Understanding Brand Names, Logo Or Trademark Registration In India
“What’s in the name? A rose would still smell sweet even if it was called by a different name.” However, whenever a person says ‘rose’, the brain recognizes and imagines the sweet smell and fragrance of a rose.
Similarly, whenever an image of a white flying bird in a blue background appears the first thought that comes in the brain is the name ‘TWITTER’, when the brain sees a half eaten apple, immediately the name ‘APPLE’ rings a bell, a purple color wrapping immediately points towards ‘CADBURY DAIRY MILK’. This is the power of a brand name, logo or trademark.
A brand name or logo is exclamatory. It acts as a symbol of success and a commitment to the customer.
Understanding Brand Names, Logos and Trademarks
A logo is a graphic mark, emblem, symbol or stylized name used to identify a company, organization, product, or brand. It may take the form of an abstract or figurative design, or it may present as a stylized version of the company’s name if it has sufficient brand recognition. A logo can be understood as a design, mark, graphic or symbol that represents a product or service which an organization or a business is offering
Brand names, Logos or Trademark offer a unique identity to business entities to attract consumers in a highly competitive market environment..
Importance of having a Brand Name, Logo or Trademark
- It grabs attention
- It makes a strong first impression
- It’s the foundation of the brand identity
- It’s memorable
- It separates a brand from competition
- It fosters brand loyalty
- It invites new customers to get to know the brand
To ensure identifiability with logos, intricacies are critical and consideration must be paid to every single component of the logo, including colors, shapes, and fonts. A well-designed logo indicates the nature of administrations and merchandise offered by an organization, and the business foundation of an organization, to the relevant customers’ class.
Importance of Registering a Brand Name, Logo or Trademark
- It provides an exclusive right to use
- It serves as an acknowledgement to quality of the associated brands in the minds of the consumer
- It serves as a unique identifier for the brand
- It protects the goodwill and reputation of the brand
- It enhances the market value of the brand
- It leads to creation of an intangible asset for the business
- It gives a legal right to stop a person from any unauthorized use of the logo
Creating the Right Brand Name, Logo or Trademark
- It should be Memorable
- It should be Meaningful
- It should be Likeable
- It should be Transferable
- It should be Adaptable
- It should be Protectable
Protection of Logo as Trademarks in India
A brand name, logo or a trademark is perceived as a property by the virtue of law. They enable consumers to identify a business entity or brand distinctively. It can be protected under the Indian Trademark Law. Trademark is defined under Section 2 (zb) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 as a mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include shape of goods, their packaging and combination of colours.
Trademark is an intellectual property that distinguishes the goods or services of one business from that of the others. The key requirement for a trademark to be protected is highly dependent on its distinctiveness. Once trademark protection is attained, the law enables to impede the inappropriate use of the brand and also protects the right for trademark infringement lawsuits in case of an infringement.
Trademark is not limited to the brand names or slogans but can offer protection for the Logo itself. Further, it also offers protection to the elements of the logo, like names, fonts, colors, typography, shapes, etc., that are not protected by copyright. Protecting a logo with a trademark is vital in maintaining the brand equity that it can help to build and preventing the marketing of fraudulent copycat products.
Brand Names, Logo Or Trademark Registration In India
Registering a logo under the Trademark Law includes following steps:
- A trademark application in India can be filed for a single-class or multiple classes. Once a trademark application is filed with the requisite documents and details, the Registry issues an official receipt towards trademark filing.
- After filing, the application goes through a preliminary check also known as Formalities check pass. Under this, the Registry verifies whether the trademark application has been filed by the applicant in the prescribed manner or not.
- Thereafter, the trademark application is examined by the Registry. If there are any objection against the trademark under Section 9 and 11 of the Trademark Act, then an examination report is issued by the Registry.
- The applicant has to file a reply to the examination report/ office action within one month from the date of receipt of examination report.
- If during hearing the mark is accepted, the Examiner will advertise the mark in Trademark Journal.
- After publication in the Trademark Journal, the mark is open to opposition by third parties. An opposition against the mark can be filed within 4 months from the date on which the mark was published in the Trademark Journal.
- If no opposition is filed against the trademark during the prescribed period, then the mark proceeds towards registration.
Additionally, a logo can also be protected under the India Copyright Law as a work of artistic creation, as sometimes a logo includes certain artistic or design elements. However, protecting it under Copyright Law has its own limitations.
Remedies against any infringement of Brand Name, Logo or Trademark
There are several remedies available against any infringement of a Brand Name, Logo or Trademark in India:
- Civil Action– The Competent Courts can be moved for grant of relief of injunction or damages against infringement and/or passing off.
- Criminal Proceedings– Criminal complaints can also be filed against persons who has infringed in addition to a civil action.
- Administrative Remedies– Notice of opposition can be filed against trade mark applications published in the Trade Marks Journal. Proceedings can be initiated for rectification/cancellation of registered trademarks before the Registrar of Trade Marks.
To know more about trademark application in India click here
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