Most start up businesses need to comply with various legal compliances before commencing business operations, but a crucial requirement often left out is that of the trademark of the business name, product or service. A trademark is quite often a word, phrase, symbol or a design that denotes and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. There are several classes under which Trademarks can be filed, broadly they fall into two categories namely 'goods' and 'services'; it is possible to file under both categories if you think your product is a bit of both. If one is using a certain trademark to market a product within a certain location area, then the trademark is the right to selling those products in that area under that trademark accruing to that person, the same would apply if a person was using a particular trademark to sell products throughout a country.
It is not easy to prepare all documents required to be submitted for a trademark application. However, any person can visit the Trademark office and gather all the necessary information, forms fees and formats to submit documentation for the registration of a trademark.
- Search: The procedure starts with a trademark search, if there is none like the one which is sought then the process continues.
- Receipt of application: In the instance that your material is not previously trademarked elsewhere or by someone else, the designated officer of the patent office will decide the date of receiving the application.
- Review: The trademark application is examined by an officer of the patent office and the officer may make recommendations to alter or change material that is to be trademarked.
- Trademark Right: If found that there are absolutely no corrections to be made and every detail stipulated by the patent office is met then the designated officer of the patent office shall establish the trademark right, which gives the owner a legal standing to claim his trademark as his or her intellectual property.
- Publication: Finally the patent office will publish the name and nationality of the trademark owner, the number and date of the trademark application, the contents of the trademark, whether it is goods or services, the registration number and the date of the registration of the establishment.
Registering a trademark is not necessary but in doing so a person is given the legal standing to establish certain rights which is of great assistance if the trademark is disputed in court of law. Another advantage of registration is that the public is made aware that the owner of the trademark is in fact and law, the person who owns the trademark and that the owner uses the trademark in connection with selling his or her goods and/or services. Registration also allows the person registering the trademark to clearly defend his rights owned in that particular trademark. Registering with the customs service will also help in preventing the import and export of duplicate goods which are not licensed by the trademark owner.