A trademark is a sign which is used to distinguish its products from other products or services. The unauthorized usage of a trademark by producing and trading is called brand piracy.
The owner of a trademark has a firm hold in taking a legal action against trademark infringement.
However, the most common way to lose rights in a trademark is to stop using it with no intention to use or copy it again. This is known as abandonment. The owner can lose a mark if it is not used for 30 years.
A generic term describes an entire group or classes of goods and that is the common name given to any material. Following are some examples:
The customer is trained to see the generic term used in the synchrony with a trademark (for example - Adidas shoes, Titan watch).
However, some brands are used as generic in general like Aspirin, Kerosene etc. They all are brands but acts as generic.
The sign of a trademark used must be distinctive so that it cannot affect another brand. Some companies or business organizations deceive people by making a similar sign or trademark of a reputed company.
It creates confusion amongst the customer, and it leads to affect the company’s reputation.
A descriptive trademark cannot be protected unless the author can prove that the customer is aware of the mark and associated with product or service.
When someone attempts to register a trademark, the registrar of trademarks will ask for proof submission of distinctiveness or move the application from Principal Register to Supplement Register. If the applicant fails to submit the proof, the applicatio will get rejected.
The sign mark overlaps with the intellectual property rights such as patent law or design law. For instance, a consumer must consider the shape of a chair or lamp as a design rather than use it as a trademark. This law describes this as follows:
As mentioned, do hold an understanding of your end assets that cannot be protected under the trademark law of India.