Why should small entities also get Trademark registered?
Trademark is a symbol, word, phrase, logo, or combination of these that legally distinguishes one entities product from any others. Any infringement on a trademark is illegal and therefore grounds for the entity owning the trademark to sue the infringing party.
People usually confuse trademarks with their company names, thinking that the company name needs to be registered as a trademark. After reading the definition of trademark given above, we understand that an entity can have more than one trademark and it may not be related to the name of the entity. It concerns the product or services provided by an entity, hence an entity can have numerous trademarks.
This article is about the importance of Trademarks and why small entities and startups should also get trademarks registered.
Misconceptions regarding trademark?
- The most common misconception is that a business name is the same as a trade mark. That is not true. Business names and trademarks are different concepts and serve different purposes.
- The purpose of a business name is to enable members of the public to see who is responsible for the particular business. While the purpose of a trademark is to give you exclusive rights to use the trademark.
- The business name or the company name is registered with the “Registrar of Companies” whereas the trademarks are registered with “Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks”.
- Some companies are not sure when they should use the “®” symbol and when they should use the “™” symbol. You should only use the ® symbol if your trade mark is registered. Illegal use of ® is subject to fine. If your trade mark is not registered, you could use the ™ symbol. This provides notice that you claim a trade mark but it is not necessarily registered.
- Many people assume that they can protect their trademark by simply using the mark in commerce. One might ask, “Why should I go through the effort of applying for a registered trademark when I can establish rights through use alone?”
To some extent it is true that you can protect your mark by simply using it, however having the mark registered with the Indian Trademark department offers several advantages.
An Indian registered trademark, for example, serves as constructive notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark. In addition, a registered trademark establishes a legal presumption of your ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the registration. Further, an Indian registered trademark gives the registrant the ability to bring an action concerning the mark in Indian court. In addition, the home country registration can be used as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries.
Why should an enterprise get a trademark?
- Trademarks build’s a brand value for the product in the market, hence making the customers easy to find the product in future. Trademarks help you distinguish your products and services from those of competitors and help identify you as the source.
- Communication being the most important measures for marketing a product, trademarks plays an important role in communication. It becomes a very economical and efficient communication tool. They have a very wide reach across borders cultures and languages.
- Trademarks support stronger sales volume, stronger margins, and can provide price maintenance legally. The price variance among competitive offerings can also be substantial, often by 100% or more in the same setting, such as a newspaper. Here, your brand can make the difference.
- Trademarks allows the enterprise to most efficient utilize the internet. In today’s tech savvy world it is very important to market the products on the internet. Trademarks are often the “top-of-mind” address for an Internet user seeking information about a company and its products/services.
1. Higher traffic on a website translates into higher rankings on search engine results, bringing even more traffic.
2. As a result of the importance of the Internet to marketing, it is crucial to obtain desirable domain names at the same time that a trademark is adopted.
Small businesses assume that they are not important enough to get a trademark registered. This becomes a barrier to their growth. Getting trademarks registered proves to be a great help in the long run and helps in the growth of the enterprises, and bring them to an equal level playing field with the prominent and established companies. Hence, even Startups and small businesses should take the opportunities offered by various tools, as it will take their entity to the next level, giving them a ground to compete with the big shots.