Trademarks, Copyright & Patents
Questions in Mind
1) What is a Trademark?
Trademark is a symbol, word, phrase, logo, or combination of these that legally distinguishes one company’s product from any others. Any infringement on a trademark is illegal. For example: A globally recognized trademarked logo is Coca-Cola’s wave. Now, if any other company tries woo consumers by using the same logo, this would directly tantamount to the infringement of Coca-Cola’s trademark rights thereby giving Coca-Cola the right to sue the infringing party.
2) Why trademarking is Important?
· Simply put, to maintain your Identity. Trademarking will not only make sure of your entity’s uniqueness, but it would also bestow on you the following advantages:
· Right to sue and claim damages in cases of infringement
· The right to use ® in your trademark
· Add to the Worth of your business by adding to the Intellectual Property value to your entity
· Gives you an upper hand while pitching for funding
· A streamlined process for securing your domains and usernames on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
· Competitive Advantage
3) What is Trademark Search Report?
Trademark availability search is just to ensure your intended and proposed trade name is not available anywhere else and also unique, special and distinctive in nature. Conducting Trademark Availability search is essential before trademark filling so that you save both time and money.
It also states on what are the classes it is available. Trademark classes are different headings from 1 to 45 which categorizes various Trade and Services. An entity’s nature of business determines its class. So, if an organisation provides Education Service through IT/ ITES tools then it can be applied in 2 Classes i.e. 1 for Education and other for IT/ ITES. An entity hence can apply in many classes to protect its brand getting exploited.
TAXSAMADHAAN’s customized Search Report highlights not only in what classes the Trademark is available but also what are the chances of getting it approved. We do not only use traditional approach of Trademark Search but we do a State of the Art Search to give you a holistic picture.
4) For how long is a Trademark valid?
A trademark is valid for a period of ten (10) years at a time from the Time the Ministry gives the approval. The trademark owner reserves the right to file for renewal prior to expiry of the trademark rights to keep the trademark registration current.
5) What is Copyright?
Copyright is a legal right made available to the creators of artistic and technical works. Copyright includes a gamut of rights like the adaption of the piece, translation or reproduction of the piece.
6) What type of works can be copyrighted?
Any creative piece of work like literature, dramas, music pieces, cinematographs and even software can be copyrighted.
7) What is the difference between copyrights and trademarks?
A trademark protects the brand name of an entity like its logo or tagline whereas copyright is intended to protect unique content as mentioned above.
8) Which items can be registered as Trademarks?
A logo, picture, word, name, device, label, numerals, taglines can be registered as a trademark if it is graphically plottable and definite.
9) What is Class of Trademark?
Trademark Registrations are done for a definite category of goods or services.These categories are termed as Class of trademark. These are standard categories and registration in one particular class gives protection to the goods for that class only. There are 45 classes that have been specified by the Department.
10) What are the common reasons for reasons for rejection of a trademark?
A trademark application can be rejected due to many reasons, including the following:
· When a trademark application resembles or closely resembles to an existing registered trademark or trademark for which application for registration has been made
· When a trademark application gives an undue impression patronage or creates confusion
· When a trademark application consists of Geographical names, common names, common trade words and common abbreviation
11) How long does it take to obtain for a trademark?
It usually takes 18 to 24 months for the Trademark Registry to complete their formalities and provide registration for the trademark. However, the Trademark application can be filed online and is done in a quick span of 3-4 days.
12) What is the difference between a ™ symbol and a ® symbol?
A ™ symbol is a reference to the fact that Trademark application has been filed for the particular brand whereas a ® symbol signifies that the trademark has been duly registered.
13) Can a Trademark be sold?
A trademark is an intellectual property owned by the owner. Hence, it can be sold, transferred, franchised. However, only registered trademarks enjoy these rights.
14) Should I get the trademark registered in my name or the company’s name?
This is a very common question. Since Trademark is an Intellectual Property, hence it increases the net worth of the owner. If it is registered in the name of the company, the value of the company increases. However, if the Trademark is registered by the individual on his own name, then a licensing agreement would be required to be formulated between the owner and the company.
15) What is to be done if the Trademark application is objected by the Department?
If the Trademark application is objected by the department, they would publish an examination report on their website. Usually 15 days’ time is given to the applicant to revert to this by way of an official intimation. After going through this reply, the Department takes the decision whether a hearing would be required for this. If they are satisfied with the reply, they would take the application forward.
16) Does Copyright protect an Idea?
No. Copyright only protects unique content, not ideas and concepts.
17) Which documents are required for a Copyright Registration?
The following documents are generally required:
· A copy of the subject matter of copyright
· Address and identity proof of the owner.
· If owner is a Company, Certificate of Incorporation and Address proof is required.
18) What is a Patent?
A patent is a right granted to the owner of an invention. It is a preventive right which restricts others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without his permission.
19) Why should I apply for a Patent?
An ownership of patent bestows the owners with the following benefits, among others:
· Transferability/Selling Rights
· Franchising Rights
20) Which are the objects that can be patented?
Any invention can be patented, like:
New and unique designs of machinery or apparatus Computer Software& hardware/application or prototype of such software & hardware/application Innovative Business Processes or Methods
21) What is the duration for which a patent is granted?
A patent is granted for 20 years at a time.
22) Is a patent valid globally?
No. There is no patent which is valid globally. Separate patents would have to be applied for separate countries.
23) What are the documents required for obtaining a Patent?
Following information and documents are required for filing an application:
· Every minute detail of the invention on a CD or pen drive
· Its name and uses
· A comparative study of the invention with the existing products or processes
· Basic information about the applicant along with his ID and address proof
24) What is the validity of a Copyright Registration?
A copyright registration is valid for 60 years.
25) Is copyright a global right?
No. Just like patent and trademark, a copyright is valid only in India.
26) What is the difference between a copyright, patent and a trademark?
Simply put- A copyright gives the owner protection over his creation and content; a patent gives the owner a protection over his invention and a trademark provides for protection of the brand of the owner.