FAQ’s on Trademark

What is a Trademark?
A trademark may be a word, symbol, logo, slogan, or any combination thereof that is used to identify and distinguish one person’s goods or services from the goods or services of another, and serves as an indicator of source of the goods or services.
A trademark (popularly known as brand name) in layman’s language is a visual symbol which may be a word signature, name, device, label, numerals or combination of colours used by one undertaking on goods or services or other articles of commerce to distinguish it from other similar goods or services originating from a different undertaking.
Below are some examples of Trademarks:
• Distinctive General Word: Apple
• Fanciful designation: Kodak
• Distinctive Personal Names: Ford
• Slogan: Drink it to believe it (Pepsi), Hum hain na! (ICICI bank limited)
• Device:
• Number: the 4711 cologne
• Picture: (Lacoste logo)
In Trademark is used to indicate that the trademark is unregistered but this mark is used for promote goods. can be used even for trademarks for which registration is not applied to claim use over it.
is used to represent a registered trademark/ service mark that provides the applicant complete ownership and legal rights over the trademark/ service mark.
Use of "TM", "SM" and R notation with Trademark

The "TM" or “SM” notation is merely a means of informing third parties that the person claims trademark rights to the word, slogan, or phrase associated with "TM" or "SM" notation. The same can be used once the application is made for registration of a Trademark. After the grant the symbol "R" is used.

What is a Service Mark?

A service mark is any symbol, word, device or name, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in business, to distinguish and identify the services and the source of services you provide to those provided by others.

Why the trademark is important?
• It identifies the goods / or services and its origin.
• It guarantees its unchanged quality
• It advertises the goods/services
• It creates an image for the goods/ services.
The Trademark makes a distinction between the goods provided by a specific manufacturer or trade person from other comparable goods. The main agenda behind a trademark is to safeguard the interest of traders as well as the consumers. It comprises of a mechanism that represent the impression of human beings, letters, signature, animal, numerals and more. A trademark plays an interesting role in promoting the goods and provides information about the quality of the product. It enables an enterprise to acquire individual rights to utilize, distribute or assign mark. This can be done by registering its trademark. A trademark is designed to present an organization or merchandise, which may belong to an individual, an enterprise or any other establishment. Trademark can also be denoted as Service marks.
What are the types of trademark?
• Any name (including personal or surname of the applicant or predecessor in business or the signature of the person), which is not unusual for trade to adopt as a mark.
• An invented word or any arbitrary dictionary word or words, not being directly descriptive of the character or quality of the goods/service.
• Letters or numerals or any combination thereof.
• The right to proprietorship of a trademark may be acquired by either registration under the Act or by use in relation to particular goods or service.
• Devices, including fancy devices or symbols
• Monograms
• Combination of colors or even a single color in combination with a word or device
• Shape of goods or their packaging
• Marks constituting a 3- dimensional sign.
• Sound marks when represented in conventional notation or described in words by being graphically represented.
What are the benefits of registering the trademarks?
• Registering a trademark protects a company's name or logo, which is often a company's most valuable asset.
• Once the trademark is registered you can use the ® symbol on your logo stating that it is a registered trademark and no one can use the same trademark. It is exclusive of all types of usages as well as rights. If someone else use the trademark then you can also sue the party if the trademark is registered.
• Registering a trademark established quality of product and services are known by everyone through the trademark and which establishes trust and goodwill among the customers in market. It helps in creating permanent customers who are loyal and always opt for the same brand.
• Registering a trademark provides official notice to others that a trademark is already taken; consequently, a company that later adopts a confusingly similar trademark cannot claim ignorance of the mark
• By registering a trademark the trademark owner receives the presumption of being the valid owner of the mark
• Registering a trademark increases the likelihood of the successful filing of a dispute resolution policy for an infringing Internet domain name
• Registering a trademark gives the trademark owner an automatic right to sue in court.
• Registering trademark is a privilege made which can be sold, assigned, franchised or economically contracted. Additionally, the Trademark is an invisible asset which gives the preferred benefit to the association.
• Trademark registered in India is valid for ten years from the date of filing of an application. However, the trademark can be further renewed
Who can file the Trademark Application?

A person or an individual, any form of institution e.g. Proprietary Concern, Partnership Firm, Pvt. Ltd. Company, LLP (Limited Liability Partnership), Public Ltd. Company, Trust etc. any one of the above can file the Trademark Application in their name. so in short a person or an institution who is holding and or using the trademark can apply for the same.

Can an Individual file a Trademark in his/her name?

Yes, an Individual can file a Trademark in his or her name, provided that person should be holding and/or using the trademark.

Is it compulsory to carry out the search before filing the Trademark Application?

No, carrying out the search before filing the application is not compulsory, but it is preferable and suggested to carry out the same, which will help you to find the similar mark, if any.

How doing the search helps to Applicant before filing the Trademark Application? give up any rights by agreeing to Binding Arbitration?

Carrying out the search before filing the Trademark Application helps the Applicant to find out the presence of same and similar Trademarks in TM database, which will minimize the possibility of getting the application, objected.

What is the next step after filing the Trademark Application

After filing the Trademark Application with the Trademark Registry, the Application goes for examination. The dedicated examiners examine the Application and send the Application for next step.

Which type of marks cannot be registered under the Trademark Act?

The marks which are generic in nature, that means the words which are commonly use in day to day language. The marks with the obscene meanings and figures, well-known marks, marks which express quality, quantity, intended values, geographical origin cannot be registered as trademarks.

Can I file the logo and the word mark together?

Yes, you can file the logo and the word mark together. But if the word mark gets objection, then in that case the whole application along with the logo will get the objection.

What is the validity of Trademark?

The Validity of the Trademark is for 10 years and you can renew the same for next 10 years.

When can I renew the Trademark?

You can renew the Trademark before 6 months from the date of expiry. Or you can renew the trademark within the period of one year after expiry of the trademark, but in that case you need to pay the additional charge for the same.

Can I file the trademark online?

Yes, you can file your trademark online. Rather it is advisable to file the trademark online. The Govt. fee fo online filing is less and filing is smooth and fast.

Do I need to file the Trademark Application through the Attorney?

It is not compulsory to file your trademark application through attorney but it is always preferable to do so, as attorney can help you search the similar marks before filing the application, can draft the exact required service description and can also handle the objections and oppositions, if any.

What is the Examination Report?

Examination Report is the report issued by the Examiner after examining the application.

What contents in Examination Report?

Examination Report mention whether the mark has been accepted or it has been objected.

What is the next step after issue of Examination Report?

If the mark has been objected in the Examination Report then the Applicant has to reply to the same within the period of one month after the issuance of Examination Report.

How to resolve the objection raised in Examination Report?

You can draft the appropriate reply to the objection raised by the registry and can file the same through your Attorney. It is always advisable to get the reply draft by the attorney, as manier times there is a legality involve in the objection.

What is famous/Well-Known trademark?

Famous/Well-Known marks are those which has immediate connection with public at large. In short it is a mark which creates the immediate connection in the minds of customers with the particular product and/or service. The moment you see or read the mark you can easily and flawlessly connect the particular product with that mark. These are some best examples of famous and/or well-known marks: McDonalds, Apple, COCA-COLA, Google, 7-O’Clock, Nestle, Bisleri, Canon etc. Famous or Well-Known marks gets a broad legal; protection as they directly connect the customers with the particular products or you may say that the particular products are known by that famous marks.

Can we remove the Trademark from the Trademark Register

Yes, you can remove the trademark from the Trademark Registry by following the requisite procedure for the same.