If we consider ancient times, we will see that the majority of the population was unable to read and write and used symbols to let people know which product belonged to whom. With the expansion of trade and commerce, marks and symbols used by Greek and Romanian potters for identification purposes. Now coming to medieval England, sword makers needed to use identification marks in their swords so that the makers of the defective piece can be traced back to punishment. As time went on, marks came to be used as a base to prove one’s ownership over the goods produced by them. From the 10th-century, ‘merchants mark’ or ‘proprietary mark’ came into existence. With the gradual emergence of trade and crafts guilds during the 14th and 15th centuries, people started using trademarks as an identification mark for goods and services.
Moreover, the British Trademark Act of 1875 formalized the whole concept of ‘trademark’ to the modern world. The Government of England has reenacted this act several times. India borrowed the British Trademark act of 1938 and prepared its very own and first Trademark Act of 1940. After several modelling and remodelling, the Trademark Act 1999 has been in force from the 30th December 1999.
Why is trademark registration necessary?
Trademark is a sign that will help you to distinguish the products made by your company from others. All the famous companies around the globe have some specific trademarks of their own. A trademark can be a word, name, symbol or slogan. By trademarking your brand, you are now assured of your life that no one else will ever try to forge your product. In case anyone does that, the laws of the country will safeguard you.
Registering your trademark is always a good idea as it will provide you with lots of benefits. Here are some points which will justify the reason for trademark registration.
By registering, your trademark will be able to stop other competitors from using the same name. This way you will be able to safeguard your business from any extra expenditures related to claim settlements and damages.
In the modern business market, there are a lot of counterfeiters who try to get famous by copying the designs of other successful brands. In case your products get counterfeited, you can easily prove that you are the legitimate producer, provided your company or brand is being registered under the Trademark Act.
Registering also makes you aware of any pre-existing brand in the market. This way you will not end up into any false cases made against you. It will also save you from all the hassles related to rebranding, repromoting, and resetting your company.
Trademarking your business will assure you with legal ownership of certain specific locations. It can be within the state or the country.
Moreover, the individual banks do not allow to open business accounts until their business has a trademark.
Trademarks will bring a sense of responsibility within you. As an owner, you will always keep on with your hard work to provide quality products to your consumers.
Additionally, trademarks act as an asset for your company, that can be bought, sold or licensed. You can also demand royalties if any distributor or shopkeeper tries to exploit your license.
Steps to trademark your business
Still, there are few companies and owners who keep on postponing the registration of trademarks until something seriously goes wrong with their business. For them here is a detailed trademark filing process to help you out.
Search: As an owner, you need to conduct a detailed check of your trademark logo and brand name before going ahead with registration.
Application: Moreover, based on the results of the search if the trademark genuinely belongs to the applicant that person can start using the trademark symbol with their brand’s logo after filing the form of trademark application.
Registration: Moreover, the trademark office will first conduct an all-round check based on your application, to ensure there is no objection. After the verification, there is no objection and the application is original, the office makes an advertisement in the Trademarks Journal. If there is no objection from other business owners within the next four months, they go ahead to register your trademarks around six months later.
Class: Trademarks related to various industries are classified under different sections and classes. Additionally, in total there are about 45 sectors as class. Your trademark should have registration under such class. Also depending on your business type, you can apply to get your business registered under various trademarks at the same time.
Documents required to trademark your business
The documents that you need to provide while making an application to trademark your business are:
The logo of your brand/business.
Similarly, you need to give them a brief description of your business. It is necessary to identify the class of trademark to which your business belongs.
Registration of Goods and services.
A signed copy of the Power of Attorney.
Adhar Card, Driving License or passport of the business owner as an identity proof.
The owner of the business also needs to provide certified documents as address proofs.
Cost of Trademark
The trademark registration fees are:
Rs. 4500/- for startups, individual and small businesses.
Rs. 9000/- for other cases.
The trademark attorney professional fee is Rs. 3500/- per application/ per class.
Types of Trademarks in India
Based on the Trademark Act of India 1999, India provides trademark registration under the following categories:
Service Marks: Initially, it represents the service that a business or company deals in.
Word Marks: It is the most common type of trademarks registered in India. It identifies the products and services.
Logos and Symbols: Moreover, it includes the printed or painted characters of the company that do not consist of any letters, numerals or words.
Series Marks: Trademarks with a common suffix, prefix or syllable comes under Series Marks.
Certification Marks: Additionally, this mark is used to denote that the product has met a specific quality standard as per the country rules.
If you are an owner of a budding business but you have not yet applied for trademark registration, go for one immediately. Therefore, it will give your business permanent assurance against any harm and fraud.