Do you want to get your products or services trademarked in India? If so, find here a detailed guide on the steps to follow to apply for trademark registration in India covering the application process, costs, fees, documents required, and more.
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What is a Trademark?
A trademark is an identity asset that uniquely identifies your product or services. It can be a word, letter, number, symbol, symbol, shape, or combination of them.
You can represent graphically and register the Letter, Number, Word, Phrase, Logo, Graphic, Smell, Sound Mark, or a combination of colors as a trademark. The trademark to be registered must also be distinctive for the services or goods for which it is proposed to be registered.
If you are starting a new business or already you are in the business, you can separate yourself from others by registering a “Trademark”. While applying for Trademark, you will need to decide the categories under which it wants protection.
For legal protection of your trademark, you must get it registered. After receiving the ™ Application number, one can start using the distinctive symbol of ™.
Who Regulates Trademark Registration in India?
Trademark Registration in India is regulated by the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. At present, Trademarks are registered under the Trademark Act, of 1999. Basically, it provides the trademark owner the right to sue for damages when infringements of trademarks occur.
Documents Required for Trademark Registration
At the time of applying for a Trademark, you must submit a copy of the trademark to be registered along with the address and identity proof of the trademark owner. In the case of the Company, you must submit the name of the Company along with its Certificate of Incorporation and Address proof.
Find below the documents needed to apply for the Trademark:
- A soft copy of the letterhead with the logo in JPEG format.
- PAN Card.
- Address Proof of the owner applying for a Trademark.
- Certificate of Incorporation ( In case of a Private Limited Company or an LLP)
- Udyog Aadhar Registration
- Address Proof
- Logo if Required
What Does Trademark Registration Contain?
Currently maintained in an electronic form, the trademark contains the following:
- The class and goods/services in respect of which it is registered including particulars affecting the scope of registration of rights conferred or disclaimers.
- Address of the proprietors.
- Particulars of trade or other description of the proprietor.
- The convention application date (if applicable).
- The place where a trademark has been registered with the consent of the proprietor of an earlier mark or earlier rights.
Trademark Registration Application Process in India
Step 1: Select the Class
The 1st step in Trademark registration is choosing a brand name and selecting the right class for the application.
Step 2: Check Availability
Check the availability of the name. You have to check if there are similar trademarks already registered under that particular class.
Here you need to make another important decision, whether you will apply In your name OR the name of your company. If it is in your name, you can use it even if you close the business and start another.
Many small business owners tend to use this method while getting trademark protection.
If you register the trademark in the name of the company, the company means the shareholders will own it. These shareholders can change from time to time.
You can also register the trademark in your own name and enter into a trademark license agreement with the company. You can always revoke the agreement if you want to close/quit the company.
Step 3: File Application
File an application for a trademark on Form TM-A with the prescribed fee at one of the five offices of the Trade Marks Registry located in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Ahmedabad. This will depend on the place where you reside or your main place of business.
Step 4: Get Reviewed & Get a Trademark
Once you register your trademark, you will get an official receipt with a TM number.
Then, the department will file an examination report within three months of the application. You will get a response to your registration either by an affidavit, a hearing, or an interview.
The agency will look at your application 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, the authority will publish your application in the Indian Trade Marks Journal. It comes with an endorsement stating either that it has been accepted or that it is being published before acceptance.
After publication, 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.
Furthermore, the authority considers the acceptance or refusal of your trademark application once they complete the opposition proceedings.
Registered trademarks are valid for 10 years in India from the date of filing. Prior to the end of the validity, the trademark owner can file for renewal to keep the trademark registration current.
Related: How To Get a Patent In India
Online Trademark Registration in India
You can also apply for Trademark Registration electronically. Through E-filing you will get the following facilities immediately:
- Receive a trademark application number
- Online verification to assure error-free filing and obtain your filing date
- Speed up the registration process
- Print the completed application data and receive fee acknowledgment
- Save the data locally on your PC
- Be able to recall your contact details for subsequent applications
- You can also view the online history and status of the applications filed by clicking “Status of Filed Application” and the online status of e-Payments.
Cost of Trademark Registration in India
The government fee for the new Trademark Registration application for individuals through e-filing is Rupees 4,500 and Rs. 5000 for physical filing. Whereas if you are applying for a trademark on behalf of a company the government fee is Rs. 9000 for e-filing and Rs. 10000 for physical filing.
For the Renewal of a registered trademark, the government fee stands at Rs. Rs. 10,000 per class for physical filing and Rs. 9000 through e-filing.
It must be mentioned here that Trademark Registration is also beneficial for entrepreneurs who are looking for financial investors. Investors also thoroughly check the protection of the intellectual property of the firm where they are intending to invest their money.