4 ways to protect your start-up brand from any unauthorized usage

4 ways to protect your start-up brand from any unauthorized usage

For a startup’s sustainability, it is evident to protect the brand. But first things first, it becomes crucial to register the trademark. Trademark registration can be done via online mode as well in India. All you need are copies of the required document and legal compliance. All this can be proceeded after choosing the rights business structure. Such as if you decide to set up your business structure as LLP incorporation, it is important to incorporate it. LLP is governed by0 the ministry of corporate and incorporated under the limited liability partnership act, 2009. It might demand equal or more effort than starting up a business. Also, that does not mean that you will succeed in that, as there will be some loopholes that third-party might take advantage of through unauthorized use.

Most of the people put their name and logo in public without providing any safeguards to it. The first step in this direction is to obtain your startup’s trademark registration in India. As you must know, a trademark is geographical; one can only apply at the place from where they have been performing the business. It the sole way if you are eyeing on to safeguard your business’s brand identity to keep it unique to your business. Registering a trademark gives you the sole prerogative to ensure legal safeguard that restricts any third-party misuse.

1. Prepping of an NDA (non-disclosure agreement)

There will be few instances when it is unmanageable to perform IPR for safeguarding the idea of the business. Fling in NDA to legally restrict others from getting benefits of that idea in any form. It is evident for startups to generate a sui generis distinguisher in the market, and that is why getting it signed by the employees and developers with whom it shares the idea only makes sense.

NDA attaches two or more people in the agreement that specifies who shares the vital business information with whom and which information cannot be shared with anyone outside the organization. Many entrepreneurs are eager to get the NDA signed by everybody with the inclusion of investors. However, few thinks that it is many times a capricious step because investors will listen to many ideas and assess the suitability of the ideas they have to juxtapose and discuss those with them.


2. Assuring intellectual property

There are multiple things that a startup can opt for trademarks, such as its design, logo of a specified brand, product’s patterns, or even the branding colors. Big and giant corporations such as Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc., invest jillions of dollars in intellectual property to protect and secure futuristic technological inventions like voice interactions. Here are some of the ways by which one can leverage intellectual property for their businesses.

–    Logo trademark. 

To get your trademark logo, you should be in touch with the business experts’ service provider. They would help you throughout the registration process while making sure that no other brand can leverage from your registered mark.

–    Tagline trademark.

It is not feasible to trademark the complete arrangement of words, but in place of that, you can register the tagline as your tagline of the brand. Some norms need to be followed to do so, such as keeping it distinctive and creative. For example, ‘just do it‘ by Nike is unique and specific to convey its philosophy of accepting adversities. However, the environmental group cannot trademark the ‘Think Green’ tagline as that would be too indistinctive.

–    Colour mark protection.

Remember, that definition of trademark registration does not contain colour as its part. But it became feasible for businesses to trademark one single colour or combination of various colours after 1995. It has trademarking of product services, colours, and packaging to examine the source and not be used merely for embellishments. For example, you will see the Louboutin’s red soles on high-heel shoes. While at the same time, it does not provide them the prerogative to stop others from doing it but only on a certain portion of the shoes.

3. Copyright branding components

It is advisable to safeguard your brand via copyright creation that allows the creator to perform the power of restricting others from doing it. Other individuals and businesses will not create derivative work, nor they will reuse or reproduce it. The authorized owner can permit to use to anyone to utilize such copyright mark by way of licensing or assigning it in return for monetary gains. Apart from that, there is no safeguard via copyright for any work that is a form of trade slogans, names, a single phrase, or any other copyright work caricatures.

Many global brands select certain characters or places within their brand work for copyright. For instance, the golden ‘M’ of McDonald’s (two French fries) brand is copyrighted worldwide to obtain enhanced protection.

4. A claim for prior usage with the shreds of evidence


It sometimes happens that two or more brands might apply for the identical mark to get the online trademark registration India. The conflicts are going to happen in such cases where identical trademarks might be already in usage. Where another brand having applied for the identical or similar trademark, in that case, claiming a prior use will give an upper hand over them. You can check out the cases where many brands have won the cases by claiming the primary benefit against the big brands.

You can claim the prior use in a few ways and can say that you were the first one to use it publicly. It also presents the exclusivity of utilizing that mark before anyone in the market.

You can claim the prior usage by demonstrating the following evidence.

– Invoices and bills of each year when you have used the mark.

– Evidence in the form of newspaper ads, leaflets, flyers, or anything represents the testament to mass dissemination.

– Presence on digital media such as websites and other publications promulgate products and services with the brand name.

– Non-printed material or forms of advertising such as TV, internet ads, radio, and social media videos and images, so on and so forth.

– Government registered certificate of the mark can also be robust evidence.

It is suggested to keep the use date and brand name used in the financial transaction buttressing the usage. The repercussions of permitting the forged brand name to be used in the market can be detrimental. It can diminish your brand because of the product’s standard quality being provided under your brand name. If your startup wants to infuse the money via external sources, you should ensure that your brand name is not aligned with any subpar thing that can hinder your growth.


If you want the surety of business sustainability and visibility, branding is the key. That is why it is better to stay vigilant when it comes to safeguarding your brand from any possible contravention from others. Create a distinguisher via trademark and hire an IP expert to protect it, and the same goes for the creators as well, who can copyright their creations and inventions. The idea here is not to allow the brand to be infiltrated by any means from external sources.

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