Initial Considerations for trademark registration

 

What is a trademark?

Consider this - you may have designed an extremely functional and visually appealing product. It could also be possible that you are offering a service that is unique and special. In this regard, it becomes important that your product or service gets an identity. Something can people associate with and instantly connect with you. A trademark serves as this identity.

In its basic terms, a trademark is a symbol, a design, a name or any other such detail that is immediately recognizable to a particular brand, company, product or service. It is the impression of a public or private entity (company or individual) that will identify the services or products that they offer and create a distinct uniqueness about them. With some understanding of trademarks, you will be able to create a unique and perfect trademark for your business. Trademarks are very important for any business to create a competitive edge and to ensure that its customers remain loyal due to the brand recognition that the trademark offers. Entities that have trademarked their name or symbol or any other such representation use the letter ‘TM’ or the symbol - Ⓡ to indicate their uniqueness.

A trademark gives your business its unique presence. It also ensures that your innovative products are not offered by your competitors. Without a trademark, there is a good chance that the products or services you offer will just get lost in the crowd.

Trademark registration - why is it important?

Trademark registration is protecting the intellectual property associated with your trademark. It is true that your trademark is your asset and hence in order to protect it, you must legally own it. Registration is the process that will help you with becoming the legal owner of your trademark. A trademark is often considered to be the most important investment that you will make for your business. With registering your trademark, you are basically protecting your business’ uniqueness.

There are many negative consequences that could result from not registering your company’s trademark. The most common consequence is your logo or brand name being used by another business which may confuse your customers. If this happens and if the company that had used your trademark registers it, then you will be the loser as you will have re-design everything from scratch.

The process to register your trademark follows a certain simple steps. You don’t have to really take too much pain or spend too much money for registering it. However, it is true that no-registration of your trademark may even result in monetary losses as other businesses may register your trademark under their name and you will then have to pay monetary penalties for infringing their intellectual property. 

Things to bear in mind when choosing your trademark.

Starting your business is definitely exciting and there are several things you need to plan before you get started. Choosing your business name and a trademark is among the most important things to look into. Your business will be recognized by the trademark you decide for it. It could be your logo, your business name or any specific design that you want to be associated with; no matter what you want to trademark, here are a few things to bear in mind -

1. Look to the future: When choosing a business name, you should test different possible names and come up with something that is futuristic. This will give your business a long term vision and help you in creating a brand that is well ahead of times. While it may be a good idea to have a business name that is representative of your products or services, always look for a broader term that will not narrow down the focus of your business but will keep scope for diversification.

2. Do your research well: Your trademark needs to be unique. It should be something that your customers cannot confuse with some other business. Spend time to do your research to be sure that the trademark you plan to use is not resembling existing trademarks. If that is the case, you should alter it in a manner that it becomes absolutely unique. Particularly if there is an overlap of products/services with existing trademarks.

3. Make it easy to comprehend: Word of mouth publicity is the most important source of marketing for any business. In this view, if you have a business name that is difficult to pronounce or a symbol that cannot be easily comprehended, you are losing out on the most important source of marketing.

4. Use names that are not too generic: When choosing names for your business, it would not be advisable to opt names that are too generic or descriptive. This would make it difficult for you to trademark your name. For instance, if you call your retail outlet that sells computers and laptops as the "The Laptop Shop", the name is too descriptive to be given a trademark. Every other laptop retailer can use this description. On the other hand, choosing names that are unique will save you a lot of time as you will get your trademark rather quickly. 

Make sure that you have a trademark that represents you and your business. A good trademark will add to the good will of any business. Remember that you can always fall into trouble if you do not do your research well. Applying for a trademark that is already owned by another company can even result in claims and other liabilities. Getting the right advice can save time and money. 

 

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