A trademark is a type of intellectualproperty consisting of a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. Trademarks used to identify services are sometimes called service marks.
A trademark can be any word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these things that identifies your goods or services. It’s how customers recognize you in the marketplace and distinguish you from your competitors.
The word “trademark” can refer to both trademarks and service marks. A trademark is used for goods, and services.
- Identifies the source of your goods or services.
- Provides legal protection for your brand.
- Helps you guard against counterfeiting and fraud.
A common misconception is that having a trademark means you legally own a particular word or phrase and can prevent others from using it. However, you don’t have rights to the word or phrase in general, only to how that word or phrase is used with your specific goods or services.
For example, let’s say you use a logo as a trademark for your small woodworking business to identify and distinguish your goods or services from others in the woodworking field. This doesn’t mean you can stop others from using a similar logo for non-woodworking related goods or services.
Another common misconception is believing that choosing a trademark that merely describes your goods or services is effective. Creative and unique trademarks are more effective and easier to protect.
Owning a trademark vs. having a registered trademark
You become a trademark owner as soon as you start using your trademark with your goods or services. You establish rights in your trademark by using it, but those rights are limited, and they only apply to the geographic area in which you’re providing your goods or services. If you want stronger, nationwide or Global rights, you’ll need to apply for National/ International Trademark.
You’re not required to register your trademark. However, a registered trademark provides broader rights and protections than an unregistered one.
For example, you use a logo as a trademark for the handmade Shoe you sell at a local market. As your business grows and you expand online, you might want more protection for your trademark and decide to apply for registration. Registering your trademark means that you create nationwide/Global rights in your trademark.
LANDMARK JUDGMENTS ON TRADEMARK
Classic Case of Infringement of Trademark and passing off, including what the court defined as Commercial Exploitation
DM Entertainment v. Baby Gift House and Ors.
First to enter the world Market/Protecting Trademark Law in India on Established Foreign Brands/Healthcare and medicine.
MilmetOftho Industries &Ors. V. Allergan Inc.
Yahoo!, Inc. v. Akash Arora &Anr