This post is for my Gruhinis who are turning entrepreneurs. As you begin to create a mark with your skills, products, services, you will struggle to keep costs under control until you start earning even a rupee. So to help you in keeping one of these costs under control, your great gruhini kept her costs low, by consulting the spouse, a legal eagle, for this post.
Do you really need to register your logo, brand name?
Often, we tend to ignore crucial aspects like registering a company or a trademark or a logo. You may decide to skip these things as it involves a cost. But imagine that you might ignore it for few thousand rupees now only to realize that once the brand gets popular and gets copied by rivals and so on, you may end up paying legal fees in lakhs or crores!
So here is a step by step guide to registering a trademark/logo for your venture.
Step 1: What is your trademark all about?
The first step to registering your “trademark”, is ascertaining what your trademark comprises of. Does it have a distinctive logo like the Nike “Swoosh”, Does it have a Distinctive Name like “Pepsi”, or a combination of both? Depending on your trademark’s USP, you may register the image, the name or both in the appropriate trade-mark classes.
Note that there are certain restrictions around choosing a trademark such as
i) It cannot hurt the sentiments of a society at large (the name of a leader, religious person etc.
ii) It cannot be a generic adjective (“best” , “fastest” cannot be trademarked)
iii) It cannot describe the product /service with which it is associated (“Soft Pillows” cannot be trademarked).
One of the best known marks, is that of “Apple Computers” where a word (Apple) completely disassociated with the product (Computers) has transformed itself into a distinctive trademark.
Always keep an option of a couple of “trademark” options available (more on that in step 2)