If you are a business owner, then you will understand the significance of your brand name and logo. They are the face and identity of your brand. Whether its any paid promotion of your products and services or the word of mouth publicity, your brand name is the first thing that stands out to your clients and customers.
And because your brand name is so important in your business, it’s very important to protect it. And that can be achieved by Trademarking your brand name.
But before we get started it’s important to understand in the first place what is a trademark? Trademark is a specific name, symbol, word, number, picture, or a combination of all these, registered legally to represent the business, product, or establishment.
Why Trademarking Your Business Name is Important?
Trademarking protects your brand name from imitation and infringement avoiding any duplicity and counterfeiting of your products. It also distinguishes your brand from others and avoids any confusion between customers. It can also help build a loyal customer base. And can also increase your goodwill, resulting in long term profitability for your business.
Procedure To Trademark Your Business Name?
Contrary to what most business owners think, Trademarking your business name and logo is a relatively simple process. You can do it both via the traditional route by opting for a physical filing or go the easy way around by choosing the E-filing method.
And if you still find it hard to follow through there are several websites and blogs that provide this service for a nominal fee.
We’ll briefly run you through the process of Trademarking your business name.
1. Pick an Appropriate Name For Your Business
First and foremost you need to pick a name that is fitting and suitable for your business. If you can pick something catchy or trendy that captures the essence of your brand, even better. Just make sure that whatever name you have chosen is not already trademarked.
2. Apply For Registration of Your Brand Name
As mentioned earlier this can be done both on-line or off-line. If you opt for Manual filing you are needed to fill the relevant form for your business, attach all the required documents, and submit the application at the Registrar Office of Trade Marks situated nearest to you. You will receive an acknowledgment number in about 15-20 business days.
If you chose to take the easier option you can apply online. Just fill the form upload the supporting documents, pay the fees, and instantly get an acknowledgment receipt.
After receiving the acknowledgment number, you are free to use the trademark symbol (™) with your brand name.
3. Examination By The Registrar
Once your application is successfully dispatched to the Registrar, a verification process is carried out. Once all the conditions are satisfied your brand name will be added to the Indian Trade Mark Journal.
4. Approval of The Trademark and Issuance of a Certificate
In addition to the Journal, your trademark should pass a period of a minimum of 90 days without being opposed by anyone. This period is different for different classes of businesses.
After this, the Registrar will issue a Registration Certificate with the seal of the Trademark Registry.
Now you can use the symbol of ® next to your business name to signify your trademarked status.
Where Can You Trademark Your Business Name?
You can apply for a trademark and find everything related to trademarking in India on the official website of the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks. Here’s a quick link to it: http://www.ipindia.nic.in/index.htm
The fees for filing a trademark can vary from anywhere between, 4500 to 9000 rupees depending on the size of your business entity. Notably, the fees for the Physical filing of trademarks are higher than online filing sitting between the range of 5000-10000 rupees. A complete list of fees for every activity can be found on the official website under the ‘Forms and Fees’ section.
Here’s a list of all the documents that you need to complete the process of trademarking:-
- Form applicable to the enterprise, filled and signed by the Applicant.
- A soft copy of the trademark logo.
- Incorporation/ Registration Certificate of the Business.
- Proof of Identification of the applicant.
- Proof of Address of the applicant.
- Proof of Address of the Business location.
- A proof of claim on the trademark that can be used in any country other than India.
- You may be required to submit any additional documents depending on the nature of your trademark application.
Benefits of Trademarking Your Brand Name
Even though it’s completely your choice as a business owner to decide whether or not you want to trademark your name and logo, it can be a good idea to go ahead and do that. Here’s why-
- If you are a new business, then having your brand name and logo trademarked can differentiate you from other brands in the market and help you reach a larger customer base.
- If you are operating in a cut-throat market, a trademarked identity can make it easier for your customers to recognize your brand easily. Thereby decreasing any chances of losing customers to similar or counterfeited brands.
- A trademarked name can come in handy if you are looking for any loan/investments for your business. The registered trademark acts as a security against loans and borrowings.
- Trademarks can also be helpful if you are looking into expanding your business. Be it opening a new location for an existing business or a new product or a new industry, people are likely to recognize you and trust you easily if they already had a good experience with you in the past.
- Also, any trademark registered by a business, adds to its intangible assets. Financially speaking, it provides a good reflection on the business’s balance sheet.
- It can give your business a legal cushion if someone tries to copy your products. As you have all the legal evidence to defend your trademark, you can sue the other party for any damages to your business.
- Sometimes you may be unintentionally using a name/logo already registered by somebody else. This can make you vulnerable to legal proceedings from the other party. If you trademark your business name, you can easily know if your business name is already taken or not, and that way you can always make any changes to your business name to avoid any legal trouble.
So, whether you are a new business just starting its operations or an already established organization, offering multiple products and services, its always a smart idea to trademark all your unique ideas and concepts to avoid getting copied and impersonated.
You can either do it yourself or consult a lawyer depending on your preferences and needs. By just paying a small amount of money and a little bit of your time you can ensure for a long time that your hard work doesn’t unnoticed and no one can take advantage of your creativity.