Trademark & Patent Registration
Any symbol, design, phrase or word can be registered as a trademark that helps your company or company’s product to be distinguished by another. It helps in creating your own identity in the market for your company. For example, the renowned brand of Apple has its own representation of logo, brand name, and a registered trademark of a bitten apple. As there is no written demarcation, the symbol of the brand acts as the key identifier for the company. Similarly, companies also use the service mark which is used for differentiating their services from others. For example, the famous service mark of McDonald’s is commonly used as ‘M’ which has been well established for several decades. In addition to the marks and designs, trade/service marks can also be registered using colors, music, and smell. A perfect example of the same is the well-known brand of Coca-Cola which has standardized the red and white color combination, and similarly Nokia which is still known for the unique ringtone.
Property and Intellectual Property
‘Intellectual property’ does not have a physical structure or embodiment that any individual will be able to see, feel or touch such as literature or music. The trade names of the products and services, artistic designs and digital programming are very much part of the intellectual property band. Just like the physical property, even the intellectual property can be owned, purchased, sold, transferred, and/or licensed. The system of owning the intellectual property is relatively new historically.
If you are planning to register a trademark for your company then it is always recommended to conduct a search and evaluate through an attorney before the process. Pre-hand evaluation helps in understanding whether the same mark has been registered by someone else or not, as well as whether other potentially conflicting marks before you have made an investment in your new mark. In some cases, due to the lack research and evaluation ultimately leads to trademark infringement. The amount of research or evaluation that is needed also depends on the nature of the mark, goods or services for which it is to be used, and the countries in which the mark is to be used.
Trademarks are often defined by designations or symbols like ®, which are also known as Reg., TM, and SM. These trademark identifiers classify whether the trademark is registered or not. Trademarks which are not registered use the symbols like TM and SM to notify the competition and consumers about their plans to register the trademark and in a way discouraging others to use such trademark. Different types of designations are used at each level like the SM is used for Service Mark while the TM is the Trademark and the symbol for ® is used when the trademark has been registered. Although the size of these signs is small, the intensity of the brand image and boost of credibility that it gives to the company is huge. If any the competition or any other company infringes by choosing the same trademark or even similar type of mark then there can be legal issues. In such case, it is always recommended to register the trademark to avail the secured benefits. The trademarks are protected by the country’s trademark registrations authority.
Unique trademarks have less chance of getting duplicated or copied by competitors and offers a higher level of protection. Moreover, successful marks are normally those which have no direct connection with the services or goods.