Let me start by telling you a story, a few days back, an entrepreneur reached out to us on Counsel, seeking advice on Trademark registration. His question was – I know the importance of Trademark to my business, but with the given circumstances, I might not be able to register it anytime before a month from now. My question here is, is there any other way I can portray to my competitors and customers that my Trademarking is in the process? Our discussion with this entrepreneur moved from the counsel conversation to the work kick off, but we thought Wazzeer audience should get a clear picture whether to choose R or TM for Trademark Registration.
A Registered Trademark :
- Gives its registered owner certain exclusive rights and is required for safeguarding the commercial goodwill and originality of goods and services.
- According to the Section 27 of The Trademarks Act, 1999 actions will be taken against the infringers for a registered trademark while it does not happen for an unregistered one.
- The Act lets the registered owner to approach the judiciary for infringement and can claim damages from the person who is using his trademark without his consent or approval.
- It delivers protection to the consumers from purchasing the imitation product or the second rate quality product
An Unregistered Trademark :
Doesn’t safeguard against any infringement as it is not registered under the Trade Marks Act 1999
- Doesn’t have the right to stop a third party from using the same mark/logo/symbol
- Though no action can be taken for infringement of an unregistered trademark a third party can be sued for passing off by The Trademarks Act 1999
The War Of Symbols: These Symbols Along With Giving Legal Grounds For Claiming Damages In Trademark Litigation Also Arises Certain Confusions. Let’s Clear The Air Now!
TM : The trademark designation notifies others that the product’s name and design are the company’s property. This symbol comes with no restrictions but conveys that you have initiated the process of registering the trademark. When used, it means that the trademark has not been registered; you are yet to claim the trademark. It specifies that the product, its name, and other things are exclusive to that individual and the company. But this does not have any legal binding. Remember that this trademark symbol does not protect the company from another company that produces a similar product or uses a similar name.
R : This symbol is a representation of a registered trademark. It shows that the country authority has approved the registration. It is a punishable offense in India to use this symbol if the trademark has not been registered. Once a trademark is registered successfully without any objection and the certificate is issued, the proprietor can use the R logo along with the TM logo. The important thing to keep in mind is that you cannot use R symbol for an unregistered trademark. Any future companies wishing to register its own name or logo has to check beforehand to be sure that it is not like any registered trademarks.
In a nutshell, when a company or an individual uses the™ symbol, it means that the service or brand belongs to them; but no legal binding prevails. On the other hand, if the trademark is verified and registered, it is legally bound.
After few background verification of your company’s brand, you can file for online trademark application and upload your documents. Fortunately, you will be receiving the Provisional Trademark Certificate in a day or two. As soon as your trademark registration is verified you can start using ® symbol next to your company/brand name.
Now, let me explain you the process of Trademark registration :
So we already know that a Trademark is a name, logo, tagline, colors that identify a product or service. Business owners are given rights on their trademarks. Trademark is essential as it protects any word, name, slogan, design, or image that identifies a business or brand and distinguishes it from others. It also gives the right to the mark and allows the holder to file a lawsuit against infringers. It has an unlimited term but must be renewed after every 10 years. We shall now understand Why and how to Register Trademark in India.
Process for Trademark registration:
Before you start registration of your trademark, you need to conduct a trademark search in which you need to search the trademark database to check whether there is any other similar or identical trademark. After the completion of trademark search, Trademark registration can be filed with the fees in the Trademark Registrar. Then the registration application is allotted to a Trademark officer, who decides whether the application is accepted or rejected. If the trademark registration application is rejected, the applicant can appear before the officer to address the problem occurred at a given date and time. When the application is accepted it is published in the trademark journal with other trademark registrations for the public to see and if needed then oppose. If there is no objection within 90days then registration is accepted. But if there is an objection then a hearing is called before the Trademark hearing office where the applicant and the objecting party gives evidence for their stand. Based on the evidence and hearing the officer decides to accept or reject the Trademark registration. If not opposed then the Trademark registration certificate will be given.
Documents Required for Trademark Registration
- Date of using the Logo/Tagline (Any supporting document for the same)
- Power of Attorney signed by the applicant
- Softcopy of the Logo/Tagline
Applying for an Online Trademark Registration is way easier than the complex offline procedures. Wazzeer’s handpicked professionals help you to get through this without any hassle. Solution to any legal issue, at the click of a button, is what we can vouch for.
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