TRADEMARK

The Trade Marks Registry was established in India in 1940 and presently it administers the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the rules there under. It acts as a resource and information centre and is a facilitator in matters relating to trade marks in the country.

The objective of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 is to register trademarks applied for in the country and to provide for better protection of trade mark for goods and services and also to prevent fraudulent use of the mark.

The main function of the Registry is to register trademarks which qualify for registration under the Act and Rules

What is Trade Mark?

A trade mark (popularly known as brand name) in laymans language is a visual symbol which may be a word signature, name, device, label, numerals or combination of colours used by one undertaking on goods or services or other articles of commerce to distinguish it from other similar goods or services originating from a different undertaking.

The legal requirements to register a trade mark under the Act are:

  • The selected mark should be capable of being represented graphically (that is in the paper form).
  • It should be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others.
  • It should be used or proposed to be used mark in relation to goods or services for the purpose of indicating or so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services and some person have the right to use the mark with or without identity of that person.

What are different types of trade marks available for adoption?

Any name (including personal or surname of the applicant or predecessor in business or the signature of the person), which is not unusual for trade to adopt as a mark. - An invented word or any arbitrary dictionary word or words, not being directly descriptive of the character or quality of the goods/service. - Letters or numerals or any combination thereof. - The right to proprietorship of a trade mark may be acquired by either registration under the Act or by use in relation to particular goods or service. - Devices, including fancy devices or symbols - Monograms - Combination of colors or even a single color in combination with a word or device - Shape of goods or their packaging - Marks constituting a 3- dimensional sign. - Sound marks when represented in conventional notation or described in words by being graphically represented.

What are the benefits of registering a trade mark?

The registration of a trade mark confers upon the owner the exclusive right to the use of the registered trade mark and indicate so by using the symbol (R) in relation to the goods or services in respect of which the mark is registered and seek the relief of infringement in appropriate courts in the country. The exclusive right is however subject to any conditions entered on the register such as limitation of area of use etc. Also, where two or more persons have registered identical or nearly similar mark due to special circumstances such exclusive right does not operate against each other.

What purpose the trade mark system serves ?

It identifies the actual physical origin of goods and services. The brand itself is the seal of authenticity. Ø It guarantees the identity of the origin of goods and services. Ø It stimulates further purchase. Ø It serves as a badge of loyalty and affiliation. Ø It may enable consumer to make a life style or fashion statement