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Trademark Agents in HBR Layout
MS Legal Associates:
Trademark registrar is to maintain a trademarks agents' register that would have the name, address of principal business place, address of place of residence, nationality, date of registration and qualification of each registered trademarks agent.
A trademark is a sign, design or expression in the form of a name, word, logo etc used to distinguish between the products/services of two or more different parties. The primary use of a trademark is to maintain the unique identity of the products or services.
Who is Trademark Agent?
A Trademark agent is one who specializes in trademark matters. Trademark agents are supposed to have extensive knowledge about trademarks and also should be adept at the process of registration and protection of trademarks as well deterrence of the use of fraudulent marks. A Trademark Agent deals with all the possible legal aspects of a trademark right from its registration to appearing for court cases relating to trademark.
A trademark agent is considered to be a qualified individual, who offers plenty of valuable deals and advice that are related to all legal aspects of filing trademark applications, opposition cases, granting application, and much more. For qualifying as trademark agent, it is important for the individual to clear a preliminary examination that is conducted once a year by Trademark Registry. This is the trademark agent exam, which when qualified helps the individual to go the next stage of becoming a successful trademark agent.
Role of Trademark Agent:
The role of a trademark agent includes preparing, filing and prosecuting applications for registration of trademarks; giving opinions on the registrability of trademarks in accordance with criteria imposed by the law procedure and practice and conducting searches to see whether likelihood of confusion might exist between the trademark searched and trademarks or trade names of others.
A trademark agent advises and serves trademark owners in the maintenance and protection of their trademarks so that they remain distinctive and are properly used. A trademark agent also assists trademark owners with trademark licensing and franchising so that the distinctiveness and enforceability of the trademarks are maintained, failing which they are vulnerable to expungement from the register.
A trademark agent also assists trademark owners by recording any change of ownership of registered trademarks, security agreements affecting trademarks and the like, as well as attending to renewal of trademark registrations at the Trademarks Office.
A trademark agent may also assist trademark owners by managing their trademark portfolio internationally. This involves liaising with foreign trademark professionals and monitoring foreign applications and registrations.
Use of TM, SM and ® symbols
'TM' stands for Trademark and 'SM' stands for Servicemark. The use of TM and SM symbols notifies the public that the company is claiming exclusive ownership of the trademark and can generally be used by one who has filed a trademark application.
The ® symbol, can be used only once the trademark is registered and the registration certificate is issued. Also, you may use the registration symbol only in connection with the goods and/or services in respect of which the trademark is registered.
Duties of a Trademark Agent
i) Helping companies to select a new trademark for their businesses.
ii) Conducting trademark search so as to ensure that the chosen trademark has not been already registered.
iii) Assisting in the drafting and filing of trademark applications for the registration of new trademarks and providing legal support for the same.
iv) Communicate with the Indian trademark registry on behalf of the clients for the registration procedures.
v) Ensure that the application has been duly registered with the applicable trademark office.
vi) In the event of infringement or violation of the trademark, the trademark agent protects his/her clients' interests by sending a cease and desist letter.
What can be registered as a trademark?
Name, word, symbol, color, phrase, shape, signature, letters, slogans, surname, packaging can be trademarked which rightly gives an unique image of the company, brand or individual that separates the product or services of one trader from the other. Anything that gives a distinct identity to the product and services which thereafter distinguishes one trader from the other.
What if the trademark is taken?
No need to worry. If your trademark brand name is taken, you can prepare a Logo Composite Mark by combining your logo and your name, and apply as one. This is a common strategy used to apply for a trademark, even if the trade name itself has been taken.
Who can apply for trademark registration?
Any person who claims to be the owner of a trademark, he/she needs to submit the application mentioning the related goods and services associated with the company.
Are Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents the same things?
No, Trademark, copyrights, and patents are not the same things. However, Trademark, Copyright, and Patents are often confused to be the same. Although each one is used to safeguard intellectual property rights, they are fundamentally different from each other and used for different purposes.
Copyright - Protects an original artistic or literary work
Patent - Protects an invention
Trademark - Protects brand names and logos used on goods and services.
Do I have to hire an attorney when filing to register my trademark?
A trademark application can be filed by your own. Attorney's are needed for complex cases that might arise after you file your trademark. Trademark is a simple thing to file and hence, you can even file the trademark application online to save time and money. Also, you can even start the trademark process by using online services and then later on switch to trademark attorneys, if needed.
Can any correction be made in the application or register?
Yes. But the basic principle is that the trade mark applied for should not be substantially altered affecting its identity. Subject to this changes are pefmissible according to rules detailed in the subordinate legislation.
When can I use ™ with my Trademark?
The TM mark can be used along with the trademark once the trademark application is filed with the Government.