Startups: Don't be like Bill
BILL is a budding Entrepreneur,
He invested 474 sleepless nights
And later discovered he infringed a Trademark
DONT BE LIKE BILL!!!
Know it all before
He can’t continue anymore..
A trademark is a pre-requisite for everyone, be it a startup, single man army or any legal entity with or without any experience. You never know when you emerge as an overnight sensation, and it is too late to be safe. It not only gives an exclusive identity rather protects one's investment in terms of time, money and efforts made to nurture the same.
A trademark is a unique graphical representation of your company’s logo or signature distinguishing its goods and services from that of others.
It incubates a Brand. It protects the brand name from being used or misused by the competitors and prevents confusion and manipulation in the minds of consumers.
Well, honestly trademarks are no more confined to trade of good and services. It's a vast unexplored field.
DID YOU KNOW that the following can be Trademarked:
• Visual symbol like a word signature, device, label, numerals, monograms
• Name of a person, initials, surname of the applicant or predecessor
• A word either coined or invented, which may or may not be, directly descriptive of its character
• Combination of colours unique to the product, colour scheme
• Wrappers or packaging labels
• A joke associated with a product
• 3-D Shapes
• Sound marks in MP3 Format
In India, the power to sue vests with the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks, for any damages in case of infringement. Trademarks are registered under the Trademark Act, 1999.
Unlike BILL , you need to be vigilant,
Firstly, Search for Trademarks, check whether what you intend to get trademarked is not already registered. There are about 46 classes.
Secondly, File Trademark Application, it generally takes 3 days to file the form, you can start using “TM” symbol right away. It provides temporary protection.
Lastly, the trademark registry will process and Register your Trademark Application; looks for Objections, if any and finally it takes 9 to 25 months to wind up the Trademark Registration.
® Symbol is a saviour, it can be placed right adjacent to your trademark on registration. On registration, a trademark is valid for a decade from the date of filing, subjected to renewal from time to time.
To be or not to be, trademarked is entirely your call. But the real lesson is
“Don’t be like BILL” ... it’s better to be safe than sorry..