When it comes to going ahead with Trademark Registration, most of the businesses out there fail to maximize their brand value by making mistakes, which compromise the uniqueness and exclusivity of the proposed trademark. Without having adequate knowledge of the Intellectual Property (IP) laws, rules, and regulations, brands and businesses quite often become a victim of being unaware of the complete scope or requirements of the law, along with the potential repercussions of such a lack of knowledge. It is a matter of fact that yes – getting in touch with an IP expert or specialist for advice is the most reliable way of making sure that your brand or business achieves the maximum value. But, in this blog, we will be making ourselves familiar with a few mistakes, which businesses should avoid while getting a trademark registered.
1. Omissions or Mistakes in the Trademark Application
Without the watchful eye of an IP expert or specialist, brands and businesses usually tend to make a lot of mistakes during the registration process. Even if they don’t contact a professional, they need to ensure carrying out the complete process efficiently and properly. A brand can get registered in many ways, which include, wordmarks – consisting purely of words, figurative marks – consisting of a logo or an image, and combined marks – a combination of the previous two categories.
Without any second thoughts, the most common mistake that businesses commit is not choosing the correct way of registering their brand, which results in the brand not owning its intended unique value; for instance – registering a brand as a combined mark when the objective was to seek protection only for a word. In this scenario, only the combination gets protected and not necessarily the individual components. Although, it will have no direct effect on the proposed trademark; however, it will undoubtedly reduce the level of protection it obtains.
2. Incorrect Classes of Goods or Services
Businesses, quite often, fall into the trap of not indicating the correct classes of goods or services to which the brand exactly belongs. While filing a Trademark Application, every business out there must indicate the goods or services correctly under which it wants the brand to get registered. The consequences of getting a brand registered in the wrong class of goods or services can imply that the brand doesn’t own protection with the intended products. Besides, if a business fails to realize this mistake before registering in the wrong classes, then the same can’t be amended at a later stage. In this scenario, the only solution is filing a new trademark application, which is indeed an unfavorable outcome for businesses as it represents a significant waste of time, money, and effort.
3. Filing for a Mark Similar to an already existing Trademark
Most of the brands and businesses believe that only identical trademarks are infringing; however, this belief is gravely mistaken as the marks similar to an already existing trademark, can be held infringing a pre-existing brand as well. The concept of ‘living dangerously’ is quite common amongst businesses, using which, they come up with a mark, which is similar to an already existing well-known mark, to exploit the potential confusion of customers.
Without any doubt, ‘living dangerously’ has worked well for some businesses out there; however, this is an exceedingly grey area of law, with a very fine line between the mark, which is infringing, and the one, which is not. All in All, the best advice lies in seeking legal assistance from an IP expert or specialist while getting a trademark registered. In case a business doesn’t want to seek assistance, it must complete the overall registration process with prudence while making sure that it doesn’t cut any corners with the research and registration of the trademark application.