A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others, although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks.
The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity trademarks are also being displayed on company buildings.
A trademark identifies the brand owner of a particular product or service. Trademarks can be licensed to others; for example, Bullyl and obtained a license to produce Smurf figurines; the Lego Group purchased a license from Lucas film in order to be allowed to launch Lego Star Wars; TT Toys Toys is a manufacturer of licensed ride-on replica cars for children. The unauthorized usage of trademarks by producing and trading counterfeit consumer goods is known as brand piracy.
The owner of a trademark may pursue legal action against trademark infringement. Most countries require formal registration of a trademark as a precondition for pursuing this type of action. The United States, Canada and other countries also recognize common law trademark rights, which means action can be taken to protect an unregistered trademark if it is in use. Still common law trademarks offer the holder in general less legal protection than registered trademarks.
Trademark registration enables owners to easily establish their right to the trademark in court and earn royalties. It also deters piracy and prevents similar company names from being registered by other businesses. You can conduct a trademark search, to check if your brand name clashes with existing trademarks. In India, you could get a ™ within three days, but it takes up to two years for it to be registered so that you can use the ® symbol.
Only owners of registered trademarks are allowed to take action or sue for damages in case of trademark infringement. Trademark protection is not enforceable for trademarks that are not registered. All registered trademarks are valid for a period of 10 years and can be renewed for a period of another 10 years easily by filing a trademark renewal application.
Trademark filing will help establish a unique identity and brand for your goods or services. Competitors will not be allowed to use your trademark for similar goods or services.
Trademark filing creates an intellectual property, which is an intangible asset for an organization. Registered trademark is a right that can be sold, franchised or commercially contracted.
Registered trademarks can be used to create a sense of trust, goodwill and quality in the minds of your customer that is unique to your business. Registered trademarks show your customer that you care about your brand.
A trademark filing in India can be used as the basis for trademark filing in other countries if required. Foreigners and Foreign entities can also register a trademark in India if required.