How to Protect Your Trademark?
Trademark can be protected by searching for similar marks, evaluating existing trademarks and conflicts, filing an opposition. However, using the ® symbol is inevitable for protecting your mark.
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.
Steps you can take to protect your trademark
1. Search for Similar Marks
Look for marks that appear similar to yours. Being on the lookout 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
In order to register a trademark or to address any conflicts that may arise in the future, cross check 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
4. Using the ‘R’ Symbol
Always use the ®symbol to let people know that your trademark is registered. It 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.
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