October 27, 2022
India is developing in the area of intellectual property rights (IPR), and several business owners are now registering for trademarks to protect their brands from infringement by others. The Trademark Act, of 1999 serves as the foundation for trademark law in India. In just a few years, India has seen a dramatic increase in trademark registration applications. Apart from that, there are increasing difficulties encountered during trademark registration. Some of the common trademark issues are mentioned below.
1. Choosing a Trademark without Research
Most businesses sometimes rush to finalize their trademark, avoiding all the research and dismissing it all as mere formalities. But if, after all of your hard work creating and registering a trademark, you discover that another company is already using one similar to yours? You will be unable to use it again, effectively rendering all of your effort and time invested in the process useless.
2. Not Evaluating Your Trademark's Strength
This is in your long-term interest as a business to understand the trademark’s strength. Frequently, businessmen overlook this issue, just to discover later the existence of numerous other brands with similar names, save for the replacement of one or two alphanumeric characters. Because however almost the same trade mark has been used by many organizations, this may mislead your customers and cause confusion.
3. Incorrect Use of the TM Symbol
The applied trademark Trademark issue cannot be identical or similar to an existing registered trademark or a symbol for which a registration application is pending with the Registrar. The term similar refers to any graphic or phonetic resemblance. When determining the similarity of trademarks implemented under classes denoted for goods, the Registrar also consider the nature of the goods, the purpose of the goods, and the channel of trade for the goods. However, when determining the similarity of trademarks applied under classes marked for services, the Registrar think about the nature of services, the goal of services, the uses of services, as well as the regular business partnership.
4. Smaller Brands Exploiting Your Trademark
Trademarks have handed control to company owners who don’t qualms regarding exploiting trademarks of well-known brands to boost their revenues as media and the web osphere have advanced. These companies attempt to try and emulate your brand’s practices, giving the appearance that both trademarks relate to the same company. Also, they sell their goods at cheaper prices, reducing your market share. Keep your eyes peeled for such brands!
5. Laying out an Unclear Trademark and IP Protocol
This problem occurs while businesses or organizations are careless in establishing rules concerning the use of their trademark via other organizations and partners. Way to set lax or just no rules in this regard puts you at risk of being eaten by sharks. If you agree to allow a third party to use your intellectual property and trademark, make absolutely sure that all these partnership documents are documented legally. Experts must review these files for inconsistencies or the possibility of scams by either party.
Not only must your company’s trade mark be legally protected, but so must its copyright and patent policies. Before signing any contract, make sure to read it thoroughly to protect your company’s secret information and private information.
6. Failing to file a trademark registration
Trademarks that have not been registered under the Act are considered unregistered. Unregistered trademarks can be utilized to be used in connection with products and services, but they are not very effectively protected by the Act. This can be a lot harmful to a business that is relying on its trademark for the most part of its functioning and sales.
7. Failure To Re-Register/Renew Trademark Before It Expires
TM renewal is required every ten years, so the company will experience an even larger increase in overall trademark registrations in the coming years. The renewal application shall be submitted to the Trademark Office and the duration for it should be no less than one year before the mark’s expiration date. Also, the businesses must complete and submit the application form by the deadline that is given. However, the businesses can extend their protection for another decade but conditioned it should be the timely renewal. In case an individual or company fails to renew its trademark, the mark will become liable for the process of removal, and the holders will be required to restore their trademark in order to retain its extended protection.
8. Role of Attorney in trademark registration
You should look for a TM attorney with a thorough understanding of trademark laws who can offer you legal support at every stage of registration, from choosing the right mark to receiving a registered certificate. Only they can, after learning about your company, select the precise categories under your class for your enterprise. To reduce the risk of the objection, an experienced TM attorney should be able to comprehend your business and submit the application only for the specific categories that pertain to it.
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