For almost a decade and a half, start-ups have been attracting a lot of attention in the business world. Usually based on some brilliant business idea or technological innovation, there have been a lot of success stories of new businesses creating a niche for themselves through their revolutionary ideas. However, failure rate of start-ups is far more than the success rate. There could be many reasons for this dismal performance, and one important factor is the inability to protect the intellectual property, of which trademark is an important component. Trademark gives unique identity to a brand, and is a key asset to a business. A successful brand is recognized by its trademark, and all efforts must be made to protect it. There are many unscrupulous elements in the market who want to fraudulently use a successful brand’s trademark or logo, to cheat the consumers and make quick money. You must consult a trademark lawyer in India when you decide to start a new business. However, there are certain things that you should anyway know about trademarks. We will discuss five important points that every entrepreneur should know about trademarks.
Company Name and Trademark
When you decide to set up your company, the first thing you need to do is select a name. While choosing a name for your company you should make sure that it reflects your business and would connect well with the consumers. To ensure that no other business operates under the same or similar sounding name, you must register your business. The name should be unique without any resemblance to any other company. Once you choose a company name and get it approved and registered, you get the exclusive right to its use. The name is now trademarked and no other business can legally use the same name. The company name plays an important role in branding and marketing your product or services, so you must pay particular attention to it.
Many start-ups do not take trademark registration very seriously in their initial stages of existence. Their focus is on growing their business. As they are not a known brand with hardly any reputation to count on, trademark registration is put on the back burner. With limited financial resources they do not want to incur additional expenses. The general perception is that once they establish themselves in the market, they would register their trademark. The notion that the continuous use of a logo would automatically give them the right to it is highly misplaced. During this period, if some other company registers the same trademark, you may lose the right to its use. Defending your rights later on would incur heavy expenses and also consume lot of valuable time. It is, therefore, very important that you register your trademark straight away as it is more convenient and easy to protect.
Register Your Trademark Before You Start Using It
Any trademark lawyer in India would suggest that you register your trademark before you actually start using it. New start-ups are being registered every day and chances of getting a trademark of your choice get reduced with every passing day. The longer you wait to register your trademark, higher the chance of losing out on the logo or trademark of your choice. You don’t have to wait to register your trademark till you have started using it. You can file your trademark registration on the basis of your intended use of it for commercial purpose in the future. However, once you start the process of registration based on the intended use, you subsequently have to prove that you have started using it to get it finally registered.
Limitations on Choice of Trademark
As you are already aware, you cannot register a mark that is already in use by some other company, but your choice of trademark is subject to some other additional conditions as well. For instance, some words, images and symbols are not allowed to be used in trademarks. Also, similar sounding or similarly spelt names as that of any other business cannot be registered. Words that can likely mislead the consumers about your product or service are not allowed to be registered as well. Therefore, you must ensure that your choice of trademark meets the eligibility conditions before you file your application.
Trademark infringements are not just limited to exact replication of an existing mark already in use. If your trademark leads to any confusion with some other company’s logo, then it can amount to infringement. It can even have negative impact on your own business. So, research properly before you adopt and propose to register a mark. Avoid any similar sounding, similar-looking, or similarly spelt mark to avoid any problem in the future. You are liable to be sued if your trademark resembles any existing mark. Trademark lawyer in India says that it is important that you know about trademarks before you set up your business and file your application. If you keep in mind the above-mentioned points, it will help you in establishing your business and run it smoothly without any intellectual property hassles.