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How to Check Logo Copyright in India: A Comprehensive Guide

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Manish Koli

December 5, 2023

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How to Check Logo Copyright in India: A Comprehensive Guide

Ever had that eureka moment when you design a logo and think, “This is it!”? But wait, before you print it on your business cards or splash it on your website, have you checked if it’s truly unique?

Imagine your logo being the face of your brand, much like your face is to you. You wouldn’t want someone else wearing a mask of your face, would you?

Similarly, ensuring your logo is copyrighted and unique is crucial. So, how to check logo copyright in India? Let’s dive in!

Understanding the Imperative of Logo Copyright Checks

Checking if a logo is trademarked is crucial for businesses and individuals alike. A logo represents a brand’s identity, encapsulating its values, vision, and essence.

Using a copyrighted logo without permission can lead to legal repercussions, including hefty fines and damage to a brand’s reputation.

Moreover, unintentionally using a registered trademark logo can confuse customers, diluting the brand’s uniqueness and causing potential loss of revenue.

By ensuring a logo isn’t copyrighted, businesses safeguard themselves against legal battles and maintain their brand’s distinctiveness in the market.

In essence, verifying logo copyright is a proactive step in brand protection and maintaining a clear, unambiguous brand presence.

How to Check Logo Copyright in India?

In India, the oversight of Trademark Registrations falls under the purview of the Indian Controller General of Patent Designs and Trademarks.

Their official website offers an accessible online trademark search database.

While you can navigate and search on this platform independently, you also have the option to engage the expertise of a professional for assistance.

Initiating the process to trademark a logo typically begins by examining the federal trademark database to ensure that the logo hasn’t been trademarked before.

Following are the steps detailed below for checking whether a logo in India is trademarked or not.

Stage 1:

Begin by visiting the official government website to search for the relevant trademark class. On the top left corner, you’ll find an option to search for trademark classes.

This section is divided into three columns: language (defaulted to English), search term, and NICE class.

For your search, focus on the middle column, entering the category of your product or service.

Stage 2:

Next, perform a name search on the same official site. Start by reviewing the list of restricted marks provided by the Indian Government.

These are marks that are off-limits for registration.

Additionally, check for well-known trademarks; these are brands recognised for their widespread popularity and reputation.

Stage 3:

Next, initiate a word-mark search. To begin, navigate to the designated website and input your brand name in the specified field.

Ensure you select “wordmarks” as your search preference. Here, the term ‘word’ pertains to the specific trade name you aim to register.

Stage 4:

Now conduct a phonetic search for your trademark. After completing the wordmark search, the phonetic search is your next step.

This type of search provides a list of trademarks that, when spoken, sound akin to your entered name. Essentially, it identifies names that have a similar auditory resemblance.

Stage 5:

As a concluding step, sift through the comprehensive trademark database.

After executing the previous searches, you’ll receive a list showcasing trademarks that are either registered, faced objections, or have been relinquished.

It’s imperative to scrutinise this list to ascertain that your trademark stands out from the rest and assess its eligibility for registration.

Suggested Reading: How to Get a Logo Copyrighted in India

Navigating Online Trademark Searches in U.S.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provides a valuable resource in the form of the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).

This tool allows you to seamlessly search for trademarks, helping you spot any that might be similar to your own.

To effectively utilise TESS, follow these steps:

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    Describe the products or services associated with the mark.
  2. Pinpoint specific terms that define these products or services.
  3. Identify related products or services.
  4. Determine the appropriate international class for your mark.

While TESS is user-friendly for straightforward name searches, the waters get murkier when you’re dealing with design marks.

Before diving into your search, it’s wise to reference the Design Search Code Manual available on the site to pinpoint your specific design code.

As you sift through the search results, keep an eye out for trademarks that bear a resemblance or are identical to yours.

Document these findings, paying special attention to the goods or services they’re associated with.

For a deeper understanding, turn to the Acceptable online Identification of Goods and Services Manual, also available on the site.

This guide can shed light on the categories of goods or services that align most closely with your own.

Suggested Reading: Logo Copyright Infringement Examples

Conclusion

In wrapping up our guide on “how to check if a logo is copyright,” it’s essential to recognise the value of safeguarding one’s intellectual property.

The search process, although intricate, is a necessary step in ensuring your logo’s uniqueness.

By selecting the appropriate Search Type and utilising online databases, you can streamline your trademark lookup.

A comprehensive trademark check is pivotal, especially when seeking exact trademark matches.

For those focusing on Indian trademarks, it’s crucial to be thorough, given the vast records of trademarks in the country.

In essence, while the journey might seem daunting, the peace of mind that comes from knowing your logo is genuinely yours is worth every step.

FAQs

How do I check logo copyright?

To check logo copyright, you can start by searching the official database of the country’s intellectual property office. For instance, in the U.S., you’d use the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) provided by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Is there a specific logo copyright checker tool?

Yes, many countries have official online databases where you can check for copyrighted logos. Additionally, there are third-party websites that offer logo copyright checking services, though it’s always best to consult official sources for the most accurate information.

How can I determine if a logo is copyrighted?

If a logo is registered and copyrighted, it should appear in the official trademark database of the respective country. Always ensure to do a comprehensive search to avoid potential legal issues.

What’s the process to check a copyright logo?

The process typically involves visiting the official intellectual property office’s website of your country and using their search tool to look for the logo or associated brand name.

How can I verify if specific words or phrases are copyrighted?

To verify if specific words or phrases are trademarked, you can search the official copyright database or the trademark database, depending on the nature of the content. Remember, while ideas and common phrases can’t be copyrighted, unique expressions of ideas can be.

How do I check logo copyright in India?

In India, you can check logo trademark by visiting the official website of the Indian Controller General of Patent Designs and Trademarks. They provide an online database where you can conduct a trademark search to see if a logo or brand name is already registered.

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