Right trademark

March 2, 2016 9:29 am | Published by | Leave your thoughts


As most of you are aware, trademark is an inseparable intellectual property associated with any business. It identifies your business and differentiates you from the others, provides you a space in clustered market.

Apart from understanding what a trademark is, it is important to know how to select a right  trademark for your venture.

Trademark  is the most valuable asset as it is directly associated with trade and business and reflects its identity in masses. Hence it becomes necessary to select a right trademark as it is a first step of brand building.

One should be very cautious while deciding the brand name/trade name. Once kept, it is difficult to change as goodwill gets associated with the mark. More the usage of mark, greater would be the goodwill generated and hence difficult to change. It is always better to spend some time initially than to regret later.

Now we will start with understanding about what can be a good or bad trademark.

Following are the possible examples of bad trademarks:

  • Full name or surname: It’s a bad idea to keep full name or your surname of yourself or an individual as a trademark. For example, use of surname ‘AGGARWAL’ for chain of restaurants. Bonafide use of a person’s surname may result in dilution of brand name, thereby causing confusion about the source or quality associated with the brand.
  • Descriptive words: This is a common mistake done by most of people. Generally, many people believe that a brand name must be related to the business or must describe the product or business. But it is a strict ‘No’ under trademark registration process in India; he shall try not to opt for descriptive brand name, that is, a brand name that depicts the quality, quantity or any tangible feature of any goods or product.

Such brand names are expressly prohibited under trademark laws of India.

For example, LONG LOCKS – it is word that is essentially describing the common quality of hairs and most commonly used to describe hair type. Hence law will never recommend monopolistic right over the same.

Same is the case with SWEET HONEY, this word describes the inherent quality of honey, in a way which is very common word used to describe honey in general public.

  • Another example is use of the word sweet fragrance. It is a word that clearly “describes” a feature or trait of the goods or services like “Fragrance” for deodorants. Generally, such marks are not allowed registration unless they can show considerable goodwill generated over the years through its usage.
  • The mark, although not clearly descriptive, is thought to be clearly misleading. These are words which generally hint at the quality of the products like “clean and creamy” for Creams.
  • It is a word that clearly designates the place of origin of the goods or services, or that misleads the public into thinking that the goods come from a certain place if they do not.
  • Many of the geographical names are not allowed, like Darjeeling for tea, unless it comes from that area.
  • It is a word in common everyday use or phrase specific to an industry.

-Judith George (IP Attorney)





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