Every business has a logo, brand name, and product label separating its identity from different firms and entities. If you own a business, you would know how important it is to have a sign that represents your product amongst your loyal customers. Your customers buy your product/services because they trust your brand logo and value. However, you might stand to lose those loyal customers if you find another entity using a brand name or logo that is similar (or even the same) to your name and logo. Your brand name is your Intellectual Property, and it is only fair that you subject it to proper protection from unwanted infringements. A brand name or logo can be protected by Trademark Registration, which is a simple yet effective way to save your company from the inconvenience of litigation.
Types of Trademarks-
Trademarks can be of many ways. Some of the most common examples are:-
- Business Name – Your business name is the most important Intellectual Property you can own. One should protect it immediately before someone steals your name or takes out a similar derivate of it.
- Logo – It is the image or symbol of your business. It can be trademarked by submitting a high-resolution JPEG image to the registry online.
Slogan – It can protect a particular punchline or your company’s slogan by registering it as a Trademark.
- Domain name – Anybody can register a website domain name under Trademark law. It offers the same amount of protection to a business name or a logo.
- Sound mark – A unique sound to your business can also be registered under the Trademark law to protect its uniqueness and genuineness.
Benefits of Trademark registration-
Registering a Trademark offers many benefits to your company, both reputation-wise and money-wise.
- Customer loyalty and goodwill – Your registered Trademark will ensure goodwill and trust amongst your customers in the market.
- Security against infringement – No business competitor or individual will have the right to use your registered trademark for their own personal or commercial purposes. You can initiate legal proceedings against a person who stole your Trademark.
- Cost-efficient – A Trademark registration is quite cost-efficient, for the business has to pay only the maintenance and renewal trademark cost and then become hassle-free for the ensuing 10 years.
Procedure to file a Trademark online-
The first step is to conduct a public search on the trademarks database to avoid future conflicts or opposition.
- The applicant then needs to file an application online, with all the required supporting documents and complete details of the trademark registration. Additionally, if the applicant uses the brand name or the logo, they must file a user affidavit.
- After the application has been filed, the examiner will conduct extensive research and issue an examination report. The report may contain some objections raised by third parties.
- You will have 30 days to reply to the examination report to counter the said objections.
- After filing the reply, the Examiner may appoint a hearing if he is not happy with the replies or conditions under the objections. Post-hearing, the examiner may accept the mark and forward it to be published in the journal.
- The mark will be published in the journal for 4 months to invite opposition from the general public. If a person opposes or objects to the trademark registration, the applicant needs to file a counter statement- after which a hearing shall take place.
- Finally, after all the opposition and objections have been successfully countered, the application moves towards registering the said trademark.Filing a Trademark can prove to be a complicated process and one that you do not want to burden yourself n deny the perks of registered with. Always ensure that you have the right legal aid to help you understand the process, timelines, deadlines, and the documentation required to get the process rolling. Indeed, nobody can deny the perks of a registered Trademark, and it is always advisable to register your Trademark to build a wholesome and thorough business.