5 ways to protect your trademark

Of the many things that can get an entrepreneur nervous, trademark infringement is one. But here are 5 tips that are going to help you to make sure your trademark, your idea remains protected and stays yours.

A brand name or a trademark is one of the most important aspects of any company. By trademark, we understand that a registered symbol, group of words or a single word legally represents a unique company or a product. Trademarks not only help your company be presented uniquely, but also help promote it among the public. For example, many people will call any washing powder as Surf or any brand of instant noodles as Wai Wai. It is very important that they maintain their identity in such a competitive world. How does one ensure that? Although Nepal currently doesn’t have a system of using TM and ® signs, here are a few tips you can use in order to protect your trademark.

1. Select your mark
Trademark is like a company name. You want it to be unique yet remain easy enough to be a household name. While choosing a trademark, make sure to brainstorm and Google as much as you can. You don’t want your trademark clashing with someone else’s. Also, make sure that while choosing a trademark; it’s not a generic word. You won’t be able to register it. But it doesn’t need to be a word no one has ever heard of. Play with words. Use words that indirectly and creatively tell people about your business.

2. Registering your mark
If you haven’t registered your trademark yet, do it now. Registration is a must when it comes to trademark mainly because the faster you register, the better protection you can get. According to Mr. Anjan Neupane, advocate at Neupane Legal Firm, registration can be done at Department of Industries, Tripureshwor by filling a simple application.

3. Using your mark
After the registration of your trademark, make sure everyone knows about it. Use it wherever and whenever possible. Use it in your email signature. Talk to your friends and family and ask them to use it as well. On one hand you are promoting your trademark (and your company) and on the other, you are letting everyone know that this is your trademark (thus making sure no one copies it). Also make sure that your trademark isn’t used as a noun but more as an adjective. Otherwise, in the long run, people will use the name to denote the service more than the product. Make sure you renew your trademark every seven years at the Department of Industry. If it isn’t renewed in time, it becomes unprotected and not viable for use.

4. Monitor your mark
It is very necessary to monitor your mark both locally and globally. Keep an open eye to make sure you don’t find any similarities between your and someone else’s trademark. Try to polish your trademark before registering to make sure yours does not look similar to an already registered company. You can also use Google Alerts to be notified when there are news stories, websites and others that mention your trademark even if with wrong spelling, or a similar version of it.

5. Defending your mark
If you find any one infringing your trademark, then it’s time to seek help you’re your lawyer. Send the guilty party a notice that they are infringing on your mark and then file a law suit against them. Any use of the mark without your permission is illegal. According to advocate Neupane, you can file a complaint (with evidence) at the Department of Industries. He also suggests that even if trademark application is not a complex matter, those interested can easily get the required information from the Department of Industries, it is recommended to take a lawyer’s assistance from the beginning as it saves a lot of time.

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