Trademark Law – Its Potential and Its Essential Features
The economic market is oozing with new brands and products every day. To make your goods/ services stand out, the Trademark registration in India could prove to be your most valuable marketing tool. If clubbed with the right branding strategy it can in establishing your brand, so the public will identify a certain quality and image with goods and services bearing your trade mark.
It is observed that with the prolonged use of a brand name, the products start gaining recognition and popularity among the consumers, on the other hand with the rise in competition the brand name becomes vulnerable to possibilities of getting copied or other people passing off their goods as if they are of the original brand name owner. The trademark law is one such universal law that prevents this and secures the rights of both the brand owner by preventing the dilution of the mark and secures the consumer from being deceived.
Therefore, the most important functions of a trademark were realized to be identification, source, quality, security and advertising.
Identification: Once registered, the trademark officially becomes recognized as the owner’s asset, and only through registration one can gain exclusive rights to prevent anyone from using a same or a similar mark/logo for their brand. Many famous brands are known by their trademark and trade dress, it becomes a standard of recognition like Cadbury is identified through its purple packaging, Colgate is directly associated with a toothpaste, no matter what brand it may be. It has now become a synonym of toothpaste. Likewise, in many such brands the trademark is through which the brand is known from.
Source and Quality: Registered trademark gives the consumer the surety of the products source and conformity of its quality. People usually associate quality with brand, once the brand becomes famous among the consumers the demand is bound to be increased. All the designers and big brands intrinsically make money only because of the brand name attached to it. A saree stops being a simple saree once the name Sabyasachi is associated to it. The designer can charge whatever he wants claiming the quality standard, and people would buy and pay exorbitant amount of money just because the outfit has the trademark of Sabyasachi on it.
Security: A trademark right is not a relative right or a claim right against a person but is an exclusive right effective against the public. Once the trademark is registered it is applicable to everyone who falls under the jurisdiction where the trademark is registered. It gives the unhindered right to the trademark owner to use his rights and abstain any other person from unauthorized use of his trademark or from capitalizing from the trademarks goodwill. The registered trademark owner has the right to sue a person who infringes any such rights and claim for damages incurred.
Advertising: Social media is one of the most rapidly growing and efficient mode of advertising. With the boom in the e-commerce business the importance of online trademark registration in India has increased. As the market is no longer limited to being local or national, the security of the brand name is of prime concern. Globalization has a dual effect on the product or service that is made available to the public, in a way it maximizes the business and the profit generation from it, but it also increases the possibilities of trademark infringement and dilution of the brand name due to unauthorized use. Thus, making trademark registration is an inevitable need for all the brands and companies.
As trademark registration is so important, it is also essential to know what names/ words are allowed to be protected under the trademark law as it limit the scope of protection. There are some specific words/ names that are not allowed to be registered as a Trademark, hence making it cardinal to check upon these before finalizing the brand name.
Grounds of Refusal
According to the trademark law in India, a trademark can be registered only if it satisfies certain requirements. The registrar can refuse a trademark from being registered in certain situations.
Section 9 – Absolute Grounds of Refusal and Section 11 – Relative Grounds of Refusal of the Trademarks Act, 1999 lay down the situations when a mark cannot be registered.
The Absolute Grounds of Refusal Are:
- The mark lacks distinctiveness: Proper names/surnames, laudatory words, invented or arbitrary words.
- The mark is descriptive of the characteristics of the goods or services
- The mark consists exclusively of marks or indications which have become customary in the established practices of the trade: ISI Mark, UN.
- It is likely to deceive public or cause confusion: Apple air conditioners.
- It comprises or contains scandalous matter
- Words whose use is prohibited under Emblems Act: Ashok chakra, Indian flag.
Relative Grounds of Refusal:
- If there is a likelihood of confusion between existing mark and the mark applied for.
- Identical or similar trademarks cannot be registered even if the class is different, especially in the case of well-known trademarks.
- Likely to cause deception or dilution of an existing mark.
These are the reasons why prior search of trademark names is of great importance and an advised practice. It saves the time and money of the applicant and the registry. Once registered, the trademark is valid for 10 years, after which to secure the registration a renewal application is to be filed at the end of every 10 years.
Trademark Registration in India helps in propelling a business venture or a company in many ways, it gives an exclusive right to the manufacturer to secure its brand and exclude all others from doing so. In addition to that, in case an infringement occurs the right is statutorily protected. The premise of trademark protection is that no man is entitled to sell another’s mark/ brand name under the guise that it belongs to him the goal is to protect the owner and the consumer in case of any deceit or confusion.
LegalWiz.in is a team of experienced professionals, who serves the businesses as one stop solution for all their needs. Through its online portal www.legalwiz.in is serves the consumers across India. The team is committed towards making the processes simple, affordable and transparent.
The process of online Trademark registration in India is crucial, which is simplified with the help of attorney. Team LegalWiz.in can help you for trademark registration in India at affordable pricing with free trademark search. You may reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kahini Jhaveri is an IP specialist at LegalWiz.in, with a keen interest in content creation. She holds a B.A. LLB honours from Institute of Law, Nirma University, Ahmedabad. Kahini specializes in Intellectual Properties, specifically Trademark Law.
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