Trademark registration allows a Trademark to use symbols or words used to represent a business or the products offered by a business. The Symbols or words used by a business distinguish the goods or services provided by them from their competitors. After registering a trademark, any other organization cannot use it as long as it remains in use.
The Trademark applicant can start using the ™ Symbol with the brand once it is registered. The Trademark acts as an asset for the Company; to protect the brand, an application for trademark registration is a must. The process for trademark registration in India has various steps and requires follow-up with the Government. Hence, it is necessary to be under the guidance of an expert for obtaining the trademark registration quickly
Any person or legal entity can apply for Trademark Registration in India. Foreign nationals or Foreign entities can also apply for Trademark registration. Also, a Trademark application can be made by applicants they wish to use shortly.
The Trademarks Act, 1999, allows the registration of various types of trademarks such as word marks, service marks, collective marks, certification marks, series marks logos/symbols and many others.
- Word Marks: Word Marks are the most common types of trademarks that are registered in India. These refer to any marks that are used to identify the products and services of a trading company or service-providing company. If the name of your product or service is text- based (contains text only) it will be registered under Word Marks.
For Example – The word Nestle® is a registered as a Word-Mark.
- Service Marks: Service Marks represent the service which a company or business deals in. They distinguish different services available in the market and is filed under trademark classes 35-45.
For example – FedEx is a registered courier delivery service provider
- Logos and Symbols: A logo is a printed/painted figure/design/character and do not consist of any letters/words/numerals. For word marks that are also used as a logo, the trademark needs to be registered both as a word mark and a device marks.
In India, the registration for both these aspects can be made in a single application.
For example – Apple has a registered logo which is used on each of their products.
- Shape of Goods: The shape of goods are categorized in Trade Dress (appearance of a product) wherein, other than a logo or label a product can also be distinguished based on its packaging
For example – The bottle of Coca-Cola is distinguished from other brands on the basis of its bottle’s shape.
- Series Marks: Service marks are trademarks which have a common syllable, prefix or suffix, thus denoting as a family of marks sharing a ‘common name.’ They should differ only as to matters of non-distinctive characters(goods, price, quality or size)
For example – McDonald’s have a series of ‘Mc’ registered as word mark which represents their different product range such as Mc Chicken, Mc Veggie etc
- Collective Trademarks: These marks are linked with a group of people and not one single product or service. These trademarks are primarily owned by an organization, institutes or any association. They can be used by members of the organization to represent them as one the part.
They are “Badges of origin” which indicates the specific source of the individual, his/her products and services.
For Example – A chartered accountant can use the “CA” device as he is a registered member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
- Certification Mark: The certification mark is created to show a specific quality standard that the company has met. This means that the public will be aware that the trader’s goods or services are certified as it has met a particular standard, as defined by the certifying body that owns the certification mark.
Certification marks are used to define “Standard” of goods and services
For Example – FSSAI – Certification for the quality of packaged food products
- Geographical Indicators: A geographical indication is used on products to show the unique nature, reputation and quality the products possess based on the place of origin.
The Geographical Indicators are awarded by the GI Registry and is granted to natural, agricultural, manufactured and handicraft products that come from a specific geographical origin.
For Example –Darjeeling Tea is a GI under the Intellectual Property Rights.