Trademarksinn.com:We are Trademark Registration Services in Citi Center, Mangalore
A trademark identifies the brand owner of a particular product or service. Trademarks can be licensed to others.
The owner of a trademark may pursue legal action against trademark infringement. Most countries require formal registration of a trademark as a precondition for pursuing this type of action. The India and other countries also recognize common law trademark rights, which means action can be taken to protect an unregistered trademark if it is in use. Still, common law trademarks offer the holder in general less legal protection than registered trademarks.
A trademark is typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. There is also a range of non-conventional trademarks comprising marks which do not fall into these standard categories, such as those based on colour, smell, or sound (like jingles). A trademark cannot be offensive.
The term trademark is also used informally to refer to any distinguishing attribute by which an individual is readily identified, such as the well-known characteristics of celebrities. When a trademark is used in relation to services rather than products, it may sometimes be called a service mark, particularly in the United States and India.
The essential function of a trademark is to exclusively identify the commercial source or origin of products or services, so a trademark, properly called, indicates source or serves as a badge of origin. In other words, trademarks serve to identify a particular business as the source of goods or services. The use of a trademark in this way is known as trademark use. Certain exclusive rights attach to a registered mark.
It should be noted that trademark rights generally arise out of the use of, or to maintain exclusive rights over, that sign in relation to certain products or services, assuming there are no other trademark objections.
Maintaining trademark rights
Trademarks rights must be maintained through actual lawful use of the trademark. These rights will cease if a mark is not actively used for a period of time, normally 5 years in most jurisdictions. In the case of a trademark registration, failure to actively use the mark in the lawful course of trade, or to enforce the registration in the event of infringement, may also expose the registration itself to become liable for an application for the removal from the register after a certain period of time on the grounds of "non-use". It is not necessary for a trademark owner to take enforcement action against all infringement if it can be shown that the owner perceived the infringement to be minor and inconsequential. This is designed to prevent owners from continually being tied up in litigation for fear of cancellation. An owner can at any time commence action for infringement against a third party as long as it had not previously notified the third party of its discontent following third party use and then failed to take action within a reasonable period of time (called acquiescence). The owner can always reserve the right to take legal action until a court decides that the third party had gained notoriety which the owner 'must' have been aware of. It will be for the third party to prove their use of the mark is substantial as it is the onus of a company using a mark to check they are not infringing previously registered rights.
Licensing means the trademark owner ( the licensor) grants a permit to a third party (the licensee) in order to commercially use the trademark legally. It is a contract between the two, containing the scope of content and policy. The essential provisions to a trademark license identify the trademark owner and the licensee, in addition to the policy and the goods or services agreed to be licensed.
Most jurisdictions provide for the use of trademarks to be licensed to third parties. The licensor must monitor the quality of the goods being produced by the licensee to avoid the risk of trademark being deemed abandoned by the courts. A trademark license should therefore include appropriate provisions dealing with quality control, whereby the licensee provides warranties as to quality and the licensor has rights to inspection and monitoring.
Use of TM, SM and ® symbols
'TM' stands for Trademark and 'SM' stands for Servicemark. The use of TM and SM symbols notifies the public that the company is claiming exclusive ownership of the trademark and can generally be used by one who has filed a trademark application.
The ® symbol, can be used only once the trademark is registered and the registration certificate is issued. Also, you may use the registration symbol only in connection with the goods and/or services in respect of which the trademark is registered.
What can be registered as a trademark?
Name, word, symbol, color, phrase, shape, signature, letters, slogans, surname, packaging can be trademarked which rightly gives an unique image of the company, brand or individual that separates the product or services of one trader from the other. Anything that gives a distinct identity to the product and services which thereafter distinguishes one trader from the other.
What if the trademark is taken?
No need to worry. If your trademark brand name is taken, you can prepare a Logo Composite Mark by combining your logo and your name, and apply as one. This is a common strategy used to apply for a trademark, even if the trade name itself has been taken.
Who can apply for trademark registration?
Any person who claims to be the owner of a trademark, he/she needs to submit the application mentioning the related goods and services associated with the company.
Are Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents the same things?
No, Trademark, copyrights, and patents are not the same things. However, Trademark, Copyright, and Patents are often confused to be the same. Although each one is used to safeguard intellectual property rights, they are fundamentally different from each other and used for different purposes.
Copyright - Protects an original artistic or literary work
Patent - Protects an invention
Trademark - Protects brand names and logos used on goods and services.
Do I have to hire an attorney when filing to register my trademark?
A trademark application can be filed by your own. Attorney's are needed for complex cases that might arise after you file your trademark. Trademark is a simple thing to file and hence, you can even file the trademark application online to save time and money. Also, you can even start the trademark process by using online services and then later on switch to trademark attorneys, if needed.
Can any correction be made in the application or register?
Yes. But the basic principle is that the trade mark applied for should not be substantially altered affecting its identity. Subject to this changes are pefmissible according to rules detailed in the subordinate legislation.
When can I use ™ with my Trademark?
The TM mark can be used along with the trademark once the trademark application is filed with the Government.
Trademark Flow Chart