Ways to safeguard your rights post trademark registration!

Brand protection is becoming the topmost priority of most businesses today. This phenomenon is the consequence of the expansion of the business ecosystem and growing competition. Trademark registration is one of the best ways to safeguard your brand identity. The Process of trademark registration involves a lot of hassle and stages. Hence, it takes up a lot of effort and resources. So, once you are successful in getting your trademark registration, you will like to make the most of it. However, obtaining the trademark certificate is not the only step you can take to safeguard your rights. Once you get your trademark registration certificate, you need to take a proactive approach, if you want to protect your brand identity in all seriousness. 

Through this article, you will learn how to trademark a name in India and the post registration actions you need to take to protect your brand name registration.

Vigilance 

Even though the registration certificate entitles you to certain rights and protection. You will also have to stay vigilant and keep an eye on your trademark and new similar marks in your industry. This is trademark monitoring. When you choose to monitor your trademark, you can keep an eye on the new marks and applications. Then, if you find any similar marks in the Journal of Trademarks, you can take action against the registration of the mark by applying to cancellation or opposition notice, as applicable. Today, big brands hire professionals to monitor their trademarks and take action as and when required. This reduces the hassle for business owners and also paves the way for them to protect their brand identity! 

Enforcing Rights 

The trademark certificate comes with a lot of rights. So, after getting the entitlement, you also need to enforce the rights wisely in your favor. You can enforce your rights by sending cease and desist letters to unauthorized users of your mark, or by opposing the registration of an infringing mark. The cease is one of the most opted-for ways to enforce your trademark rights. When you send a cease and desist letter to an infringing party, it usually leads to rounds of negotiation and helps in getting a resolution without legal proceedings. 

Quality of product

To maintain your brand identity, the protection of your brand name is not enough. You need to also maintain the quality of the product or service associated with your brand. A derogation in the quality of this is not going to have a positive impact on your brand. Besides, the whole idea of brand protection is to grow your business, and to do so, you need to ensure that you provide the best quality of service and products to your clients. 

Trademark Renewal

Trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of receipt of the certificate. However, you can opt for the renewal of your mark in the 9th year of registration. This option of renewing your mark is open at the end of each 10-year mark. Hence, the brand protection can last a lifetime, as long as you keep on submitting the renewal request. Further, if you miss out on the renewal period, your mark will get ‘abandoned’ and lose its protection. 

Maintaining Records

In the event that any third party questions the validity of your trademark registration, you will need to prove that you are using the mark. Proof of usage is a very important aspect of trademarks. Hence, the best possible way to avoid any issues or disputes over the ownership of your mark is to maintain a record of mark usage, the certificate, and all other relevant documents related to trademark registration. Further, you can also keep track of all the trademark-related disputes that have happened concerning your mark. 

Global Protection

Once you have a trademark registration in your home country, you can also start applying for global registrations. This is especially helpful to e-commerce business owners. You can get your trademark registered in the US, from the comfort of your home. Further, you can also file an application for registration under the Madrid Convention, where your mark will be protected by all signatories of the treaty. This international registration helps you in preventing unauthorized usage of the mark in different jurisdictions, across the globe. 

Licensing Agreements

When you get the registration certificate, you also get the exclusive right of usage over the mark. So, every time you license your right to use your intellectual property, it is important to have a licensing agreement that defines the scope of the other’s right to use your mark. This licensing usually happens when two or more brands enter into a collaborative business relationship. 

Raise Awareness

For all the members of your business, be it the BOD or the employees or interns, it is very important to understand the importance of trademarks and other IP registrations. So, as a business owner, you need to ensure that the employees are well aware of the importance of your IP rights. Besides, it is also important to define the ownership of all intellectual properties created by the employees in the course of their employment.

Conclusion 

Trademark registration is crucial for the growth of your business today. Yet, registration is not the only step that you can take. Post trademark registration, the active effort is required to protect the mark from being infringed. Besides, to be able to enforce your rights, you will have to be aware of your competitors and the marks that they are using. Apart from that, the validity of a trademark registration can also be questioned based on the usage of the mark. Hence, business owners today need to be extremely careful to protect their brand identity. Now that you know how to register brand name, it is very easy for you to go ahead and start your brand protection journey.

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