Trademark registration has gained significant importance in running any business in India. There has been a sharp increase in the number of trademark registrations in recent times with the launch of online platforms. Trademark class list for goods and services based business is trying to protect its own brand value from the counterfeiting of goods and services in the name of reputed brands.
The rise in the number of counterfeiting products has led to businesses looking for ways to protect their brand value. People who have started their new businesses often have questions regarding how to do trademark registration for goods. This will not only help them get established but will also protect their brand from being misused or infringed upon.
What are Counterfeit and Infringement?
Counterfeiting and Infringement are two types of unethical means of practice in a business. On one hand, Counterfeit is defined as the means of fraudulent imitation in order to commit fraud or forge an item. On the other hand, Infringement is a mere violation of the rules and regulations to confuse the customers regarding a good and service. It is like the case of encroachment on the rights of an individual, while the other is to commit fraud.
The Basic differences between the two are as follows:
|Any and all kinds of counterfeit marks fall under infringement.||Not all Infringements are considered counterfeit.|
|Counterfeit includes marks that are indistinguishable from the reputed brands and aim to profit from the sale of fake goods and services under the exact logo of the reputed brand.||Infringement on the other hand includes marks that are somewhat similar to that of the reputed brands and aim to benefit from the brand value of the reputed brand by creating confusion in the minds of the customer.|
How does Trademark registration affect counterfeit goods and services?
The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted India’s e-commerce growth with the availability of various delivery options as seen in the recent year. This has resulted in the boom in home-delivered goods and services which has led to an increasing number of counterfeit products in this market. This has made it necessary for the authorities to take the necessary action to prevent further counterfeit of the Trademark class list for goods and services.
Some of the ways to prevent the circulation of counterfeit products are:
Brand registries: Trademark registration is one of the best ways to prevent the circulation of counterfeit products. Having a trademark will make the customers aware of the brand and the quality that it provides. Thus when an individual gets their trademark registered, the customers will be able to distinguish between the original and the counterfeit products easily. This will curb the practices of counterfeit in the competitive market.
Need for enforcement: The Physical markets have regular inspections that are carried out for the shops and warehouses and factories. But such is not possible for the online sellers to be inspected thus there is a need to bring out a method that can allow for the inspection of such counterfeit products. Regulation of the safety and standard rules does help in preventing large-scale counterfeit measures as one needs to abide by certain rules and regulations.
Collaborative efforts: Collaborative efforts help in maintaining the standard of a product and help protect it when the owners are absent. Such cases occur when the business is in a similar line of business and needs to maintain standard quality for the fixing of rates and prices. Thus having inferior quality can damage their reputation. In situations like these having a collaborative action towards a common cause can prevent the counterfeit of the goods and services.
An influx of technology: The technological advancement has been of huge relief as one can get their trademark registered and file for cases against trademark infringement and counterfeit easily. Having the proper platform to get the proper action has been of huge relief. With more and more technological advancement the situation is going to get better and better as one will be able to distinguish between the original and the counterfeit from the reputed brands.
Safe Harbour: The Safe Harbor law in India protect businesses from the taxation policy thus having a knowledge of the same will allow for the proper taxation of good and services. This will prevent the circulation of counterfeit goods and services as each good has to be taxed and billed and not having a proper certification on the goods can be punished. Thus favoring the Safe Harbor rules it will be easy for the reputed brands to conduct business without worrying about counterfeit products.
Trademark registration provides the required protection needed by the businesses to prevent the circulation of counterfeit goods and services in the name of reputed brands. This will not only hamper the name of the brand but will also cause disruption in the economic flow of the revenue. Thus the need to prevent the circulation of counterfeit goods and services is of utmost importance in