Why are trademarks important for your business? Before we jump into the importance of trademarks for businesses and startups, let us first discuss what is a trademark? Then we will understand why your business needs a trademark?
What is a Trademark?
Trademark is a rational property that consists of different sorts of expressions or designs of a particular product. A trademark can come in the form of a slogan, logo, or symbol of the company. Trademark also prescribes designs for the company logo. Thus, a company’s trademark has a huge role in building its reputation and customer base. This is because customers usually identify a brand or business by its symbol. So, business owners regard trademarks as their highest priority.
Are you confused whether your business name is taken or available? Read: How to make sure my business name is available
Importance of Trademarks
Companies in India and all over the world use wide range of trademarks to build their brand. Trademarks are a preferred form of intellectual property as they help increase sales, promotions, and aids in advertising of company’s products and services. Moreover, trademarks have a security purpose wherein they protect your business from duplication and breaches by competitors. This is why your your business needs a trademark.
Do you want to register a trademark in India? Learn the complete process step-by-step here: A Complete Guide to Trademark Filing and Prosecution in India
What are the types of Trademarks?
There are three different types of trademarks:
- Product Trademark
- Trademarks for services
- Trademarks for unique packaging
Why trademark is important?
For a business, trademark plays an important role in overall image building. Let us take an example of Starbucks, we recognize Starbucks from their classic trademark logo. Now, how does having this copyrighted logo help Starbucks? Here is how:
- Getting recognized by customers and building a huge customer base
- Prevent any other company from copying their known trademark, thus safeguarding their trademark.
What is the purpose of a Trademark?
- Asset Importance: It is crucial for your company and its business to view a trademark as an important asset. This is because as your company will grow, people will start recognizing the trademark building a strong brand identity. Thus, a trademark should be regarded as a long-term asset that is going to benefit business names and market position immensely by targeting potential customers. Having a trademark aids to your company’s marketing efforts and forms an important part of marketing strategy.
- Brand Safeguarding: Getting a trademark is like establishing your brand’s graphical identity in the mind of customers. A trademark gives you exclusive rights over your products and services along with providing legal protection. Once you have trademark protection from your country’s trademark office, it becomes your intellectual property. Thus, a trademark will safeguard your company from any infringement. In addition, it will also ensure that a particular product or service is entirely your company’s property giving you full right to use and sell them. If anyone else tries to duplicate your trademark, you can initiate a legal action against them.
- Sense of Uniqueness: Every company is different in terms of its products, services, and ideas. However, there are people ready to duplicate your unique ideas and take advantage of them. Thus, it is important to register your brand by means of a trademark. Not only does it safeguard your ideas, but also makes your products stand out in the market giving your brand a separate identity. Customers want to use new and innovative products that have a separate identity.
- Simple Communication: Trademark is a simple yet constructive tool. Humans understand pictures better than theory or words. And that is exactly what a trademark does. It is a graphical representation of your company, as a visual message about what your company has to offer. Customers remember a logo or image more than words or paragraphs. Also, it becomes easy for them to differentiate your company from a competitor in the market. For example, the moment you see a car with four overlapping rings on it, you will recognize it as a product from Audi. Similarly, a jumping jaguar represents Jaguar. However, you can even get a trademark registered for a word or words. In such cases, make sure you use catchy phrases or taglines.
- Easy Finding: A company with a separate trademarked logo is generally considered an authentic one. For customers, it gets easy to locate your company if it has a distinguished trademark.
- Forever Lasting: If you register a trademark symbol today, it will last forever. With years, the company will grow and so does the value of its trademark. Also, a trademark can be renewed every ten years. Thus, the identity of the brand keeps on living with the trademark.
Do you know on what grounds USPTO rejects a trademark application? Read : Top Reasons for Trademark Registration Refusal in the USA
Is trademark necessary?
Trademark is not a necessity right now, but if we analyze the benefits one can fetch from it, then it becomes extremely important to get your trademark.
Let us understand the importance of trademark with two cases:
- Suppose you have an amazing business idea and business structure, and now you want to begin operations. But what about the company’s name and logo? Obviously, it is not possible that you use some other company’s registered name or logo as it will invite intellectual property infringement violations. Your company will undergo trademark infringement litigations that will cost you way more resources than getting a trademark.
- Even if you end up escaping the laws and using a registered company’s trademark name or logo, your brand will be a cheap copy rather than being an original service provider.
So, it is imperative that you come up with a unique idea about your company’s name and logo. Trademarking your company’s logo will provide national protection.
Authority of Trademarks: National and International Laws and Conventions
There are two primary national legislation governing trademarks in India i.e.
- The Trademarks Act 1999 and
- The Trademarks Rules 2017
India has signed and ratified following international treaties and agreements relating to trademarks:
- the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
- the Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol
- the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
In addition, India is also a ratifying nation for following treaties of WIPO:
- the Nice Agreement on the International Classification of Goods and Services; and
- The Vienna Classification, established by the Vienna Agreement.
In India, the trademarks laws are administered by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks that comes under the Department of Industrial Policy Promotions, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Thus, no matter what type of business entity your company falls under or what is your business model, you should definitely get a trademark for your brand.
What is the role of trademark search in trademark registration?
Trademark search essentially forms the first step of trademark registration process. Before proceeding with your trademark application process, it is important that you check for any similar marks. Trademark search ensures that your trademark is unique and warns about any similar trademarks in the market. If you file for registration of a trademark that is already in use, it will be a case of trademark infringement and invite legal action. Therefore, before filing a trademark application, one must perform trademark clearance search to avoid office action. At federal level, a trademark search can be conducted using USPTO’s TESS database. Applying for a trademark identical to one similar in use, you are at risk of denial of registration by USPTO. You can also take help from search engine to identify similar trademarks.
TMReady is a trademark search service provider company that ensures that your trademark does not infringe upon someone else’s trademark rights. Along with trademark search, we provide trademark monitoring services to ensure that no other company or individual is infringing upon your registered trademark. We have an experienced team of professionals and use advanced tools to perform exhaustive trademark searches for your proposed trademark. Our trademark availability searches are conducted keeping identity elements and likelihood of confusion in picture. Have any more queries? Visit us here and get your answers