What is a Trademark and Its Importance?
Trademark is a branch of intellectual property rights which permit people to maintain ownership rights of their innovative products and creative activity. A trademark includes a name, word or sign that differentiate our product from those of others. Owner can prevent the use of his mark or sign by another Competitor.
Before 1940 there was no law on trademarks in India, which results in infringement of registered or unregistered trademark. The Trademark Act, 1999 gives the right to the police to arrest in case of infringement of trademark.
Types of Trademarks and Their Distinctions
A service mark is any symbol name, device, sign or word which is used to recognize the services of one provider from others. It is used to represent a service rather than a product.
A collective mark is used by employees and a collective group, or member of collaborative associations. It is used by the single members of a group of an organization but is registered as a whole group. Collective trademark and collective service mark are used to indicate the origin or source of the product.
Product mark is a mark that is used on a good or on a product rather than on a service.This type of trademark is used to recognize the origin of product and help in maintaining reputation of a business.
A certification mark indicates certain qualities of goods or services with which the mark are used is certified, a certification mark is defined in the Trademark Act, 1999.
Designation of Trademark
• ™ (™ is used for an unregistered trademark.it is used to promote or brand goods).
• ℠ (used for an unregistered service mark.it is used to promote or brand services).
• R(letterR is surrounded by a circle and used for registered trademark).
Uses of Trademarks in Business
Trademark identifies the owner of the product. The usage of trademark by unauthorized or illegal means by producing it in trading is known as trading piracy. If trademark is registered, owner can take legal action against it but if your trademark is unregistered, the only option is passing off.
Trademark Registration Process
Any person claims to be the owner of the trademark or supposed to use the trademark in future, for this he may apply to registrar in a prescribed manner. The application must contain the name of the goods, mark and services, class of goods and services in which it falls, name of the applicant and duration to use the mark need to be mentioned.
Absolute grounds for refusal of registration
1. Iffrauds the public or causes confusion.
2. There is any matter to hurt religious susceptibility.
3. There is an obscene or scandalous matter.