How to Protect Your Brand Image
Your business is known to the world not by the numbers of hours you invest in scribbling down ideas, nor by your eureka dream which started your entrepreneurial journey, rather it’s the unique name and a logo which gets your business a global recognition.
An eye catchy name and a logo aid your business to build a recognizable brand. The visual representation of your brand captures the psyche of the customers and creates a long-lasting impact.
Brand name and logo is an abbreviated graphical representation of your business, its culture, beliefs. It is, in fact, the basic DNA of your brand which needs to be duly protected from competition.
You need to provide your brand with a legal cushioning by getting your name and logo trademarked. A trademark will protect your logo from getting diluted, infringed, mimicked or knocked off by any other company in the market.
Let’s explore the roadmap of trademarking a brand name and logo in India.
Businesses have a liberty to register and protect any words, phrase, numbers, logo, graphics, colors, sound marks or a combination of these. On registering a brand name, the business gets exclusive rights over the trademark and can sue other infringers.
In order to trademark your brand, you are required to follow the following procedure. So first things first, you need to
Maybe your gut helped you discover a brilliant idea, but your gut might land you up in a trap of infringement. What would happen if the unique crazy name you thought isn’t original enough? It will make you an infringer, and your business will be sued even before it takes a shape.
Before you zero in your brand name and logo, you need to conduct an exhaustive search. Make sure that it is not used by any other company. Thinking of a quirky and a bizarre name or a logo may become a bit tedious, so instead of focusing on a generic name try to invent a self-made word or use a combination of words.
# Get The Basic Paper Work Right
The moment you finalize a suitable name and logo for your business, you need to arrange a couple of documents before you proceed to file the trademark application. A trademark can be filed by any person either in its individual capacity or on behalf of any registered entity.
You are required to arrange for,
- Identity proofs of the applicants
- Image of the brand logo in jpg format
- Proof of usage of mark, if any
- Details of the class/ field it is to be registered
# Your Brand Earns A Provisional Protection Cover
The Trademark Application for the brand name and logo can be filed either separately or under logo composite by paying the statutory government fee.
On having filed the trademark application, an acknowledgment is issued which authorize the applicant to use the symbol ™ along with its brand name and logo.
This ™ symbol sends a message to the others that your brand name and label is reserved and is under registration for the time being. It restricts others from using the same.
# The Wait: It’s The Procedural Time Lag
The concerned registrar will examine the application. The application is most likely to be accepted if the name or logo applied for is not similar to any registered or pending brands, neither does it violates any rules nor is it prohibited.
After passing the examination stage, the same is published in the Indian Journal. On publication, the name becomes liable to any opposition by other companies. If the trademark is not opposed within the stipulated period of around 3 months, then it is accepted as a trademark.
The entire process takes about 15-18 months.
# Your Brand Gets Legal Protection
A certificate of Registration of the trademark is issued by the IP authorities. The trademark is valid for a period of 10 years, which is subject to further renewal by paying the requisite fee.
Once the certificate is issued, you can replace the ™ symbol with ®(Registered) symbol.
You are entitled with all the legal rights to protect your brand from any trespassers and infringers.
On the verge of starting a new journey, brand protection might seem a bit cumbersome. But a right start at an early stage will save you a lot many pennies instead of letting your infant business bite the dust by falling prey to either brand theft or infringement battle.
However, if you wish to improve the degree of protection, you could get your trademarked name and logo copyright.
About the Author,
Has an impassioned zeal for penning the untamed thoughts. He likes to explore different realms of the technology-driven business world along with a legal touch. When not writing he is busy watching football or gaming for as long as he possibly can. Currently, he is associated with StartUpSection.com which is currently dealing in Company Registration in India , Trademark Registration and other associated services.