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Lot of people often come across Trademark Objection over association of trademarks. What exactly these associated trademarks means. Trademark Act 1999 provides the definition of associated trademark is given in section 2(1)(c) of the Trademarks Act 1999 which reads as follows-
Associated Trademarks means trademarks deemed to be or required to be, registered as associated trademarks under this Act.” Further, Section 2 (3) provides that
“for the purpose of this Act, goods and services are associated with each other if it is likely that those goods might be sold or otherwise traded in and those services might be provided by the same business and so with description of goods and description of services”
In simple plain language it is means that any number of trademarks that are identical to each other and are applied in same class by same owner these series of trademarks are known as associated trademarks.
Let us take a fictitious example, suppose a big corporation like Patanjali which has a wide range of products and brand names which may fall in same class too.
For example let say a medicinal product such as Ayurvedic syrup is applied for registration n class 5 as Patanjali Nirog and in same class another medicinal herbal product using same name Patanjali is also applied, so in order to avoid any confusion in market about the origin of the sources of the product or the ownership of the products and trademark applied similar trademarks are clubbed together in a series and this series of similar trademarks registered are known as Associated trademarks.
Sometimes applicants themselves disclose the associated trademarks in TM-1 on their own but most of the times the examiner during examination of the mark in case see a trademark identical to the applicants mark in same class he may ask the applicant to take the identical mark on record as an associated trademark with the main mark.
The main idea behind principle of associated trademarks is to clearly establish the connection between the brands falling under the same umbrella and to avoid any confusion with respect to the identity and source of the brand among the consumers.
Any identical mark may be taken on record by paying the applicable fees of Rs 500 with respect to reference made to primary mark.
A well protected series of trademarks do add up to brand value and in general increase the overall intellectual property valuation but it also have a drawback, that all of the associated trademarks are impacted by the primary trademark. For example in case a primary trademark is abandoned due to any reason the associated trademarks may also get adversely affected.
So in case you are planning to associate your trademark with any of your mark with any of your brand name you must keep in mind that the associated mark will always have its identity and status read with primary mark.
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