What Is A Trademark?
A trademark can be defined as the right to a specific and unique name, logo, or symbol that represents your brand or product. It is basically a right to intellectual property that protects the identity of a business or a brand. A trademark can be used to protect any kind of symbol, name, logo, color, or audio sound. When you get a trademark registered, its validity stays for ten years, after which it can be renewed. A trademark protects the name or logo that identifies your business from infringement. It keeps the brand identity unique and distinct.
How to identify a Trademark?
When a name or logo has been registered as a trademark, it can be identified with a ™, ®
or © symbol.
- ™ – This symbol is used when an application for the trademark has been made with the respective authority. It is used to specify that an application of the trademark exists protecting it from infringement.
- ® – The R symbol can be used only when a trademark has been registered. This symbol protects the trademark from infringement under the respective laws of trademark and patents. Using this symbol next to a trademark is unlawful if the registration has not been completed.
- © – The C symbol is a copyright symbol that indicates that a particular work of art, video, photograph, music audio, book, or literature has reserved rights. It acts as copyright protection to the work protecting it from being used or displayed by any other individual or entity. The C symbol is stated along with the name of the copyright holder and the year of first publication of the copyrighted work.
Advantages of Trademark Registration
1. Individual Rights
Trademark Registration gives the holder exclusive rights to the symbol that has been trademarked. It means that no other individual or business can use the same or a similar trademark for their brand. The owner has the sole ownership of the trademark and can stop others from making its unauthorized use.
2. Unique Identity
Registering a trademark for your business gives your brand a unique and distinct identity. It ensures that no other individual or company can use your trademark. It also makes it easier to identify your products as the trademark ensures the sole identity of your brand.
3. Trust and Goodwill
A trademark builds trust and goodwill among the customers by establishing the quality of its products known to everyone through the trademark. It ensures that your customers recognize the brand, repeat purchases, and thus stay loyal to the brand.
4. Protection from Infringement
A trademark that has been registered is protected from infringement. Anyone who copies or uses the trademark in an unauthorized manner can be sued by the owner. If anybody tries to use the trademark without permission of the owner, the owner can easily seek legal protection and disapprove of its unlawful use.
5. Cost Efficiency
Trademark Registration provides protection to a trademark for a period of ten years at a very efficient cost. It makes the cost of using the trademark in advertising and marketing less expensive making the promotion of the brand cost-effective.
6. Creation of Asset
Trademark Registration creates intellectual property for a business which creates an intangible asset. Intangible assets do not have a physical presence however they help in building the image and reputation of a brand in the market.
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A registered trademark is legally protected from unauthorized use and the owner can seek legal protection against its disapproved use. A Trademark act would clearly state that the sole ownership of a trademark resides with the owner and any use of it must be approved by the written word of the owner. A trademark is legally protected for a period of ten years in which it is legally protected from infringement.
A trademark is a unique identity of a brand that is solely owned by that particular company and cannot be used by any other individual or entity. It is valid for a period of ten years and it is legally protected from infringement during that time period. There are various advantages of getting a trademark registered such as exclusive rights, distinct identification, trust and goodwill and asset creation. The owner of a trademark enjoys its sole ownership and hence ensures that the brand is differentiated and stands apart from its competitors.
The process of registering your trademark takes about 18 to 24 months. Once the application has been filed, it takes 2-3 days to issue the application and while the registration is in process, the symbol of ™ can be used beside the trademark in order to indicate that an application has been filed.
The cost of getting a trademark registered can vary from one country to another. However, if you want to register your trademark in India, it takes about 9,000 to 10,000 INR to get one single trademark per class of a company.