Ancient times marked the beginning of the use of marks as an authenticating tool for proving ownership of goods produced by a person as not many people could read and write. As early as the 10th century, there existed the idea of a ‘merchants mark’ or ‘proprietary mark’. During the 14th and 15th centuries, the emergence of trade and crafts guilds led to the use of trademarks as an identification mark for goods and services.
It was the British Trademark Act of 1875 that introduced the modern concept of a trademark. In India, trademark registration and related matters are governed by the Trademark Act, 1999.
Why Is Trademark Registration Necessary?
Having a trademark will allow you to distinguish the products made by your company from those made by others. There are some trademarks that are unique to each famous company around the globe. They can be words, names, symbols or slogans. The moment you trademark your brand, you are ensuring that no one else will try to sell products under your goodwill. If anyone does this, you will have legal protection.
Benefits of Trademark Protection
It is always a good idea to register your trademark as it provides you with a lot of advantages. Consider the following advantages of trademark registration:
- You can stop other companies from using the same name if you register your trademark. In this way, your company will be protected from any extra costs associated with claim settlements and damages.
- The modern business market is full of counterfeiters who copy the designs of successful brands in order to make money. You may damage your brand’s reputation and lose customers. Once your company or brand has been registered under the Trademark Act, you will be able to prove that you are the legitimate producer of counterfeit products.
- You are also made aware of any existing brands in the market after registering. Consequently, you won’t be falsely accused of infringement. Furthermore, you will avoid all the hassles associated with rebranding, repromoting, and resetting your business.
- Marking your business will make you feel responsible. Providing quality products to your consumers is part of your job as an owner.
- Additionally, trademarks are an asset that can be purchased, licensed, or sold by your company. You can also charge royalties if a distributor or shopkeeper uses your mark.
Steps for Trademarking Your Business
It is still possible to find businesses and owners who postpone the registration of trademarks until something serious goes wrong with their business. Someone else could register the mark you have been building your brand around, which can be risky.
Register as soon as possible rather than waiting until it’s too late. The process is as follows:
- Search: In order to register your trademark, you need to conduct a detailed search of your trademark logo and brand name. The tool we provide is free.
- Classes: Trademarks are classified according to their industries. There are approximately 45 classes of goods and services. You may be able to register your business under multiple trademarks at the same time depending on the type of business you have.
- Application: If the trademark is found to be available, the applicant may apply for the mark and use the TM symbol with their brand’s logo after receiving the application’s acknowledgment.
- Registration: To ensure there are no objections, the trademark office will first conduct an all-around check on your application. When there are no objections and the application is original, the office advertises in the Trademarks Journal. In the event that there is no opposition from other business owners within the next four months, your trademark will be registered around six months after that.
Documents Required to Trademark Your Business
While applying for a trademark, you need to provide the following documents:
- The logo of your brand/business.
- You need to give them a brief description of your business. You should identify what trademark category your business falls under.
- A signed copy of the Power of Attorney.
- Proof of identity can be an Aadhar card, driving license, or passport.
- Certified documents are also required as proof of address by the business owner.
Cost of Trademark
The trademark registration fees are:
₹4500/- for startups, individual and small businesses.
₹9000/- for other cases.
The trademark attorney professional fee is ₹3500/- per application/ per class. However, with Vakilsearch, it is just ₹1999/-