As we look through the international trade and commerce circle, we have some kind of emotion attached to some or the other brand in almost all categories. Many people are trying to use the goodwill of those brands by injecting counterfeit brands with a distinct similarity to make profits from their goodwill. This leads to not just the financial loss but also loss to the goodwill of the trademark copied. There are legal remedies available for protection against infringement of trademarks in India but often such immoral practices turn out to be fatal for the real owner of the trademark.
A trademark registration may somehow protect the use of similar or same brand name, but it may not be enough to prevent others from infringing trademark. Protection of trademark is an important aspect of trademark maintenance and trademark handling. The strength and value of a trademark decide the scope of protection that a particular mark can obtain. It is extremely important for the parties involved in a suit for trademark infringement to claim a favorable scope of protection for the registered trademark.
Trademarks play a crucial role in maintaining and multiplying the value of a firm’s IP portfolio. Trademarks grant an exclusive identity to a product or business, with the help of which various companies would surely like to protect their investment. The infringers try to evocate the goodwill and crunch into the profits without any rights over a brand, a trademark protects such rights of the owner and enables him to carry out the due action to obtain the remedies about the dispute.
What is trademark Watch?
Trademark watch is one such activity that protects the marks from the potential infringements. Trademark watch is basically a process of monitoring the trademark and looking out for all the similar marks that are registered or any such marks are applied for registration. For the counterfeit marks, the watch can enable the firms to initiate an action against the infringement or file an opposition for the mark applied in the trademark office.
Trademark watch is carried on to make sure that there is no similar or potentially harmful mark is registered. Since it is necessary to file an opposition against the similar mark trying to register before the completion of the deadline, trademark watch is important for the protection of the registration of similar marks.
Tech and Trademark Watch
Technology has improved the process of trademark registration and protection manifold with the passing of time. Before tech invasion, all the marks were recorded in the form of scripts, drawings etc., because of this a variety of trademarks could not have been protected in the court of law. The questions before various courts of law are concerned with the consumer behaviour towards the trademark. A brand with a lower value of IP portfolio may not be as keen or incentivised to protect their mark as compared to someone like ‘Coca-Cola’, one of the most recognized brands in the world. Trademark watch contributes to the alertness of the organization in avoiding damages and harm done due to infringing marks.
With the help of technology, trademarks are being protected more aggressively as compared to the times when it was all done manually. The watch can now be done by various means; the most common practice is where a firm establishes a team of lawyers who individually keep a watch on the weekly journals published by the Trademark Office, which is not as easy as it sounds.
In any jurisdiction, in any country, hundreds of applications are filed every day. It becomes an uphill battle for even a team of lawyers or a company to keep track of all their marks, to give readers a perspective, PepsiCo, Inc. parent company of the popular cola ‘Pepsi’ has filed close to 400 applications in India alone and with presence in close to 170 countries managing their Intellectual Property portfolio becomes a tedious task. A firm, without using technology, will be wasting expensive human capital and resources just to make sure no one is infringing.
In order to avoid the high costs and time involved, a lot of companies in USA and Europe have started to outsource their IPR related work to developing countries like India. This, in turn, creates a unique set of challenges involving privacy and attorney-client privilege. Most of the clients are not too comfortable having data and intellectual property wired across the world.
After going through the nature and ambit of trademark infringement we can say that for securing a brand — trademark may just be the first step but it is not the ultimate step. To protect a brand the owner should keep a watch over the potential dangers towards his mark and act as required against the harms of trademark infringements. Technology has enhanced the process of trademark watch, it is now much easier and swift as compared to the older times and this can just be the thing that can change the protection of a person’s intellectual property.