Brand identity is one of the most important aspects of running a business today. A business is prone to succeed if it can establish an effective brand identity in the minds of its target audience. All business owners know how much of a hassle it is to create a unique brand. Today, all consumers are attracted to the efforts that go into a business. Your brand name is the first factor that a potential client will look for. Online Trademark registration is one such process that allows people to build a unique brand identity.
Through this article you will not only understand what a trademark is and its registration process, but also how a registered trademark can impact the brand identity of any business.
What is trademark registration?
Trademark registration refers to the process of registering Intellectual property. Where the intellectual property in question is a trademark. As the name suggests, a trademark covers all unique marks that are capable of being geographically represented in the course of trade. The trademark registration process includes the following steps:
- Identifying a unique name;
- Identifying the appropriate trademark classes;
- Conducting Search;
- Filing TM – A;
- Examination of the mark;
- Advertisement of the mark in a journal;
- Opposition; and
What can be applied for online trademark registration?
The following are the key characteristics of a registrable trademark:
- The mark must be unique and distinctive;
- It must not be deceptively similar to any existing mark;
- The mark cannot be against public morals;
- Not such that it looks the mark is associated with any political body; and
- Not hurtful to the religious sentiments of others.
Now that we know the salient features of a trademark, let’s see how online trademark registration can impact a brand image:
Increases Trust and Credibility
Trust and Credibility play a very important role in building a brand. Well-established brands even fall to the ground when they lose their credibility. So, as a new business owner, the first order of business is to start building your credibility as a legit business in the market. Having an online trademark registration proves your legal ownership over the brand. Further, having the registered mark symbol also increases credibility.
Especially now, that people are aware of what online trademark registration means.
The most important aspect of all intellectual property registrations is that it gives the original owner of that IP the exclusive right to use, copy, license, and recreate the IP. This is valid for registered trademarks also. The exclusivity ensures that no unauthorized person is acting instead of your brand. This will help a brand owner in maintaining authenticity.
The exclusive owner of a brand also has the license rights over the mark for a certain period. This licensing usually happens in exchange for monetary consideration. Hence, it becomes a way of income for the brand owner. However, apart from the licensing being a way of extra income, it provides more exposure to your brand. An example of trademark licensing can be the brand collaborations that happen these days. It gives exposure, money and also builds the goodwill of a brand, especially a new brand.
The first impression is something that might build or break a brand image. So, when stakeholders such as investors, target audiences, [potential employees, other government bodies, etc. see that a brand is registered at a first glance, it leaves a retainable first impression in the minds of these stakeholders. Which is beneficial for the short as well as long run in the business. As we all know the most common factor to spread awareness of a business is word of mouth. A good first impression will attract good things for a business.
Protection from infringement
Infringement is when someone tries to sell their products or services using a brand name deceptively similar to a registered trademark. For example, street vendors selling Rebok and Nice instead of well-known brands Reebok and Nike are infringing the rights of these brands. When you have a registered trademark, your mark is protected from being infringed. Even if someone uses a mark similar to yours, you can take legal action against the infringing party. The options available in case of infringement are as follows:
- Sending a cease and desist notice;
- Filing a civil suit and claiming damages/destruction of infringing copies; and
- Filing a criminal suit for penalties and imprisonment.
Intangible assets of the business
All intellectual properties are intangible assets. As a result, you can disclose the expenses towards IPR registration as an asset in the balance sheet of your business. Further, just like any other property, even trademarks are freely transferable. You can assign part or full of your rights along with the goodwill associated with it, to a willing third party in exchange for a consideration. This is known as trademark assignment. A registered trademark is a way to not only build brand identity but also a way to generate income, as stated here.
Trademark registration in India takes up to 18 months to complete. You can file a trademark application on your own. Yet, it is always better to get your trademark application filing by a certified service provider.
I am Lucy Jack, and I have been working as Content Writer at Rananjay Exports for past 2 years. My expertise lies in researching and writing both technical and fashion content. I have written multiple articles on Gemstone Jewelry like Opal Ring and other stones over the past years and would love to explore more on the same in future.