The brand name, which is a branch of Intellectual Property (IP), serves as the brand name’s invincible armor. While the Brand names Act of 1999 allows applicants to register their own brand names, this is rarely successful due to the complications that arise during the registration process, followed by objections and oppositions. When applicants handle the registration process on their own, the process may not always be successful.
The development of a company’s brand image is essential to its success. The brand name is the heart of the business and should be protected as such. So, in this blog, we will explain how to register a brand name and what the registration requirements and procedures are.
What is Brand name?
A brand name is a name, symbol, phrase, logo, or tagline that identifies and brands specific products or services and differentiates them from others on the market. A brand name is essentially a signal to the market that the specified class of products or services is the property of a specific company or organization. Although brand names are an important part of a company’s intellectual property portfolio, they are not required to be registered.
Who can file brand names?
- Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)
- Government agencies
- Corporate body of individuals
- Two or more people working together
- LLP (Limited Liability Partnership)
- Joint ventures
- Partnership corporations
- Limited liability companies
- Legislative bodies
- Other entities such as NRIs, foreign nationals, and foreign corporations
Registration of Brand names
Although the registration of a brand name is not required, it is frequently preferred. Failure to register would force the brand owner to repent if an infringement of the brand name occurred, as stealing a brand image would result in massive damage to the business’s reputation.
Also Read – Procedure for Trademark Assignment
Process for Registration of a Brand name
Step 1: Brand name Search: Even if you have the most unique name as the Brand name, it may be a good idea to conduct a Brand name search. This eliminates the possibility of the Brand name being deceptively similar to other marks on the market.
Step 2: Application Filing: Once the brand name search is complete, the applicant can proceed to file the application online at the official website for brand names in India.
Step 3: Examine the Application: The examiner reviews the application after it has been filed. If there are any discrepancies, the applicant is notified. After the discrepancies have been resolved, the application is published in the Brand name journal. If the examiner believes the application is still flawed, the applicant is summoned for a hearing. The application is either published or rejected based on the applicant’s response.
Step 4: Opposition: After the Brand name is published in the journal, any interested party has three months from the date of publication to file an objection. The Registrar decides the fate of the application after hearing from the opposing party and the applicant. If no opposition is raised within the time limit, the application is registered.
Step 5: Certificate of Registration: The registrar issues the Certificate of Registration after the applicant successfully handles any opposition. The certificate bears the Brand name registry’s seal.
Step 6: Renewal: Once registered, the brand name is valid for ten years and can be renewed on a regular basis. As a result, the registered proprietor owns the brand name in perpetuity.
A Brand Name Registration Faces Several Difficulties
- Risk of Rejection: A brand name may be rejected on absolute or relative grounds. An individual who is not a Brand name professional may be unable to conduct an exhaustive Brand name search, which may require both a word mark and a device mark search in some cases. The brand name search, which is the first step in the registration process, is a time-consuming process.
- Difficulties in the Registration Process: Several minute details must be filled out during registration; one of the main ingredients of a TM application is the class of goods or services. The applicant must be clear about the classes to be included, as a fee is required to be deposited for each class the applicant fills out, and the examiner may withhold registration. The scope of protection must be modified by including disclaimers for brand names that contain more than one word. Applicants may be unaware of these complexities, which may cause the registration process to be delayed.
- Responding to Office Actions: When an application is met with objections, it is necessary to file an appropriate response. The response must also be filed within the time frame specified, or the application will be deemed abandoned. This is not a one-time event and may necessitate the filing of responses more than once.
- Responding to Opposition: If the TM registration is opposed, the applicant must file a counter statement or evidence, if applicable, to substantiate the Brand name application. The Registrar may schedule hearings on the opposition, and the applicant must attend and present the case. Hearings and opposition proceedings involve several technical and legal nuances, and the applicant must have had hands-on experience with TM registrations to successfully complete the process.
Also Read – Register patent myself in India
The Brand name registration process is not as technical and as complicated as getting a patent registered, it has its own set of challenges and is not quite as straightforward as it seems. The procedure is time-consuming and requires extensive technical and legal knowledge to move from one stage to the next. Applicants who are not familiar with the intricacies of trademark registration may be unable to deal with the objections and oppositions, and their TM applications may be rejected.
Most applicants attempt to register the Brand name themselves in order to save money on hiring a professional. Unfortunately, it frequently backfires and results in the filing of the same application over and over again due to errors, incurring additional costs and delaying the entire process. In order to ensure that a TM is properly registered, an applicant should hire a Brand name professional such as company name. A competent professional, like our company name, would know what to anticipate and expect during the registration process.