According to the Trade Marks Act, 1999, trademark means a mark capable of being represented graphically which can be distinguished from other product or services. A mark can include a brand, label, signature, word, shape of goods, packaging or combination of colours or any such combinations.
A Trademark is a distinctive mark that helps consumers identify and choose their preferred products or services based on it’s reputation and quality. Trademarks are the crucial elements which affect and further reflect decisions of the consumers. The entrepreneur retains the exclusive rights to mark their products or services with a trademark hence focusing on gaining consumers, maintaining a good reputation and providing quality and standardised services and products.
FUNCTION OF A TRADEMARK
Under todayâ€™s business scenario, a trademark performs the following four basic functions:
- Identifies the origin of the business
- Assures quality
- Improves publicity and marketability
- Creates market reputation
While it is not required by law, it is a good idea for an entrepreneur to register the trademark. In the event ofÂ copyright infringement, the entrepreneur will have legal support to save its interest as a trademark establishes all of your products and services as of the entrepreneurs and no one else’s and can also protect from counterfeit products.
In India, Trade Mark Act 1999 provides protection to trademarks from infringement. Statutory protection of Trademarks under the act is administered by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademark, a government agency which reports to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion(DIPP), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
IMPORTANCE OF TRADEMARK
Some of the top reasons why trademarks are important for an entrepreneur are
Effective Mode of Communication
Trademark is the way of referring to brands. In a single word or logo, trademarks can convey the startupâ€™s intellectual and emotional attributes, entrepreneurâ€™s reputation and its products and services. Once a business becomes known its trademark is recognized widely, regardless of its native language
Since the marketplace is crowded with multiple competitors and in order for the entrepreneur to distinguish its business from the competitors, Trademarks act as an efficient tool of market recognition to capture the customer attention. Customers through the trademark immediately recognise the business and are less likely to look for alternatives
The startups trademark is the first thing the customers enter into a search engine or social media platform when looking for the entrepreneurâ€™s products and services. The higher traffic translates into brand awareness that translates into more customer acquisition
Creating a valuable asset
Trademarks can appreciate in value over time with continuous brand awareness through social media platforms. The more the reputation grows, the more value the trademark creates for the startup. Thus, trademarks can potentially lead the way for growth and expansion of the business. Trademarks like the fixed assets are also an asset, which can be bought, sold, leased or used as an underlying asset to secure a loan to grow the entrepreneurâ€™s business.
Trademarks never expire
Some of the most recognized brands in India and even internationally have been around for a very long time. The mark once registered will not expire as long as you are using it. Once registered, the term of registration is 10 Years but it is renewable and can be renewed subject to the payment of the prescribed fees.
By registering the trademark the entrepreneur can effectively build a barrier towards unauthorised use, protecting your business from damaged reputation. A registered trademark further provides protection from operating or expanding its current identity.
A registered trademark intrigues potential investors. It’s registration not only incorporates businesses security, but also aids clarity of the business, positively impacting its perceived valuation. A registered trademark pushes valuation further since it acts as an asset for the business.
Investment in startups in the modern scenario is the major factor driving our economy. The rise of startups have increased innovation in the market leading to a higher level of economic development. Investment has seen a vibrant increase in the last decade factoring into massive contribution to the countryâ€™s economy. According to the Industry-Level Analysis Report, held by the European Patent Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office, it was held that IPR-intensive industries generated more than 42% of total economic activity in the European Union, where 36% alone was produced by trademark-intensive industries.
IPR-intensive industries have also proven resilient during the economic crisis, and directly supported almost 28% of all jobs in the European Union. While total employment during the recession declined by 1.7%, employment in IPR-intensive industries fell by 1%.
IPR-intensive industries pay significantly higher wages than other industries, with a wage premium of 46% over other industries. This is consistent with the fact that the value added per worker is higher in IPR-intensive industries than elsewhere in the economy.