Building a brand involves consistent effort and hard work. In today’s competitive market environment, it isn’t easy to get your products or services to stand apart amongst its competitors. For your business to be a success, you need to create a unique identity for your product or service. That is where Trademark Registration comes in the picture.
How can you achieve this unique identity?
You can achieve this identity with the help of a Trademark!
In this guide, we help you understand the benefits of trademarks and their registration process in India.
What Is A Trademark?
Trademark is a recognizable sign or design or an expression used to identify a specific company or distinguish its goods or services from others. This expression could be a logo, photograph, brand name, symbol, sound, shape, or slogan.
In India, you can register the following as your company’s trademark:
|Label||Shape of Goods|
|Name||Combination of Colors|
|Jingle||Any Such Combinations|
Why Should You Register A Trademark?
- A trademark can be linked to your brand or product. If you own a trademark, it enhances the quality of your product or services. It builds trust and helps potential clients be loyal to your business.
- A registered trademark is a business’s intellectual property and intangible asset. Also, the registration cost is low
- Further, you get the benefit of protection under the Trademark Act.
- Trademark rights are territorial.
What are the benefits of registering your trademark?
- The registered trademark notifies the consumer/customer and any third party that the product(s) or service(s) provided under such registered trademark belongs to the applicant of the said trademark.
- The registered trademark also provides the exclusive right to use, sell, and modify the brand or goods in any manner
- Registering a trademark in India and in countries of commercial interest is very important. It gives you the legal right to use your trademark exclusively in such countries and to prevent unauthorized use of your trademarked brand name or logo by any third party. It also protects your products or services from infringement.
- Most importantly, your registration lasts for 10 years. It can be renewed again for another 10 years. As long as you keep renewing the trademark, it will not expire and you can continue to enjoy the protection under the trademark rights.
- Further, the owner can transfer their registered trademark. A common law trademark can only be transferred with the business.
- Registration is granted based on prior use and first to claim. In other words, the person who applies for registration of the trademark in the first place will be given priority for registration.
What are the documents necessary for applying for trademark registration in India?
When applying for a trademark, you need the following documents:
- Details of classes under which the trademark will be registered.
- Power of Authorisation that allows an attorney to file the trademark registration on your behalf.
- If your business is a Start-up or an MSME, then your certificate of registration is required. You can enjoy a 50% rebate on the government fee.
- Suppose you have been using a trademark in India for your business before applying for its registration, then you may register the trademark from the date of first use of your trademark. In that case, you need to submit an affidavit along with documentary proof such as invoices, registration certificates, etc.
How Should You Register For A Trademark?
To file the trademark, you need to follow the following steps:
Step 1: Choose a Trademark:
- It should be unique, non-descriptive, and distinct to distinguish your products and services in this market scenario.
Step 2: Conduct Trademark search:
- This search allows you to know whether there are similar trademarks out there and whether they are registered or not & thereby avoiding the chances of trademark litigation.
Step 3: File an application:
- You must file an application for trademark registration with the right class and correct details. The requisite forms are to be submitted to the Office of the Controller General of Patents Designs & Trademarks.
- The Trade Marks Registry will issue an application number upon filing the trademark application.
- The application can then be tracked online using the online trademark search function.
- Upon receipt of the application number, the applicant may affix the TM symbol next to the mark applied for registration.
Step 4: Apply for Vienna Codification:
- Once the application is filed, a Vienna code is assigned to the trademark by the Indian Trade Marks Registry if it contains some figurative elements/logo.
Step 5: Trademark Inspection:
- The Trademark Registry then reviews your application to confirm if the basic requirements are met.
- Based on this check, the registry prepares a trademark examination report. The examiner may accept the application fully, conditionally, or object.
- If the application is accepted without any conditions, then it gets published in the trademark journal.
- If accepted conditionally, the applicant will be given one month to fulfill the condition otherwise, the application will be rejected.
- After fulfilling the conditions, if the application is still not accepted, one can request a hearing. If the examiner feels the trademark should be registered, he will proceed with its publication.
- In the event the application is objected to, the applicant will need to file a response to the examination report stating averments to overcome the objection and reason for registration of the trademark applied for.
- In the event, the examiner is of the view that objection(s) is still pending then a hearing will be granted to overcome the same.
- If the objections are overcome during the hearing then, a trademark application will be accepted and published in the journal.
Step 6: Publish in Indian Trademark Journals:
- The specified trademark will be published in the Journal after receiving the acceptance of the trademark application from the registrar.
- Once published, there is a chance that public objections will be made as they believe such a trademark may harm their business.
- If no objection is received within 4 months from the date of publication, your trademark will be registered.
- Suppose a third-party objects to your registration application within 4 months from the date of publication in the journal; the trademark hearing officer will hold a hearing. Both the applicant and the opponent will have the opportunity to attend the hearing, based on which the hearing officer will decide whether or not to accept the request.
Step 7: Receive Trademark Registration Certificate:
- If there are no objections or contradictions to the requestor opposition, a trademark registration certificate will be prepared.
- Once a trademark registration certificate has been issued, the trademark will be considered the owner’s registered trademark, allowing the owner to make exclusive use of the trademark.
- The icon ® can now be placed next to the registered trademark.
A registered trademark is an intellectual property asset of your company and protects your products and/or services from infringement by a third party. A trademark should make your products and services marketable and create brand recognition. Upon trademark registration, you can enhance your overall business value, goodwill, reputation, and net worth in the industry.
How Can We Help You?
Our service scope includes:
- Conducting a thorough search on the website of Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trademarks to check the availability of the mark for registration in India.
We shall advise you on the classes you should apply for:
- Preparing and filing the trademark application form
- Drafting affidavit to claim prior use of the mark
- Drafting response to an objection raised by Trademark registry or oppositions from third parties
- Attending hearings
Our other areas of service covers:
- Amendment to the application or registered trademark
- Assistance in Litigation
- Assistance in the renewal of registered trademarks
- Assistance in drafting franchising & licensing agreements, Assignment