Why you need a trademark?
If you’re starting a new business or trade, a logo, name or signature is the first thing you choose to separate yourself from the rest. A “trademark” is that symbol you will use to do so. A trademark is the mark, logo or trade name which identifies your business to your customers.
A trademark registration is valid all over India. Registering a trademark is a legal process provided for under the Trade Marks Act, 1999.
What are the type of trademarks available?
- Names, including your own name or surname.
- An invented word or any arbitrary dictionary word or words. It does not need to be descriptive of the character or quality of the goods/service.
- Letters or numerals or any combination.
- Combination of colours or even a single colour in combination with a word or device.
- Shape of goods or their packaging.
- Marks constituting a 3-dimensional sign.
- Sound marks when represented in conventional notation or described in words by being graphically represented.
Who can apply for a Trademark?
A person who claims to be the proprietor of the trademark can apply for the registration of its mark for goods as well services. A person may apply for registration of a trade mark to the Trademark office under whose jurisdiction the principal place of the business of the applicant in India falls.
If the principal place of business is outside India, then the application can be filed in the Trademark office under whose jurisdiction the office of the lawyer appointed by you is located. In case of a company about to be formed, anyone may apply in his name for subsequent assignment of the registration in the company’s favor.
Before making an application for registration it is a good idea to conduct a trademark search in the Trademark office in context of the already registered trademarks to ensure that registration may not be denied in view of resemblance of the proposed mark to an existing one or prohibited one.
Who can use a Trademark?
The right to use a mark can be exercised either by the registered proprietor or a registered user.
How to make a trademark application?
You can make an application for a trademark on Form TM-1 with the prescribed fee of Rs 3,500 at one of the five offices of the Trade Marks Registry located at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Ahmedabad. This will depend on the place where you reside or have your main place of business.
You will need to do a pre-filing search before filing your trademark.
Once you register your trademark, you will be issued an official receipt with a TM number.
Then an examination report is filed within three months from application. You will get a response to your registration either by an affidavit, a hearing or by an interview.
Your application will be looked at to ascertain if it does not conflict with existing registered or pending trademarks. Based on this, an examination report is issued.
As you defeat objections raised by the registrar, your application is then published in the Indian Trade Marks Journal, with an endorsement stating either that it has been accepted or that it is being published before acceptance.
Once it is published, any person has three months (which can be extended to a month at the registrar’s discretion) to file a notice of opposition to registration.
Acceptance or refusal of your trademark application will be considered once the opposition proceedings have been completed.
What are the documents required?
- Power of attorney simply signed by the applicant (no legalization is required).
- A soft copy of the mark, logo or label in JPEG or GIF format.
- TM 48 (form of authorization).
- Description of related Goods and Services.
- Date of first use of the mark.
- Name and address of the proprietor of the mark.
- Required fee i.e. Rs. 3500/-
What trademarks cannot be registered?
- Trademark which is identical to or deceptively similar to a trademark which is already registered.
- Trademark the use of which would be likely to deceive or cause confusion.
- Which comprises or contains scandalous or obscene matter.
- Any matter likely to hurt the religions susceptibilities.
- Matter which is merely the generic name.
What is the duration of Trademark in India?
Term of registration of a trademark is ten years, which may be renewed for a further period of ten years on payment of prescribed renewal fees.
Non-user of a registered trademark for a continuous period of five years is a ground for cancellation of registration of such trademark at the behest of any aggrieved party.
E-filing of Trademark Application
E-filing of a trademark application is a new service provided by the trademark registry office on its website. With it, you can:
- Complete an electronic application form.
- Provide the associated attachments.
- Complete necessary payment details.