How do we as consumers differentiate between two brands? Isn’t it that small logo etched in every single product of that brand? Many of us can easily relate that big yellow funky M, to our very own McDonald’s or that silver apple with the American software company Apple.
There are numerous examples, where we recognise a brand through its logo, tagline, design or some arbitrary combination of colours and letters. These different expressions are what we call a Trademark.
So, How Does It Protect Our Business?
Trademark is known for its different characteristics. We can say that it gives a face to a venture. Consumers like to use ‘branded’ products. This brand-name is nothing but a trademark. Trademark, only when registered, provides legal protection.
You can register a trademark in India or you can have a global trademark registration. Both with different requirements provide almost the same thing, that is, legal aid, but of course, at discrete levels.
Under the Trademarks Act 2002, using a ‘registered’ trademark without the permission of its rightful owner is a serious and punishable offence.
Hence, no one else, until given permission, can use your registered trademark.
How Does Trademark Save You From ‘Copycats’?
A registered trademark, just like a hero, gives your venture a face. Competitors can copy your idea, poach your employees etc. But they can’t ‘copy’ your brand identity if that is trademarked. Something with which customers and investors can remember you.
Trademark gives your business a unique identity: You are given the exclusive rights of using your chosen trademark. It makes your chosen expression (trademark) and business unique.
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It makes your business a reliable, trustworthy venture: Customers, sometimes unknowingly, purchases products based upon brand-name. Giving a trademark, an expression to your business gives you a start to make yourself established in this brand-race.
It makes it easy for your customers to find you: Having a unique logo to define you makes it easier for your customers to find your products. Using social media platforms relatively becomes easy using your brand-name. People start recognising you using your trademark which is comparatively easy and quick to remember.
It accounts for an easy and quite effective communication tool: Your chosen expression can communicate thousands of words, emotions, and can say a lot about your company.
It avoids confusion in the market: Customers, thanks to trademark, don’t get confused between two ‘branded’ products, and can easily distinguish between them.
Say, for example, a well-known established actor acts in a low-budget movie while a relatively new actor acts in a high-budget flick. Naturally, we can assume that a well-known face will work more, no matter what the budget of the movie was. In a similar fashion, a well-known brand is likely to prevail more in the market than just a business venture.
So basically, a trademark acts as a strong medium between your business, your customers, and your investors. When you have a brand to represent, it increases your market value immensely.
How Does Trademark Affect The Market
The trademark registration of your business is not only important for you but for the market as well. It avoids confusion in a market and is easily the most effective means of avoiding any unfair practice.
In a market as a whole, a trademark makes it easier for your customers, competitors, investors, possible partners, and collaborators to identify you. It establishes an effective utilisation of the internet and various social media platforms.
Trademark is also economically feasible and saves us from a number of possible legal troubles even at an international level. It is what we call the most ‘enduring’ asset of a business.
The promotion, advertising, product-spread under one brand name or trademark is a constructive and more fruitful solution for everyone in a market. Trademark is not a compulsion in India, but having something affordable protect your venture for a long validity along with visibility and it is surely a potent symbol for the success of any venture.
Firms like LegalRaasta can help you trademark registration in a quick and easy manner.
[This article has been contributed by Pulkit Jain, founder of LegalRaasta – an online portal for IP services such as trademark registration, patent registration and copyright.]