Trademark registration in India and all you need to know about it
Do you own a wonderful business that’s growing exponentially? Now that you’ve decided to give an identity to your business and create a brand image in front of your customers, you have identified the best team to create your trademark. But a trademark is worthless if not registered with the registrar of trademarks. You’ve heard undoubtedly about trademark registration online. Here are some more details about trademark registration online and how to register a trademark. Let us, therefore, find out more about the trademark registration process.
What is a trademark?
In simple words, a trademark is something that gives a unique identity to the service, product or the business. This identity helps to differentiate themselves from the rest. A unique identity can be graphics, photographs, slogans, logo, word, colour combination, smell or sound that distinguishes the products or services of a particular company from the others in the market.
By doing trademark registration online, the entity receives exclusive rights to use the trademark and prevents any duplication or exploitation from other companies. Most companies, however, seek to register their name or logo only, on anything unique that they fear would be misused by the market if not regulated properly. A registered trademark is an intangible asset or intellectual property of the business, which helps it to build brand connect and brand recollect among its customers.
How to register a trademark in India?
In India, trademark registration is done by the Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, which comes under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Government of India. Trademark registration online is done as per The Trademark Act 1999. The registration gives the company a right to complain or sue any other entity or a person who copies or exploits your trademark.
Once the trademark is registered by the registrar of trademarks, the company is allowed to use the registered trademark with the ® symbol. This is valid for 10 years from the registration date. The company will get to use the TM symbol after 3 days of filing the application. However, to get an ® symbol, you’ll have to wait up to 2 years.
Documents required for trademark registration online
- Detailed information about the logo, word, symbol, slogan or brand name that needs to be registered.
- The date when the trademark was first used.
- Detailed information about the trademark owner, viz, address and name. If trademark registration is sought for the company name, then the names of all members are required.
- The authorization Form TM – 48
- Trademark registration fees
Let us now check out the steps for the trademark registration process in India.
The fundamental purpose of registering a trademark is to promote and protect creative and unique ideas. That’s why, trademark registration can only be done for unique trademarks, as identified by the Indian Trademark Authority.
So, ensure that your trademark is unique and not copied or resembles another trademark. You can do a comprehensive search on the trademark database on the official website to determine that the trademark you have submitted is unique. The website provides a complete list of different trademarks along with their status. You will come to know about the registered, applied, opposed, objected or abandoned trademarks. If your trademark matches the ones on the website, the result will display on the website.
However, if your trademark is unique and matches to none on the website, the result will be ‘no matches found’. If you find this result, your trademark is unique and you can start filing your trademark registration online.
Filing the application
Once you’ve checked the uniqueness of your trademark you can then file the trademark registration application either electronically or physically. To file the application physically, you need to submit Form TM-A along with Rs 5000 as fees if you are an individual, small enterprise or start-up, at any of the 5 trade registry offices located at Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata or Chennai.
Trademark registration online could also be done by filing an online application and paying Rs 4500 as fees. After the successful completion of the application, a receipt will be produced with your TM number.
Inspection of the filed application
Once the application is filed, it will be scrutinised by the registrar of trademarks to determine the accuracy. The registrar will inspect if the applied trademark adheres to all the regulations specified under the Trademark ACT, 1999.
Moreover, the registrar will make sure that the trademark mentioned in the application is unique and not in conflict with any of the existing trademarks. If the registrar is satisfied by their findings they will approve your application and publish it in the trademark journal. However, if they come across any discrepancies, they may raise objections.
Replying to objections
This step should be followed if an objection is raised by the registrar. Objections are raised as per the provisions in section 9 and 11 of the Trademarks Act, 1999. The applicant will then have to reply to the objections and prove that their trademark doesn’t infringe the rights of existing trademarks.
Publication of the trademark
Once the registrar approves the application, they will also approve the trademark registration process to be published in the Trademark journal. A trademark journal is a weekly publication that contains the comprehensive details of every trademark registration application.
A trademark is published in the journal for 3 months. Any third party can show their opposition to the proposed trademark if they ascertain that registering this proposed trademark will violate or infringe their right.
If the registrar receives an opposition for the proposed trademark, they will schedule a hearing. In this hearing, both claimants will be given a chance to present their side of the story and follow it up with evidence to support their claims.
If the application receives no opposition, or, the registrar rules in your favour after the hearing, then the trademark will go for registration.
In conclusion, trademark registration online is a really simple process. Additionally, the fees are lower when you do the registration online. However, make sure you have all the documents beforehand while filing the online application.
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