Intellectual Property (IP) has become the vital part of today’s business world. IP refers to creations such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, names, images, devices, etc. being used in commerce. Intellectual Property is generally being protected in law by patents, copyrights, and trademarks which help its owner to earn recognition or financial benefits from what they invent or create. By compelling the right balance between the interests of the innovators and the communal interest, the IP system aims at fostering such an environment where creativity and innovation can flourish.
About Trademark Registration in India
Trademark is a subsection of Intellectual Property Rights. A trademark is any word, name, symbol, device, or some other distinctive mark used, or intended to be used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one company from that of the others.
In simple words, a trademark is the brand name. A registered trademark is an intangible asset.
The Process of Application for Trademark Registration in India
Trademarks in India are registered by the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. Trademarks in India are registered under the Trademark Act, 1999 and equip the trademark owner with the right to claim for damages that are caused due to the infringement of his trademark. Once a trademark is registered it brings along certain legal rights to the owner. The mark is valid for 10 years from the date of registration. The registered trademarks can be renewed easily by filing a trademark renewal application form nearing its expiry for a validation of another 10 years.
Eligibility for Trademark Registration in India
Any individual, company, proprietor or legal entity declaring to be the owner/inventor of the mark can apply for trademark registration in India. The application for a trademark can be filed within few days and then the owner can start using the “TM” symbol. The owner may use the “R” symbol next to the trademark after the registration certificate is issued.
Time Requirement for Trademark Registration to be issued
It takes approximately 18 – 24 months to complete the trademark registration formalities and acquires a registration certificate.
Benefits of Trademark Registration in India
- A registered trademark provides greater protection
- Deters others from using the registered trademark
- Registering a trademark provides the trademark owner with greater remedies
- Protecting the brand from infringement claims
Steps for Trademark Registration in India
Trademark registration is an extremely long process involving the following tedious steps:
Prior to starting with the registration process, the owner of the mark must conduct a search in the trademark database. A trademark search will lend the vital information about identical or similar trademarks that have been already filed with the trademark registry.
In India, a trademark search can be conducted free of cost by visiting the Trademark Registrar Website but it is always advisable to take help of trademark professionals for conducting this search.
After successfully completing the trademark search the owner can file the application for trademark registration with the Trademark Registrar. It is mandatory to fill the application for registration in the prescribed manner along with the cited fees. Trademark applications can be filed online by TrademarkCart in a simple and hassle-free process.
An application for trademark registration in India must contain the following information:
- Logo or the Trademark
- Name and address of the trademark owner
- Classification or Trademark Class
- Priority Claims, i.e., the date of first of the Trademark
- Description of the goods or services
- Power of Attorney, simply signed by the applicant
Trademark Application Allotment
After the application is filed effectually with the Trademark Registrar, a trademark application allotment number is handed over within two working days. This allotment number helps the applicant to track the application status online. Often after receiving the allotment number, the applicant is eligible to use the “TM” symbol against his mark.
The Vienna Classification is an international classification of the figurative elements of marks, established by the Vienna Agreement in 1973. After the complete drafting of the trademark registration application, the Trademark Registrar will apply for the Vienna Classification to the trademark based on the figurative elements present in the mark.
The trademark registration application will be allocated to a Trademark Officer/Lawyer in the Trademark Registrar Office after the completion of the Vienna Codification. The officer reviews the trademark application for correctness and consequently issues a trademark examination report. The Trademark Officer/Lawyer can either accept the application and allow the mark to be published in the trademark journal or object it.
The applicant has the legal rights to address the objections raised by the Officer against the application. If the Officer gets convinced by the justifications provided by the applicant then the mark is allowed for the publication in the Trademark Journal.
But if in case the Officer is not convinced with the justification then the applicant must appeal against the decision of the Trademark Officer before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.
Trademark Journal Publication
Once after the acknowledgment of the application by the Trademark Registrar, the proposed trademark is published in the weekly published Trademark Journal. The public can object to the trademark published in the Journal if they feel that they will be damaged by the registration. If no objection is raised within 90 days of its publication the mark will be registered within 12 weeks or in a months time.
If the application is opposed by any third party, a hearing will take place at the Trademark Hearing Office. Both, the parties can put forward their claims and provide the justifications for the application. Based on the hearing and evidence presented during the session, the Hearing Officer will determine if the application should be accepted or rejected. The decision taken by the Hearing Officer can be challenged at the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.
Succeeding all the oppositions if there are no objections then the trademark manuscript and trademark registration certificate is prepared and sent. The trademark is registered after the registration certificate is issued and the “TM” symbol can be replaced by the ® symbol next to the mark.
Visit TrademarkCart for trademark registrations in India.