Brand Name Selection and Trademark Registration:

A great brand name can’t undo a bad experience.
But a series of bad experiences can kill a great brand.

When a client approaches us for designing a logo, we follow certain guidelines. We consider it our duty to educate the client about Brand Name and Trademark Registration before proceeding with the designing work. From what we experienced in the past few years, at least 80% of the startups don’t have sufficient knowledge regarding the same. While selecting a brand name, it’s better to have a clear idea about the target audience, what you want to convey or promise to them, what your identity is going to be and what you stand for.

Points to Remember:

  • Most consider registering the business name with the Registrar of Companies protects their brand name. Business name is different from brand name is different. Example: Business Name: Geo Cleanser Products Pvt Ltd. Brand Name: Tageo. Domain Name:
  • If you are a serious entrant in the market, you have to protect your brand by applying for trademark registration with “Intellectual Property of India”.
  • Owner of a trademark has exclusive rights for the brand name under the particular category he has registered for. Trademark registration can be done under various classes depending on the nature of business.
  • The exclusive rights allow the brand owner to prevent others from using the same name or identical design marks.
  • You can apply for any name. But if the proposed brand name is already registered, the trademark committee can directly reject your application or can allow other companies to object for the use of proposed name.
  • If your brand name has possiblechance of confusion / conflict with other brands, there is a high chance of getting objections from the other brand owners.
  • The name should be distinctive. It should not be similar to the other registered brand names. It should not be generic. It should not have similar pronunciation. The registered names should not be used; itsbest avoided even in prefix and suffix.
  • Choose a brand name and consult with trademark attorneys. Design the logo as early as possible and file the brand name along with the design mark.
  • The registration of trademarks in India is for 10 years and periodical renewal has to be done.
  • The ® symbol can be used by a Registered brand. The ™ symbol can be used by trademark applicants; both unregistered and registered trademarks.
  • If you have a market outside India, you have to get the brand registered in the markets where you have the presence or you are planning to enter.
  • Under the Madrid protocol, you can file a single application for getting the international trademarks.
  • Trademark violations are easy to identify in this digital world. Violators will face legal issues and have to withdraw the name after years of operation. This will be a huge loss to the business. You have to redo everything from scratch i.e., name, stationeries, packaging and brand promotions.

Infringement of trademark is an offence.

– Unauthorised use of TM or R symbols is an offence.
– Actions like Permanent or temporary injunction, Royalty from the damages made to the registered brand from the profits gained through the infringement, destruction of goods using the infringing mark and the cost of legal proceeding, penalty and imprisonment will be taken.

Case & Verdicts:

– Kaleesuwari Refinery (Gold Winner) Vs 10 other brands
Kaleesuwari refineries said, the opponents are diluting the goodwill associated with Kaleesuwari refinery, causing large scale disruption. So 10 cooking oil firms restrained from using similar trademarks like “Winner, Sree Gold, Gold Premium and few more” for using identical name, packaging design or colour standards.

– Girnar Files Trademark Violation Case Against BigBasket For ‘Royal’ Tea. Girnal is the registered owner of “Royal Cup Tea” and Big Basket was using the brand name “Royal” for various product including tea. Girnar filed and won the case.

– Metro Shoes Vs Flipkart’s Metronaut
Metro Shoes had alleged Flipkart was selling products under a private label by the brand name of Metronaut, which is deceptively similar to the brand Metro.

– Marc Enterprises Vs Flipkart’s MarQ

Delhi-based electric appliances maker Marc Enterprises filed a case against Flipkart saying that Flipkart is selling Air Conditioners, Washing Machines, TVs and Microwaves under the brand MarQ which is similar to its own name selling similar or identical goods.

– Dindigul-based ‘Thalappakatti’ Vs Chennai based “Thalapakattu”. Dindigul Thalapakkatti won the case.

– Chennai based Sri Kumaran Stores won a case of trademark infringement against Kancheepuram based “Kanchi Kumaran Silks”.

– IndiGo Airlines Vs Tata Motors. Tata Motors issued notices on the Indigo name infringement in 2005. Reason for the clash is, IndiGo is a rival to Tata Motors’ sister companies — Tata Singapore Airlines (operator of Vistara). Tata motors launcehd Indigo in 2002, while Indigo airlines was launched in 2006. But Airline has got the trademark registered. Because the ownership was only valid for a particular category and an “imitator” can register it in another category.

– Sree Annapoorna Vs Tirupur Sree Annapoorna. The Tirupur brand even used the same font used by Sree Annapoorna. Sree Annapoorna won the case.

– Life Insurance Corporation Vs Vedhapuri Textiles’ Lungi Brand.
In 2001, Vedhapuri textiles had applied for registration of a trademark logo depicting two uplifted hands with diya in the centre and words “Double Hands” for its ‘lungies’. The textile firm’s logo was registered in 2013. Later, LIC, which has been using the trademark logo since 1956, moved the Intellectual Property Appellate Board for rectification and won the case. Vedhapuri had to withdraw the particular emblem.

How to Choose a Brand Name?

  • It should be easy to remember and pronunce.
  • It should not spread negativity.
  • Irrelevant names are not easy to promote.
  • You brand name should not be descriptive of the specific goods or services you are going to do.
  • It should not be of similar pronunciation of the registered brand in the same Trademark category.
  • Certain alphabets are not that easy to design as a good looking logo and you should stretch yourself to make it good.
  • Domain availability has to be checked.

Brand Name Selection Techniques:

  • International magazines, articles, blogs, deep Sanskrit words can be used as a reference.
  • Mind Mapping is one of the best ways to choose the brand name. That will show a sense of direction and save a lot of time.
  • Create unique names from existing words.  Our client with the registered company name “Geo Cleanser Products” proposed the name of “Geo” which was impossible to get registered. But the client was very particular about the name geo. So we chose a unique name “Tageo” taken from the word “Advantageous”.
  • For a traditional Dhoti and white shirt brand, we chose the name “Yaga” . The word Yaga is common in three languages Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada with a slight difference in hindi as “Yagya”. The name can be easily connected with the people across the country. A traditional name for a traditional product. We chose the slogan of “Traditionally Modern” for the brand. We came across this name hint while browsing through a traditional magazine online.

Choose a distinctive brand name and get it legally protected.