Trademark Registration Process in India. Trademark Registration is a tedious process and it takes around 18-24 months to obtain registration in a straight-forward case, without any objections or oppositions. However, once the trademark application is filed, an application number is allotted immediately and the priority starts from the date of application. Once the trademark is registered, it is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of application. The registration can then be renewed indefinitely as long as the renewal fees are paid every 10 years.
A visual symbol like a word signature, name, device, label, numerals or combination of colors used by owner of the trademark for goods or services or other articles of commerce to distinguish it from other similar goods or services originating from different businesses. A trademark can be a word, symbol, logo, brand name, wrapper, packaging labels, tagline or a combination of these and are used by manufacturers or service providers to identify their own products and/or services. It is used to distinguish the owners’ products or services from those of its competitors.
Functions of a trade mark are:
- It identifies the service or product and its source
- It guarantees its quality
- Advertisement of service of product.
Documents required for filing a Trademark Application in India:
- Trademark or logo copy
- Applicant details like name, address and nationality and for company: the state of incorporation
- Goods or services to register
- Date of first use of the trademark in India, if used by you prior to applying.
- Power of attorney to be signed by the applicant in 100 Rs. stamp paper.
Procedure For Registering Trademark in India
Step 1: Trademark Search
Many entrepreneurs do not comprehend the importance of a trademark search. Having a unique brand name in mind is not good enough reason to avoid a trademark search. Therefore, trademark search helps you to know if there are similar trademarks available and it gives you a fair picture of where your trademark stands, sometimes, it also gives you a forewarning of the possibility of trademark litigation. Why waste your money in time-consuming trademark litigation later when you can choose to avoid it in the first place?
Step 2: Create trademark application
Based on the results of the search conducted, the trademark attorney will draft trademark application, provided that your business name / logo found to be unique. If someone already has the same or similar trademark, you need to change yours. Or if you are of opinion that the trademark is rightfully yours and you are using it since long time even before other party trademark registration. You can start using ™ symbol as soon as you file the form of trademark application.
Step 3: TM Examination
After a trademark application is filed, it is examined by the examiner for any discrepancies. The examination might take around 12-18 months. The examiner might accept the trademark absolutely, conditionally or object.
If accepted unconditionally, the trademark gets published in the Trademark Journal. If not accepted unconditionally, the conditions to be fulfilled or the objections would be mentioned in the examination report and a month’s time would be given to fulfill the conditions or response to the objections.
Once such response is accepted, the trademark is published in the Trademark Journal. If the response is not accepted, one can request a hearing. If in the hearing, the examiner feels that the trademark should be allowed registration, it proceeds for publication in the Trademark Journal.
Step 4: trademark registration
Cost: Government fees is Rs. 4000/- and trademark attorney professional fees is Rs. 3000/- per application per class
The Trade marks office will first check your application to see if it’s already been taken. If it has, a trademark objection will be raised.
If it has no objection, it makes an advertisement in the Trade Marks Journal.
If there is no opposition from other businesses in the next four months, your trademark is registered around six months later.
Step 5: Registration Certificate
Once the application proceeds for trademark registration, following publication in Trademark Journal, a registration certificate under the seal of the Trademark Office is issued.
Step 6: Trademark Renewal
The trademark can be renewed perpetually after every 10 years. Hence, your logo or brand name registration can be protected perpetually.
Benefits of Trademark
1) The trademark would be important asset for your business and contributes to the goodwill generated.
2) With registered trademark you can stop others from using your trademarked business name / logo etc with regards to goods or services it is registered
3) Trademark can considered just like any other form of asset like real estate, as it can be sold, licensed or assigned
4) It guarantees the identity of the origin of goods and services.
5) It stimulates further purchase.
6) It serves as a badge of loyalty and affiliation.
7) It may enable consumer to make a life style or fashion statement.
What are the different trademark symbols: ‘TM’, ‘SM’ and ‘R’ ?
This symbol can use with the brand name until your trademark is not registered and the application is in pending status. This is to inform the public of his exclusive claim over the brand. The claim may or may not be valid depending upon the result of trademark registration.
It is also a kind of trademark which Service Mark, but it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. For example, you will use TM for a product and SM for a service like housekeeping.
This symbol is only applicable for your brand when the mark is being registered and the Certificate of Registration is issued by the Trademark Registrar.
Among all the words which are being mentioned above, TM is the most common word which is being used frequently by owners of the brand.
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