Trademark Registration VS. Design Registration – What’s the difference?
When it comes to protecting intellectual property, businesses and individuals have several options. Two of the most common types of intellectual property protection are trademark and design registration. Although they are similar in some ways, the two have significant differences.
Trademark registration protects a business’s brand identity. It provides protection against the use of similar names or logos by other businesses. In contrast, design registration protects the appearance of a product and provides protection against the copying of its design. Both types of protection are important for businesses and individuals who want to safeguard their intellectual property and ensure that their creative works are not used without their permission. In this blog, we will learn more about these two significant intellectual properties.
|Table of Content |
1. What is trademark registration
2. What is design registration
3. What are the Key differences between the two?
4. Benefits of trademark registration
5. Benefits of design registration
What is Trademark Registration?
Trademark registration is a legal process of registering a distinctive sign or symbol that identifies and distinguishes the goods or services of one party from those of others. A trademark can be a name, word, logo, symbol, design, or combination of these elements. It helps to protect the owner’s brand by providing exclusive rights to use the trademark in connection with the goods or services covered by the registration.
Trademark registration provides legal protection to the owner and helps to prevent others from profiting from the owner’s goodwill and reputation.
What is Design Registration?
Design registration as per the Design Act in India is a legal process of obtaining exclusive rights over the visual appearance of an article or product. A design refers to the features of shape, configuration, pattern, ornamentation, or composition of lines or colors applied to any article.
Once registered, the owner of the design has exclusive rights to use it and prevent others from manufacturing, selling, or importing products that are identical or similar to the registered design. The term of protection for a registered design in India is ten years from the date of registration, which can be renewed for another five years.
What are the Key differences between the two?
|Basis of difference||Design registration||Trademark registration|
|Definition||Refers to the visual appearance of a product or its ornamentation.||Refers to a sign or symbol used to distinguish the goods or services of one company from those of another.|
|Protects||the unique and original design of a product.||Protects the brand name, logo, or other distinctive marks of a business.|
|Duration of Protection||The protection for a registered design in India is ten years from the date of registration, which can be renewed for another five years.||The protection for a registered trademark in India is ten years from the date of registration, which can be renewed indefinitely upon payment of renewal fees.|
|Infringement||occurs when a third party produces, sells, or imports a product that is identical or similar to the registered design.||Infringement occurs when a third party uses an identical or similar trademark for the same or similar goods or services.|
|Enforcement||is carried out through civil remedies, such as injunctions, damages, and accounts of profits.||Enforcement is carried out through civil and criminal remedies, such as injunctions, damages, and imprisonment.|
Benefits of trademark registration
Trademark registration offers numerous benefits for businesses, including
- Legal Protection: Trademark registration provides legal protection to the owner of the trademark and prevents others from using the same or similar trademark for their products or services.
- Exclusive Right: Once a trademark is registered, the owner has the exclusive right to use it for the products or services it is registered for in the designated geographical area.
- Business Identity: A trademark distinguishes a business and its products or services from those of competitors, and helps build a unique brand identity.
- Brand Recognition: A registered trademark helps to build brand recognition and awareness, which is essential for creating a positive reputation and customer loyalty.
- Asset Value: A registered trademark is an intangible asset of a business and can be licensed, franchised, or sold, providing a significant source of revenue.
- Legal Remedy: In case of infringement or unauthorized use of a trademark, a registered trademark owner can take legal action against the infringing party, and seek legal remedies such as damages or injunctions.
Benefits of design registration
Design registration refers to the process of registering a design with a government agency, which provides legal protection for the design against unauthorized use by others. Some of the benefits of design registration include
- Legal protection: Design registration provides legal protection to the design owner by giving them the exclusive right to use the design for a specific period. This helps to prevent others from using or copying the design without permission.
- Deterrent: The existence of a registered design serves as a deterrent to others who may be tempted to copy the design. Knowing that the design is registered and legally protected may dissuade potential infringers from copying the design.
- Commercial advantage: Registered designs can be valuable assets for businesses. A registered design can provide a competitive advantage over others in the same market and can add value to a company’s intellectual property portfolio.
- Increased marketability: A registered design can help to increase the marketability of a product, as it indicates that the design has been officially recognized and protected by the government.
- International protection: Design registration can provide protection for the design in other countries, through various international treaties and agreements. This can be particularly important for businesses that operate globally or export their products.
- Enforcement: If someone does copy or infringe on a registered design, the design owner can take legal action against the infringer to enforce their rights and seek damages.
In conclusion, both trademark and design registration offer crucial benefits for businesses and individuals looking to safeguard their intellectual property. Trademark registration protects a business’s brand identity, while design registration protects the appearance of a product. The key differences between the two lie in their definition, duration of protection, and enforcement. Trademark registration offers legal protection, exclusive rights, business identity, brand recognition, asset value, and legal remedies. On the other hand, design registration provides legal protection, deterrent, commercial advantage, increased marketability, international protection, and enforcement. Ultimately, registering intellectual property can help businesses and individuals to protect their unique creations and prevent others from profiting from their hard work and investment.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
Q1. Can a product be protected by both trademark and design registration?
Yes, a product can be protected by both trademark and design registration. While a trademark protects the brand identity of a product, design registration protects the appearance of the product.
Q2. What is the process of registering a trademark?
The process of registering a trademark involves filing an application with the appropriate government agency, providing a description of the trademark and the goods or services it will be used for, and paying the required fees. The application is then reviewed by the agency to determine if the trademark meets the requirements for registration.
Q3. Can a trademark be renewed after it expires?
Yes, a registered trademark can be renewed after it expires. In India, a trademark can be renewed indefinitely upon payment of renewal fees.
Q4. What is the term of protection for a registered design in India?
The term of protection for a registered design in India is ten years from the date of registration, which can be renewed for another five years.
Q5. Can a registered design provide protection for a product in other countries?
Yes, design registration can provide protection for a design in other countries, through various international treaties and agreements. This can be particularly important for businesses that operate globally or export their products.