mark. However, keep in mind that since every case is unique in itself, you might want an experienced attorney to handle it rather than going at it all by yourself.
- If even after issuing the letter, the infringement doesn’t stop, you can file a lawsuit and claim compensation apart from the fact that they stop using your trademark with immediate effect.
- You can also challenge someone with a similar domain name as your business by filing a trademark infringement lawsuit.
For Trademark Registration you can visit QuickCompany