A unique symbol or word(s) used to signify a business or its products is known as Trademark. Once registered, that same symbol or series of words cannot be used by any other organization, continually, as long as it remains in use and proper paperwork and fees are paid.
Consider of the apple shape with the bite taken out that Apple uses as its logo, the swoosh logo that Nike features on all of its products, or the golden arches McDonald’s registered decades ago.
Is Trademark Registration Mandatory For E-Commerce Companies?
There is no defined rule or law but due to increasing applications on online e commerce portals like Flipkart, Amazon and Myntra they have mandated to have a Trademark registration. However, we also constantly advise in favour of filing a trademark application at the earliest.
Signs of a Trademark
To imply that a trademark has been claimed companies use one of three symbols:
™ – This symbol to indicate pre existing mark specifically an unregistered trademark.
® – This symbol to indicate the registered trademark symbol. It is reserved for trademarks registered with an suitable government agency.
℠ – This symbol is use for selling of services, not products. We have the option to use the service mark logo, but most use the ™ instead for simplicity.
Protecting a Trademark
A trademark is issued for the life of a company or product, businesses do need to guard against phrases becoming usual. Kleenex applied for facial tissues, or Xerox for photocopying. To keep for claim that trademark, those companies need to notify people who misuse the term to stop.
Benefits of Trademark Registration
When trademark has been granted, the owner receives three key benefits:
A notice of claim to any other businesses consideration of using the same symbol or word as its trademark.
A legal inference of ownership, which can help to prevent would-be users
The unique right to use the claimed trademark
Difference between trademarks and name approval under Companies Act 2013
Getting our business name approved by the Registrar of Companies is often the first step in company incorporation. The Registrar may deny name if it is similar to another company that has obtained registration before you.
However, getting the Registrar of Company’s sanction doesn’t guarantee intellectual property rights over the name. It means that your name may be approved under the Companies Act but the Trademark act or office might have different views and may challenge your name or logo under the Trademarks act. Hence it is highly advisable that you choose a unique name along with unique logo for your ecommerce business.
Filing a trademark in India
For Trademark, registration can be done in India by filing an application at the Trademarks Registry (TMR) with the Office of the Controller General for Patents, Designs, and Trademarks (CGPDTM).
Trademark registration in India is valid for 10 years and can be renewed for another 10 years.
Are trademarks registered in India valid worldwide?
Since e-commerce businesses aren’t banned only in India, it is worth noting the international pittance of trademarks. In this context, the Madrid Protocol is significant.
Madrid Protocol allows for a frugal , easy filing for a trademark grant in a network of more than one hundred countries. Since 2013, India has been a member of the international union for trademarks.
While filing to the Madrid novation is done through the Indian trademarks office, it has allowance domestic e-commerce companies to protect their mark across multiple jurisdictions of their choice.
Trademark registration website accessible at www.ipindia.gov.in. for application. You have a choice to set forth the nations where we want the trademark to have auspices. Within 18 months, if we receive a no objection, the trademark is considered to grant.
Benefits of Having a Registered Trademark For your E-commerce business
Forty years ago Ecommerce Business wasn’t really a stich. Local retail business didn’t face the same defiance as a nationwide or international business or brand. Many other areas the Internet changed that.
There are a number of causes why you would want one or more trademarks for your ecommerce business including:
A. Protection for Your business – A US registered trademark can protect our company name and other trademarks from being used by others. It can also protect peerless product names and logos. A business with a registered trademark has clear legal support against anyone using or ignore the registered trademark.
B. Protect Against Brand Damage – A trademark can defend your brand from injury and coot. In the online world we can protect our brand on a nationwide or international basis from being damaged by other people using it, copying it or counterfeiting your products.
C. Trademark auspices in E-commerce Marketplaces – Some e-commerce marketplace stage such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Walmart, provide added chance for businesses with a registered trademark. Amazon Brand Registry program is a good example. The Brand Registry confer a number of added marketing chance, trellis protection, and analytical data to Amazon Sellers who are part of the program.
D. Performing a Trademark Search – A comprehensive trademark search is an essential part of the process in applying for a registered trademark. This can avoid In expectant and potentially costly problems in the future.
Controller General’s office not only looks after the registration of Trademark but also scrutiny the application for renewal of trademark, pore the resist filed by any third party against the trademark released in the journal and dwell the dispute related to the trademark registration if there is any. Thus the office of Controller General is the most important office dealing with all these issues related to not only Trademark but every other branch of Intellectual Property.
CA Pulkit Goyal, is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) having 10 years of experience in the profession of Chartered Accountancy and thorough understanding of the corporate as well as non-corporate entities taxation system.
His core area of practice is foreign company taxation which has given him an edge in analytical thinking & executing assignments with a unique perspective. He has worked as a consultant with professionally managed corporates. He has experience of writing in different areas and keep at pace with the latest changes and analyze the different implications of various provisions of the act.
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