A trademark is any sign that differentiate the goods or services of a given company and compares them from their competitors of its goods or services. The service mark is an extension of the concept of trademarks.
An service marks are signs utilized by a company to identify their services. Such as travel agencies, hotels, telephone companies and airlines. An extension of the concept of trademarks, is made to the service industry. In this book, references to goods are to be construed as a reference to both goods and services. Unless services cannot be included in the context.
This definition presumes two functions of a trade mark,
- indicating the source or origin of the product.
- economically more important, offering a product a distinct identity of its own in the market-driven economies of today.
Trademarks are an important source of product differentiation and non-price competition, particularly in the consumer goods sector.A consumer associates certain qualities with products available in the market under different trademarks. While trademark helps them to attach such features as performance, durability, efficiency and after sales services to a specific product sold a value under that brand.
Consider the soft drinks market in the country. The brand names ’Pepsi’ and ‘Coke’ evolves the two drinks on the shelf. Consumer attaches certain qualities to the drinks. ‘Pepsi is a trifle sweeter than coke’ or ‘Coke has that extra zing’. This helps him choose the next time he wants a drink depending on his taste. The perception needs to be noted.
A consumer is making such a choice, makes certain assumptions about the quality of the product. He expects the same taste or constancy of quality from each Pepsi bottle or product. Because he expects manufacturer to maintain certain standards, irrespective of who makes the product or where it is made. Hence, a trademark males a “phantom manufacturer” who through assembly –line production and modern technology ensures that goods or services of uniform quality are made available to the consumer time and again, unfailingly.
Nation of quality:
The trouble with this perception is that it is only national. Throughout the world, trade mark laws do not require the proprietor to maintain any particular or declared quality. The question is rather of a company own interest. If the proprietor feels that benefits from lowering quality of trademarked product outweigh the loss in market share it may suffer, there is no stopping it from selling an inferior quality product. If a consumer X feels that ‘Coke’ tastes better in the USA. He cannot do anything with trade mark laws to force Coca Cola Co. to sell the same brew in India.
If anything he may have to look to unfair competition or the consumer protection laws to seek redress. To put it differently, what is at stake for the proprietor of the trademark is the ‘goodwill’ is the measure of ‘success’ of a trademark. The source of its economic value. Building goodwill requires large investments and marketing.
For the actual domain of goodwill is partly in the sphere of consumer psychology and partly in the mundane world of quality, consistency and other such concrete notions. The registration of your trademark products quality is more important.
Market Power :
The huge profitable value of a successful trademark has is the main reason for their protection. From a benefit-to-society point-of-view, a justification lies in their role in facilitating consumer choice. But the concept itself functions in favor of the proprietor. With widespread brand proliferation and numerous manufacturing company with similar products.
The proprietor would want returns on investments he makes on brand-building. The protection of trademarks against unlicensed use is, as a general rule. What is missing is a balancing force to counter the overwhelming market power of successful trademarks.
The balance needs to come through greater responsibility on the part of the trademark owner. The need, if at all , is for a legislation that forces trademark owners to ensure a certain level of quality of their products or at least what they hold out.
Perpetual Exclusive Use in a Territory :
Trademark law gives an exclusive right to the owner of the mark over its use. He can prevent the use of similar or identical signs by competitors. If such marks can lead to conversion. The trademark registration of your products or services may be verified in IPR (Intellectual property rights).
Trademark laws are, however, national in character, which has far-reaching implications which are looked at in detail in the book. The term of protection of trademarks is unlimited. In other words, they may be owned in perpetuity, with a rider that the initial trademark registration. The each subsequent renewal is for a minimum of 7 years. Whereas India assigns 10 years with effect from the startup of the Trademarks Act, 1999.
Trade Name :
In legal parlance, brand names are known as trademarks and company names as trademarks.Both are protected against constitute and unauthorized use IP. Trade names mention to the name of the business enterprise as complete. They place an company and its business without any reference to the goods and services it puts on the market. Before your trademark registration, you can check your trade names in the above IPR website.
The choice of trademarks is expanding. The 1999 Act has given sanction to adaption of “shapes” as trademarks.But, smell and sound trademarks have been recognized only by few countries. They have not generally been accepted till now in international treaties. The trademarks registry offices are in Coimbatore, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi.