Eight Questions to Ask from a Trademark Attorney

Trademark Attorney

When planning to visit a Trademark attorney, many questions will arise in your mind. To get the most out of your consultation, prepare a list of questions that you need answers for, firstly. Here are eight common and important questions that you need to ask your trademark attorney based on common Indian legal questions. Let us check them out along with the relevant expected answers.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is an intellectual property that gives your product a unique identification mark. It helps customers to identify that your product is different from products made by other businesses. Trademark is a name, logo, symbol, tagline design, or picture that can only be used by a business that owns it. For example, Nike’s ‘swoosh’ logo is a trademark.

Why does my business need a trademark?

If you have a business and you sell products and services, then you need a trademark. These are the reasons why businesses need a trademark.

·         A trademark will assure customers of the originality of your goods/services.

·         It guarantees your customers that your product/service quality is consistent and remains unchanged.

·         Lastly, it creates an image and advertises the goods/services.

How is trademark different from copyright and patent?

The term ‘trademark’ is often used almost as a synonym for patents and copyrights, but these are all different intellectual properties.

Patents are used for the protection of inventions like machinery, pharmaceuticals, etc.

Copyrights are used to protect the creative piece of work, songs, novels, paintings, advertisements, films, etc.

Can I register for a trademark?

Yes, you can apply for a trademark if you run a business and sell a product or service. If you claim to be the proprietor of a trademark that you use or claim to use, then you may apply in a prescribed manner for registration.

How can I register for a trademark?

Your application should contain the trademark, product/service name, your address, and agent name, with the power of attorney and the period to use the mark. The application can be submitted at the front office counter at the respective office by post or in person.

What are the different types of trademarks that can be registered in India?

Any name, an invented word, letters or numerals, monograms, colour combination with word or device, shape, product or packaging, marks, devices that constitute 3-dimensional sign, the sound represented in conventional notation or described in words being graphically represented can all be registered as trademarks.

What fee does the government charge for a trademark?

The government fee for trademark registration is Rs. 4500 per application per class for individuals and Rs. 9000 per class for the company.

What benefit do I get from trademark registration?

It gives you the exclusive right to use the trademark and you can protect the goodwill of your product or service. In addition, you can sue for damages and secure the destruction of infringing goods or labels. You can seek relief from infringement in the appropriate court.

The above-mentioned questions are the most common ones to ask a trademark attorney. There might be many more questions that could be related more specifically to your requirements. In many countries, most notably the United Kingdom, trademark attorneys are considered very much in the mould of a separate legal profession, similar to the distinction made between solicitors and barristers. In other countries, such as India or the United States, the profession is less clearly defined, with trademark attorneys being considered very much as part of the general legal profession; the only real difference being that they specialise in trademark matters.

The responsibilities of a trademark attorney include advising clients on the adoption and selection of new trademarks; filing and prosecuting applications to register trademarks on behalf of their clients; advising clients on the use and registration of trademarks; handling on behalf of their clients any trademark oppositions, revocations, invalidations and assignments; carry out searches; and advising clients on trademark infringement matters.

In India, such services are considered very niche, and clients frequently are put in the position of having to run from specialist to specialist to accomplish many of the responsibilities outlined above, as some of them are not always carried out by trademark lawyers but, rather, by trademark agents. There are, however, companies such as Vakilsearch who are capable of carrying out all the activities mentioned above and are reputed to see their clients through the process from end to end. Apart from having their own free online trademark search facility, they specialise in the whole array of services required and are known to give uniform satisfaction across the board. 

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