A trademark is much like that of a human being because the life of a trademark may be correlated to the life of a human being. Every human being is to be named immediately after birth in this earth and on the same line every product is to be identified with a trademark. Hence there is need to nurture trademarks like human beings.
Trademark is a major asset of any company. Hence ‘ trademarks management ‘ in an enterprise comprises two aspects:
1. Trademark Policy
2. Trademark Protection
Trademark policy is a marketing function. Normally the marketing personnel of an organization will take care of this trademark policy letter known as ‘ Brand Management ‘.
Trademark protection is a legal function .In small enterprises one of the tasks of the legal department is to assure the protection of company’s trademarks. In large enterprises there is need to create a specific department known as ‘ Trademarks department’ which will look after the ‘ Trademarks Management ‘.
Since trademark protection is a legal function, the trade marks department best assure its role when it is integrated in the legal function of an organization.
The principal duty of the Trademarks Department is to protect and administer the trademark of the company i.e. by getting registration under the relevant laws of a particular country, the country of registration, the list and classes of goods and the services covered , renewals, action against the infringes and dishonest users and so on.
The trademarks department has an additional task in advising the marketing personnel in the choice of new trademarks, their protect ability and their availability, and also in the legal aspects of trademark policy.
The Trademarks Department may also be entrusted with the task to managing the licensing of trademarks, drafting license agreements and permitted user agreement for use of trademarks and also to look after other areas of Intellectual Property such as Patents, Designs, Copyrights and technical know how.
Functions of the trade marks department for proper trademarks department for proper trademark management.
1) Advise the marketing department with regard to the choice of a new trademark.
2) Legal clearance of a new trade mark by conducting searches in the Trademarks Registry and also in the market places with regard to the availability of identical or similar marks in respect of similar goods and services.
3) Submit trademark applications and advise the company to go for registration in a country where the goods are to be exported or sold.
4) Since there is globalization of industry and trade, it is better to seek International protection of the trademarks and other Intellectual Property.
5) Advise the company for proper use of trademarks after obtaining registration in order to avoid the attack on the registered trademarks on the ground of non-use by business competitors.
6) Initiate legal action against the infringes by filing civil suits or criminal complaint against the infringes and dishonest traders.
7) To conduct search and raid the premises when the infringed or spurious goods are being manufactured or marketed with the help of local police personnel after lodging criminal complaint.
8) To maintain individual files for each and every trademark of the company for easy reference.
9) It is better to computerize the Trademarks Department by creating a software for this kind of ‘ Trademarks Management ‘.
If the creation of trademark department is not economical one of trademark department is not economical one for any type of organization, then it is better to entrust this task to a Trademark Attorney who should be properly instructed to maintain all particulars and papers with regard to trademarks either on retainer or work-to-work basis.