Choosing a trademark for your business in India is a crucial step in establishing your brand and protecting your brand identity. But, the entrepreneurs should know some basic things before going ahead for a Trademark Registration in India. Some of those, we will discuss here
Distinctiveness: A strong trademark is one that is distinctive and unique. One needs to avoid generic or descriptive terms that are commonly used in your industry.
Trademark Classes: Identify the appropriate trademark classes for your products or services. The classification system helps define the scope of protection for your trademark.
A trademark class refers to the classes in which various products and services are divided under the NICE classification. There are total 45 Trademark Classes out of which 1-34 belongs to product categories and remaining 35-45 belongs to service categories.
Availability: Always conduct a comprehensive trademark search to ensure that the chosen trademark is not already in use or registered by another business in India. This can be done through the official website of the Trademark Registry in India by mentioning the trademark and its class.
Each registered trademark is always protected within a class. Though in special cases, for well known brands where there is a possibility of deception or confusion, a registered trademark may be protected beyond its class.
Legal Requirements for Trade Mark Registration: One must ensure that your chosen trademark complies with the legal requirements outlined in the Trade Marks Act, 1999 before going for Trademark Registration. It should not be offensive, deceptive, or against public policy.
Generic Terms: Generic terms are those where the word or the phrase cannot acquire a secondary meaning because it is a general or common term for the product or service offered. According to Trade Marks Act 1999, generic terms can never receive trademark protection. So, one need to avoid using generic terms or common words that describe the products or services you offer for your Brand Registration. Aim for a distinctive and memorable mark that sets your brand apart.
Avoiding Similarity: Steer clear of trademarks that are similar to existing ones, especially those in the same industry. This can lead to confusion among consumers and potential legal issues.
International Considerations: If you plan to expand your business internationally, consider whether the chosen trademark is suitable and available in other countries. Conduct searches in relevant international trademark databases.
Future Expansion: Think about the potential growth and diversification of your business. Choose a trademark that can accommodate future expansions without losing its relevance. One can apply for trademark in multiple classes at a time in a single form. But, it is recommended to apply for multiple classes separately.
Logo or Word Mark: Decide whether you want to protect a word mark, a logo, or a combination of both. Registering both can provide broader protection for your brand.
Professional Assistance for Trademark Registration: Consider seeking legal advice from a trademark attorney or professional to ensure that your chosen trademark is not only distinctive but also legally sound and enforceable.
Renewal and Maintenance: Be aware of the renewal and maintenance requirements for trademarks in India. Regularly renew and maintain your trademark registration to ensure continued protection. A trademark is registered for a period of 10 years.
Filing Strategy: Develop a filing strategy, including the identification of the classes and territories you want to cover. It’s often wise to file in multiple classes if your business involves diverse products or services.
Remember that the process of Registration of Trademark in India involves submitting an application to the Trademark Registry. It’s essential to carefully follow the status of your application regularly as only a trademark application may not be the end of the trademark registration process always from your end as there are further processes.
If there is a departmental objection, one needs to go for proper objection reply within the allotted time frame. There may be a hearing order if authority is not satisfied with your objection reply. After acceptance from authority, a trademark remains published on trademark journal for a period of 4 months for any possible opposition. Beyond that period, the trademark cannot be opposed and granted for issuing a Registration Certificate.
TRUSTLINK offers a most transparent Trademark Registration Process assistance in India from application filing to final issuance of Certificate.