Copyright and Trademark complete Guide


The Indian law of copyright is enshrined in the Copyright Act, 1957. The Act seeks to provide for the copyright registration in India. The object of copyright law is to encourage authors, artists, and composers to create original works by rewarding them with the exclusive right for a fixed period to reproduce the works for commercial exploitation.

 

What is Copyright

 

COPYRIGHT is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. In fact, it is a bundle of rights including, inter alia, rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation, and translation of the work. There could be slight variations in the composition of the rights depending on the work.

Copyright is the legal protection given to the creator of an original literary or artistic work. It is the exclusive right granted by the law to the creator of such original work, to do, authorize, or prohibit certain acts in relation to such work, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity.

 

Copyrights subsist in the following class of works:

 

a) Original literary, musical, dramatic and artistic works.

b) Cinematograph films

c) Sound recordings

The rights vary according to the class of work. Copyright also subsists in translations, abridgments or compilations of such works, provided the permission of the copyright holder is obtained. Computer programs are considered as literary works and are protected under the Copyright Act. There is no copyright in an idea.

 

Rights conferred by registration

 

In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. Under Indian law, registration is not required either for acquiring copyright or for enforcing it in an infringement action. However, registration has evidentiary value in a court of law with reference to dispute relating to ownership of copyright.

 

Author of copyright

 

Under copyright law, the creator of the original expression in a work is its author. The author is also the owner of the copyright, unless there is a written agreement by which the author assigns the copyright to another person or entity, such as a publisher. In cases of works made for hire, the provider of the work is considered to be the author.

 

Filing and Prosecuting Copyright Applications

 

An application for copyright on Form-IV accompanied by four copies of the work is to be made on Form IV ( Including Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars) along with the prescribed fee at Copyright Office of the Department of Education, New Delhi. The Copyright Office initially provides a filing number and filing date and issues a filing receipt. Thereafter the application is formally examined by the Office. Defects will be communicated to the applicant. Once the application is found to be in order it is accepted and the Copyright Office issues the registration certificate.

 

A trademark refers to the unique identity that enables you to make your brand or product stand out from the rest of the horde. Trademark is defined as “ a mark represented graphically capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person/company from the others. This may include colors, shape, brand, name, signature, letter, word, number, or combination of any” under section 2 of Trade Marks Act, 1999.

 

You can apply for a trademark for a logo, photograph, word, slogan, smell, sound, graphics, or color combinations; however, most businesses consider trademark registration online for their logo, tagline, and brand registration.

If you have come up with a new business idea and want to keep it from getting stolen, you can protect it by patenting it. A registered trademark is an intangible asset of your business, and it acts as a protective shield for your investment and efforts put in to create a brand or registered logo.

 

Trademark registration in India is carried out by the Controller General Of Patents. The Trademark Act, 1999, offers you the right to take legal action against those who try to copy or use your trademark.

 

Trademark Registration: Who can Apply?

 

The trademark rules of India enables private firms, companies, individuals, NGO’s, and LLP’s to register items like sound, logo, phrases, words, colors, images, initials, and symbols. For companies, NGOs, or LLPs, the trademark application needs to be facilitated in the business’ name.

 

Importance of Trademark Registration in India

 

Registering your brand or business in India delivers a bunch of benefits, as discussed below.

  • Business Opportunity

If you provide or offer a brand, service, or product under a registered trademark, it helps you present yourself as reliable and trustworthy. It helps your brand get a discreet identity, which helps you edge your competitors, and puts you on the advantage when you sell on multi-vendor platforms.

  • Legal Protection

If you have performed your brand or logo registration and you find your trademark being copied, you can take the legal route and sue the person or company in question.

  • Unique Identity

Consumers identify products and services by the name of their brands. Trademark registration provides you with a guarantee that no other individual or company will use your copyrighted assets.

  • Global Filing

If you register and file a trademark in India, you can file it in other countries as well. Similarly, foreigners can also obtain trademark registration in India.

 

You might get trademark objection or trademark hearing later in the process of registration.

After filing the application, every trademark is examined by the examiners appointed by the Trademark Registry. After examination, an examiner issues an examination report in which the objections, if any, are raised by the examiner. On receiving the Examination Report, the applicant has to submit his/her response based on the objections in the examination report. In case the objections are not met to the satisfaction of the trademark office through the response, the applicant can avail an opportunity of hearing before the Trademark Registrar, where he/she can present submissions orally. Trademark hearing is generally conducted by the Assistant Registrar of Trademarks.

 

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