What is Trademark Registration?
Trademark is the sign and symbol, design, name, device, expression, numerals, tagline, logo, label, abbreviation, or combination of colors that recognizes or identifies a product or service. It is an intellectual property that identifies a product or service and its source. Trademark guarantees quality. It also helps in the advertisement for the service or product. It ensures product differentiation. It helps in brand recognition and business expansion.
The owner of a trademark may be an individual, business organization, a company, proprietor, or any legal entity. One can see the trademark on a label, a voucher, a package, or on the product itself. The Trademark Act, 1999 protects the trademark and the rights of the trademark owner and provide legal protection against trademark infringement.
It is important to trademark the business to protect one’s company name and ideas. The name of the applicant in the trademark registration form will be declared as the owner of the trademark.
The validity of a trademark is for 10 years. It has to be renewed before the expiry. But, the process of renewal can be initiated only within one year before expiry. On the failure of the renewal, the trademark will be removed.
Types of Trademarks
The different types of trademarks are
- Product marks
- Service marks
- Collective marks
- Certification marks
- Word marks
- Figurative marks
- Shapes marks
- Pattern marks
- Sound marks
- Motion marks
- Multimedia marks
- Hologram marks
- Position marks
The trademarks related to goods and products is called a product mark. It is used for the identification and differentiation of the goods and products in the market. It distinguishes the products of one manufacturer from another
The trademarks related to services are called a service mark. It is used for the identification and differentiation of the source of services. It distinguishes the services of one proprietor or owner from another.
The trademarks used by a group of companies and protected by the group collectively are called collective marks. An association or public institution can be the owner of a collective mark. Collective marks inform one about the specific characteristics of the product. It is required for the trader to comply with the standards and regulations set by the group.
The trademarks that define the standards are called certification marks. This mark ensures that the product or service satisfies the prescribed standards as per the certification and the product has gone through the specified standard tests. ISO mark is an example of a certification mark.
The trademarks constituting one or more words or the combinations of letters or numbers is called as word marks. The word marks are required to be registered in specific fonts.
The trademarks constituting a figure or a figure with one or more words is called figurative marks. The figurative marks also consist of words in a specific font.
The trademarks consist of the shape of goods are considered as shapes marks. The criteria are that it must be possible to graphically represent the shape. The goods or packaging should possess some distinctive features.
The trademarks consisting of a pattern that could potentially recognize and differentiate the source of goods and services are called pattern marks. It is essential that the pattern has to be identified in the minds of the public.
The sounds which are famous and when people identify the goods or services on hearing it, then such sounds can be used as trademarks. Such trademarks are called sound marks. This can be represented by the sound file or by the description of the sound.
The animated trademarks are called motion marks. The motion mark can be represented by a video file or a series of still images that show the motion while applying for registration.
The trademarks containing the combination of picture and sound are called multimedia marks. This mark can be represented by an audio-visual file.
The trademarks containing a three-dimensional picture using the holographic technique are called as hologram marks.
The trademarks involving specific positions of the trademark on the product are called ad position marks
Forms under Trademark registration
Form TM-1: This is the application form for the register of trademarks of goods and services under section 18 (1).
Form TM-22: This is the application form for the register of a textile trademark consisting of numerals or letters or their combination that comes under rule 25 (5) and 145 of the fifth schedule.
Form TM-2: This is the application for the register trademarks under section 18 (1) and 154 (2).
Form TM-52: This is the format for the single application under section 18 (2) to register the trademarks of goods and services under section 154 (2).
Form TM-51: This is the format for the single application to register the trademarks of goods and services under section 18 (2).
Form TM-8: This is the application form for the register of a series of trademarks under section 15.
Form TM-37: This is the application form for the register of a series of trademarks under section 154 (2).
Form TM-3: This is the application form for the register of a collective mark under section 63 (1).
Form TM-4: This is the application form for the register of a certification mark under section 71 (1).
Form TM-45: This is the application form for the register of a textile trademark under rule 145 and section 154 (2) of the fifth schedule.
Form TM-15: This is the format to state the grounds of decision under rule 40 (1).
Form TM-5: This is the notice of opposition under section 21 (1), 64, 66, or 73.
Form TM-44: This is the application form for the extension of time for filing a notice of opposition under section 21 (1).
Documents required for applying for Trademark Registration
- Application form duly filled.
- The name, and address of the applicant. In the case of a partnership, the name and address of all partners are required.
- Identity proof of the individual or proprietor.
- Address proof of the individual or proprietor.
- The list of goods and services for which registration is required.
- Type of trademark entity.
- Soft copy of the trademark.
- Power of Attorney signed by the authorized signatory of the applicant with name and designation.
- The date of first use of the trademark in the country.
- Documents supporting the use of the trademark.
- MSME or startup certificate if required.
Procedure for applying for Trademark Registration?
- Visit the individual state website of AYUSH.
- Download the necessary form, attachment, list of documents which also comprises of affidavits and other certification such as GMP and CoPP as the case may be.
- If appropriate apply for GMP and CoPP.
- Submit all the prerequisite documents to the directorate of AYUSH.
What if you violate the law?
- The person who falsely represents a trademark as registered will be liable to a punishment of imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with a fine or both under section 107 of the act.
- The person who violates any provisions of sub-section (1) will be liable to a punishment of imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with a fine or both.
It is important to trademark a business to protect one’s company name and ideas. The Trademark Act, 1999 protects the trademark and the rights of the trademark owner and provides legal protection against trademark infringement. It is required for the trademark owners to strictly follow the rules and regulations of the act. Failing to comply with these may lead to punishable offenses under the act.