A trademark is a distinctive sign consisting of words, letters, numerals, drawings and symbols or a combination thereof which identifies certain goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or business. This helps consumers identify and purchase a product or service based on its nature and quality, indicated by its distinctive trademark.
The Trademark provides protection to the owner of the mark by ensuring the exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services, or to authorize another to use it in return for payment. The period of is for 10 years which can be can be renewed indefinitely beyond the time limit on payment of additional fees.
Why should a business go for trademark registration?
Trademarks are used to give a business stronger enforceable right to prevent others from using the trademark in connection with the goods or services for which it is registered. It provides for the basic evidence of ownership of the trademark.
A trademark is an important asset for a business and adds to the goodwill earned in the eyes of the public. It helps to promote initiative and business worldwide by rewarding the owners of trademarks with recognition and financial profit. Trademark protection also acts as a shield against unfair competitors, such as counterfeiters, that use similar distinctive signs to market inferior or similar products or services. In the year 2013-2014 over 2 Lakhs trademarks have been filed in the Indian Trademark Registry.
How to analyze in detail if a trademark infringement has developed the required likelihood of confusion the following points may be kept in mind:
1. Similarity in the overall impression created by the two marks.
2. Similarities of the goods and services involved.
3. Strength of the plaintiff’s mark.
4. Any evidence of actual confusion by consumers.
5. Intent of the defendant in adopting its mark.
6. Physical proximity of the goods in the retail marketplace.
7. A degree of care likely to be exercised by the consumer.
8. Likelihood of expansion of the product lines.