WHAT IS A TRADEMARK ?

Trademark means a mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include shape of goods, their packaging and combination of colours. Such graphical representation aids in identifying a trademark with its respective goods or services.

TYPES OF A TRADEMARK,

  • Any invented, arbitrary or coined word that is not descriptive of the goods or services intended to sell or provide
  • Letters, numeral or a combination thereof
  • Device
  • Label
  • Monogram
  • Single colour or a combination of colours
  • Packaging or shape
  • Three-dimensional marks
  • Sound mark
  • Smell mark

BENEFIT OF A TRADEMARK

  • Enables customers, consumers and general public to identify your product
  • Ensures quality
  • Grants exclusive right of use
  • Protects the mark from being copied by virtue of such exclusive rights

SELECTION OF A TRADEMARK

  • A trademark should be unique, preferably an invented or coined word or expression
  • A trademark should be easy to remember
  • A trademark should be visually appealing
  • A trademark should be capable of distinguishing its product from aa variety of similar goods
  • A trademark should not be laudatory word describing the quality of the goods/ services
  • A trademark should not be descriptive i.e., it should indicate the goods/ services that it intends to sell/ provide

WHO CAN APPLY FOR A TRADEMARK

A trademark application may be filed by the following:-

  • An individual
  • A firm
  • A company
  • An organization
  • A government body or a department therein

TERM OF PROTECTION

A trademark is protected for 10 years from the date of filing and may be renewed thereafter.

LEGAL PROTECTION OF A TRADEMARK IN INDIA

In India, trademarks are protected both under statutory law and common law. The Trade Marks Act, 1999 governs the law relating to trademarks in India. The present legislation for trademarks contained in the Trade Marks Act, 1999 is in harmony with two major international treaties, namely, the Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property and the TRIPS Agreement. India is a signatory to both such treaties.

The object of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 is to confer the protection to the user of a trademark on his goods or services and prescribe conditions on acquisition and legal remedies upon infringement of trademark rights and enforcement. The Act protects a trademark for goods or services, on the basis of either use under the Common law of passing off or Infringement or on basis of both elements.

FILING OF A TRADEMARK

Our offices recommend conducting a prior search to check the availability of the mark that you intend to apply for registration. This brings to your knowledge the existence of similar marks (if any). Such search is conducted in the records of the Trade Marks Registry and thus enables you to be aware of potential conflicting marks; or if the same is available for adoption. Upon obtaining a comprehensive search report you may proceed with filing of a trademark application. We shall require an executed Power of Attorney in our favour to execute such filing activity.

REGISTRATION BEFORE THE CUSTOM AUTHORITIES

Our offices facilitate recordal of registered trademarks with the custom authorities under the Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules 2007 notified under the Customs Act, 1962. Such guidelines authorize customs officials to seize infringing goods at the border without the need for a court order. Under these rules, the right holder may give notice in writing of such suspected infringing goods to the Commissioner of Customs or any other Customs Officer authorized by the Commissioner at the port of import, requesting the suspension of clearance of the impugned goods. Provided that the registrations are valid, the custom authorities shall prevent the importation of such infringing goods.

Customs authorities have the power to suspend the clearance of prohibited goods either on information received by the right-holder or on their own initiative, provided they have prima facie evidence or reasonable grounds to believe that the imported goods infringe the recorded mark.

TRADEMARK PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT

Our offices provide effective handling and maintaining of trademark portfolios including marks filed in both within the country and internationally. Such services include timely filing of renewals, maintaining of records etc.

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