Q: What is a trademark?
A: A trademark is a brand name. It is a symbol which may be a word, signature, name, device, numerals, label, a combination of colours used by one organization depicting the goods or services or any other articles of commerce to differentiate it from other similar products or services originating from a different organization.
Q: How to select a trademark?
A: To select a trademark, one should see that it is easy to remember, speak and spell. The trademark can be invented words, coined words or unique geometrical designs. It is advised to avoid the selection of the common name, geographical name or surname. Avoid the words describing the quality of goods (such as best, super, better, etc.).
It is prudent to conduct a market survey to determine if a similar mark is used in the market.
Q: What is the role of a trademark?
A: A trademark performs the four functions as follows:
- It helps to identify the goods / or services and their source.
- It helps in guaranteeing the consistent quality.
- It helps to advertise the goods and services provided.
- It creates a picture of the goods/ service.
Q: Who can one apply for a trademark and How?
A: Any person who claims to be the proprietor of a trademark or a mark proposed to be used may apply in writing for registration. Trademark application should contain the trademark, the goods/services, name and address of applicant, agent if appointed with power of attorney and the period of use of the mark. The application should be filed at the appropriate office. It can be submitted at the Front Office Counter of the office or can also be sent by post.
The same can be filed through the e-filing gateway available at the official website.
Q: What are the different types of trademarks that can be registered?
A: Any name which includes personal name or surname of the applicant or ancestor or predecessor or a signature, which is not uncommon for trade to adopt as a mark.
- A word or any arbitrary dictionary word/s, not being directly descriptive of the character or quality of the goods/service.
- Letters, numerals or any combination thereof.
- Either registration may acquire the right to the proprietorship of a trademark under the Act or by use concerning particular goods or service.
- Combination of colours
- Single colour in combination with a word or device
- The shape of goods or their packaging
- Sound marks presented in standard notation or described in words by being graphically represented.
Q: Who gets the benefit if the trademark is registered?
A: The Registered Proprietor of a trademark will receive the benefit as he can create and protect the goodwill of the products or services own by him, he can stop other traders from using his trademark unlawfully, he can sue for damages and secure destruction of the labels or goods.
The Government earns revenue in the form of fee for registration and protection of registration of trademarks. Legal professionals who render services to the entrepreneurs relating to the protection of trademarks and registration get remunerations for the same.
Q: What is the benefit of trademark registration?
A: The registration of a trademark presents the exclusive right of the owner to use the trademark concerning the goods or services of which the mark is registered and seek the relief of breach in the appropriate court. The exclusive right is, however, the subject to any conditions entered on the register such as limitation of area of use etc. if two or more persons have registered same or similar marks due to exceptional conditions.
Q: What does the trademark Register contain?
A: The register of a trademark is maintained in an electronic form. It contains the trademark, the class of goods/ services in respect of which they are registered, particulars of trade or the proprietor description; the address of the proprietors, the application date of convention (if applicable); where a trademark has been registered with the consent of proprietor of an earlier mark or earlier rights, that fact.
Q: What are the sources of Law of the trademark?
A: The Trade Marks Act, 1999 and rules made under, the national statues.
- National bilateral treaty.
- International multilateral convention.
- The decision of the courts.
- Regional treaty.
- Manuals, guidelines and rulings of the Courts.
- The decision of Intellectual Property Appellate Board.