What is a brand name / trademark?
A trademark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears, originate from a unique source. It is used to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.
The public identifies your organization with the brand name. For example Nike is a well known brand name. But how many of us know that the brand was started by a U.S. based company called Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964 and became Nike, Inc. in 1978 due to the popularity of the brand name. It is always easier to promote your brand rather than your company name. Take the brand Prestige. It was introduced by a company called TTK. But most of us know the range of kitchen products by the name Prestige. The list of brands go on like Bru, Kissan, Lipton, Kwality Walls, Modern Bread, Knorr (Hindustan Unilever Ltd), Sumeet mixie (Power Control & Appliances Pvt Ltd). Many of us may not even bother to find out the company that brought out the brand. That’s the power of a brand!
What happens when we build a brand over a period of time and someone misuses it or starts selling similar products of poor quality under the same name? What happens when somebody imitates a logo into which a lot of our creativity has gone? Infuriating isn’t it? So how do we prevent this kind of a violation? By registering the name with the concerned authorities, which is what the rest of this article is going to talk about.
Registering your brand name or logo is the only way through which you can protect it from being improperly used. There are many startups and young entrepreneurs who think that they should wait till their business gets established to register their brand name. Wake up! By the time you establish your brand name what if someone else in another corner of the country thought of the same / similar name and had applied for its registration? Will it be possible for you to change your brand name after so many years of toil in establishing it? Somebody was telling me that he had established a brand and it took him 10 years to realize that the name had already been applied for by another businessman and the former had to start from scratch once again. It hurts!
The cost of registering a trademark is nothing when compared to the litigations costs and the mental toil that you have to go through if the name is misused when you have not registered it.
Consider that you are looking for somebody to invest in your business. He/she would definitely prefer a registered brand name. They would want the brand name to be protected against any violation or misuse
How to register a trademark?
Firstly you need to identify the class under which you want to register you brand name. For instance, if you are selling footwear, you are required to apply to register under the respective class out of the 45 classes available for the purpose. While the first 34 classes are for goods, the rest are for services.
However if you register your brand name under a particular class, it maybe used by somebody else under any other class. Remember, separate applications are required to be filed for brand name and logo. It is also important to decide in whose name you want to register the brand name. If it is registered in your company’s name the constitution may change from time to time. Therefore it may be a wise decision to register it under the business owner’s name and allow it to be used by the company.
It is also normally recommended to conduct a search to check whether somebody has already applied for a name which is identical or similar to the name that you propose to apply for.
After the application is submitted to the concerned authorities, you are allowed to use the letters ™ next to your brand name. After the trademark application has been approved and the name appears in the Trademark Journal you are allowed to use the ® symbol next to your brand name.
So do not wait to establish your business. Register your brand name and logo right away to avoid any mental agony in future.
For further assistance in trademark registration mail us at email@example.com