How to Trademark a Brand?

Brand represents your reputation in the market whereas trademark legally protects aspects what a brand creates. Mostly brand is interchangeably used with trademark the only difference between both of them is the legal protection provided by trademark.

What is a Brand?

A brand is a source identifier for products and services provided by a company.

A Brand is an identifying symbol, mark or logo that any company uses for their products. For instance, if you ask anyone what car they drive they may answer 'Toyota' which is a Trade name for the product provided by Toyota Motor Corporation.

Why the need of trademark? you ask,

Well, your name is an extension of your brand, it reinforces the value of your brand in the mind of the consumer even if you distance yourself from the consumers.

For example, When buying water, you mainly refer it as Bisleri Or Fosters; this shows that brand name of the company instils emotions in the mind of the consumers once they have looked or used the products or services. 

In India Trademark protection falls under Industrial property the protection provided is through a strong legislative framework. The framework was built to sync the technology and concomitant international developments. 

The following article pays great importance on the perspective on the role played by the trademark in helping brand owners confront the diverse challenges faced while building their brand value and along with that protecting their intellectual property. 

Brand Registration Process

A brand name registration process is pretty straightforward, that involves 6 steps until the mark receives a registration certificate. The process normally takes 12 to 15 months in trademark registration.

Step 0: Trademark Search

Your brand name forms the core for your business strategy, and hence if you choose a name that is similar or identical to an existing trademark, your trademark application is likely to be rejected. The best way to overcome this predicament is to conduct an in-depth search for your mark.

TM search can be done for free of cost on I.P India website or through QuickCompany trademark search.

Step 1: Trademark Filling

Trademark registration can be done in one or multiple classes for the applied mark. The application is to be filed with the Form TM-A that must be in Hindi or English along with the prescribed fee. The trademark office has made it possible to file trademark physically or through the e-filling process available on I.P India website.

 

Documents Requirement

  • Form TM-A Comprises complete trademark information
  • Power of Attorney
  • Copy of Logo or Trademark
  • Board Resolution in case of company registration.
  • Description of the Product or Service.

Step 2: Examination Report

Once an application is submitted successfully, the trademark office allows a trademarks examination officer to check if the brand name, logo or the mark meets the specifications listed in the Trademark Act. 

Examination report for your application is issued within 3 months. The examination report contains any objection that is raised by the examiner office.

 

Step 3: Objection

Once a trademark application is assigned a trademark examiner, he assesses the application and checks whether the applied mark complies with the law and does not raise any disputes with existing marks. If the examiner finds anything objectionable in the mark, it is likely that the status of your application will represent status as the object.

The applicant has to reply to the objection with the relevant reasons, facts and evidence that explains why the mark must be registered in favour of the applicant. Such reply by the applicant needs to be filed along within 1 month of the examination notice.

 

Step 4: Publication in the Trademarks Journal

After the mark filed is approved by the trademark examiner the application proceeds on to a next stage that is the publication of the mark in the trademark journal. This preview of the mark in the trademark journal provides an opportunity for another trademark owner to file an opposition against registration of the mark.

 

Step 5: Opposition

The process of trademark opposition begins after the advertisement in the trademark journal. The time period for the opposition is 4 months from the date of publication. Any person can file a notice of opposition with the Trademark Office. Commercial or personal interest in that matter isn’t compulsory for raising opposition. In case the opposition proceedings plausible, the trademark fails to attain trademark registration.

The applicant has to file a counter-statement against the notice of opposition within 60 days of the notice.

 

More on: How to respond on Trademark Opposition?

 

Step- 6: Registration

Where the application does not receive any kind of opposition notice after publication the processor has successfully overcome the oppositions, it proceeds further to registration. The Trademarks Office issue the Certificate of Registration as evidence of the owner's rights to the mark. 

The trademark obtains protection for your brand for a period 10 years from the date application is filled with IP India site.

Why is Trademarking Your Brand Important?

Many potential consumers have no idea about the type of work company does simply with their name hence, the brand name is their only way to relate source to your product.

Your brand name is a critical part of your company; it builds your rapport with consumers. It is often said that visual memory is way better than auditory memory hence, what a consumer see is what he remembers.

They are more likely to be attracted towards something that is innovative and can easily be differentiated from one product to another.

Let us ask you, will you like to invest your money in the services of a company that has an innovative name, no name or some average name?

Well, obviously a strong and innovative name will build authority in the market and is more likely to attract investors and consumers.

A poor Trademark may close any of your chances to close the deal with potential consumers.

Tips and Traps

You will not be able to determine the full extent of the power your company name instils on the mind of people until you are completely on board and conduct complete due diligence on the name selected.

The proprietor of the trademark whether individual or company should take into account the following points. 

  • Timing of Registration

Small business needs to establish their brand in the economy so that they can compete with entrepreneurs and companies that are present prior to him. Trademark registration is an important consideration for them as that would establish a groundwork for establishing themselves.

  • Stay Consistent

The brand owners are advised to use the mark with consistency as any alteration in the design of the logo or name of the word mark will not be protected through trademark registration.

  • Display the TM and R symbol on the company website.

The TM and R symbol should be clearly and correctly displayed on the company website along with the brand name that is registered. This practice deters other people from copying the trademark and using it for their benefit.

  • Proof of Use

The intent-of-use is enough no proof of actual work with the mark is required at the time of registration. Although if the mark is not used for a period of 5 years continuously may be abandoned.

Key Attributes of a Trademark.

  • A registered trademark acts as a source identifier
  • Guarantees brand credibility 
  • Used as an advertising tool
  • Builds the brand image in the market
  • Strengthens brand recall in consumers

Renewal of the Trademark

Any registered mark receives protection for 10 years and thus, requires renewal. The trademark protection can be renewed after payment of renewal fees. A trademark can be renewed multiple times as long as the applicant wishes to maintain the mark. If the applicant does not renew the trademark, the mark is considered to be abandoned.

 

Click Here: Trademark Registration Online