Education was forever altered by the onset of the pandemic. Although online education was quite prevalent even before COVID 19, it is still relatively new to the industry. The pandemic, however, made classroom training unavailable, so several certifications moved online. A few professionals also took advantage of the endless lockdowns by taking online courses in order to keep themselves occupied.
In contrast, a number of tutors wanted to monetize their knowledge, and found it relatively simple to make online courses, targeting the right audiences. Even though the world is returning to its normal ways, online courses still appear to be the favorite of many brainy heads despite the fact that the methodology is now a huge hit.
Trademark Registration for Online Course:
Brand names and logos distinguish businesses from each other in the market. The same applies to an online course! Keeping the brand name safe and secure is important since it is the ticket to the target audience. Trademarking the brand name and logo of the course is the only way to achieve this. The trademark will be restricted from being used by anyone other than the registered user once it has been registered. When major brands trademark their brands, they mean serious business. Several well-known online courses have trademarks, such as Udemy, Coursera, etc. Hence, online courses should be trademarked in the same way as any other business. Additionally, social media has made it easier to infringe on trademarks of online businesses, as opposed to physical ones.
It is important to keep the following factors in mind when protecting the brand name of an online program.
- To search for trademarks, follow these steps:
In order to file a trademark application, the applicant must first conduct a trademark search. In order to ensure that the online course’s name is unique, a trademark search should be conducted. To avoid infringement or deceptive similarity, the name thus chosen must not sound or appear similar to an existing trademark.
- Steer Clear of Generic Names:
In spite of the fact that it might seem obvious, it is highly discouraged to call the online course something obvious like ‘The Indian Cooking Course’. These names would definitely reach the audience better, and marketing the course would be a breeze. It must be remembered, though, that a trademark grants ownership of a particular trade name to the applicant. Such monopolies on generic names are unjustifiable. It is also common for competitors or third parties to infringe such generic names. A competitor cannot sue an applicant if he adds a similar-sounding course online.
- Is it Mandatory?
Entrepreneurs who launch online courses often worry about this question. Should trademarks be registered? Entrepreneurs have different priorities, so it depends on what they want to accomplish. Whether or not a trademark is registered, a brand already has a trademark right. Common law rights can still be invoked in the case of unregistered trademarks, but not under the Trademarks Act, 1999. In the absence of a trademark registration, the plaintiff must go the extra mile to establish the existence of the trademark right. In order to avoid any regrets in the future, it is best to register trademark right away.
- Under the Companies Act, 2013, are Trademarks and Approval of Company Names the same thing?
The Companies Act, 2013 regulates numerous online portals offering courses as private limited companies. Applicants must submit the name of their company to the Registrar of Companies for approval as part of the application process. In order to check if the name is unique or if it infringes on the name of any other organization, the R.U.N (Reserve Unique Name) web service has been set up.
It is important to note, however, that the approval of a brand name does not confer any trademark rights. For a trade name to be monopolized, the applicant must obtain the approval of the Trademark Registry.
- Trademark Registration:
A thorough search of the trademark can be conducted by the curator of the online course before applying through the form TM-1 to the Trademark Registry. A copy of your identification and address is required with your application. A uniqueness check is performed after the trademark application is filed. Indian Trademark Journal publishes trademarks without disparities. In the event that there is no opposition, a trademark registration certificate is issued. Registrars conduct hearings with applicants and opposition parties and decide cases based on their merits if there is any opposition.