A trademark can be defined as the unique identity that makes your product or service stand out from the rest. The unique identity or expression can be a logo, photograph, slogan, word, sound, smell, colour combination or graphics. Most of the businesses usually look for registration of logo or name only. If you have come up with a unique idea or logo, then the only way to protect it as your own unique identity is to patent it. A registered trademark is your business’s intellectual property or intangible asset. It acts as a protective cover of the company’s investment made in the logo or brand.
In India, trademarks are registered by the Controller General Of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, Ministry Of Industry and Commerce, Government Of India. You can register the trademark under the act named, The Trademark Act, 1999. The registration provides the right to sue against others who try to copy your trademark. Also, no one else can use a similar trademark to the one registered by another person. Once you register a trademark, you can use an R symbol along with it, and it will be valid till 10 years from the date of registration. You can easily get a ™ within 3 days. But, to get an ®, it takes up to 2 years. In case the trademark registration is nearing expiry date, you can always get it re-registered for another ten years.
According to the trademark rules of India, items like sound, logo, words, phrases, colours, images, symbols, initials or a combination of all these can be trademarked. All of these should be made use to make your business stand out from the rest.
A trademark application can be done by private firms, individuals, companies, LLP’s, or NGO’s. In the case of NGOs, LLP’s or companies, the trademark has to be applied for registration in the name of the concerned business.