TRADEMARK:

A trademark is a graphic representation of a name, term, label, device, or numeric characters that a company uses to distinguish its products and/or services from identical goods and/or services provided by another company. A trademark distinguishes the products and/or services that an individual is offering/selling from those offered/sold by others.

When licensed, a trademark becomes an untouchable possession or intellectual property for a corporation, and it is used to protect the company’s investment in the logo or ideogram.

When a trademark is exclusive to the products and services being offered, it should be licensed. Tendered trademarks that are confusingly similar to or equivalent to a registered trademark cannot be registered. Furthermore, trademarks that are misleading, identical, insulting, equivalent, or contain specifically protected emblems, among other things, are not allowed to be licensed.

The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, registers trademarks in India. Trademarks in India are registered under the Trademark Act of 2016, which gives trademark owners the power to sue for infringement if their trademarks are violated.

Following trademark registration, the applicant will use the ‘R’ icon, and the trademark registration will be valid for a term of ten years. However, registered trademarks that are about to expire can potentially be renewed by filing a trademark registration application for an additional ten years.

A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO REGISTERING A TRADEMARK

The submission of a trademark registration claim, review of the trademark, printing or advertising of the trademark, opposition (objections) where raised/found, registration of the trademark, and extension of the trademark after ten years are all steps in the process of getting a trademark licensed.

The process of registering a trademark is straightforward, but it is advisable that you hire/enlist the help of an experienced trademark lawyer to make the process simpler and more reliable.

The first step is to look for a trademark.

When selecting a trademark, the applicant must exercise caution. Since there are so many various categories of trademarks available, it is important to do a public review on the Trade Marks Registry’s trademarks website to ensure that the trademark is original and that all other trademarks are similar or equal to his or hers.

The trademark check reveals all forms of trademarks, both licensed and unregistered, that are currently available on the market. The quest also determines if the applied trademark is in conflict with other trademarks in the same class.

Step 2: Submit an application for a trademark.

The trademark registration application may be submitted in a single-class or multi-class format, based on the products and services that the company provides.

The trademark registration application is Form TM- A, which can be registered online via the official IP India website or in person at the Trade Marks Office, depending on the trademark’s jurisdiction.

Multiple papers with full description of the trademark for which approval is obtained must be submitted with the trademark registration submission. Furthermore, if the claimant claims previous use of the trademark, a consumer affidavit must be submitted to justify the assertion, as well as proof of the prior use.

Step 3: The government authority examines the trademark submission.

After an extensive review of the trademark application in accordance with the provisions of the Trade Marks Act, 2016, the Examiner is required to submit a statutory examination report following the submission of the trademark application.

The authority’s investigation report can or may not reveal any objections, which may be actual, relative, or procedural. The Trademark Authority issues this investigation report within 30 days of the filing of the registration case.

Within 30 days after obtaining the examination report, a reply to the report must be filed asserting the claims and proofs against any complaints to waive them off.

Step 4: Conduct a post-examination

If the Examiner (Trademark Authority) is not completely pleased with the reply filed or if the objections are not addressed, the Examiner (Trademark Authority) can schedule a hearing. After the hearing, the Examiner may approve the mark and then forward the application to the journal for publication, or refuse the application if any objections remain.

Step 5: Publicity for the trademark

When a trademark registration application is approved, it is marketed and distributed in the Trade Marks Journal for a term of four months. The aim of the publication and advertising is to encourage the general public to file an opposition to the mark’s registration.

The Trade Marks Journal can be found on the official Registry’s website, which is published weekly on Mondays.

Step 6: General public opposition

Any aggrieved party will file a notice to oppose the registration of the marketed/published trademark after it has been advertised and published in the journal. Within four months of the mark’s release in the Trademark Journal, a notice to challenge the trademark must be submitted using Form TM- O. If a trademark application is challenged or objected to, the proper legal procedure must be followed, which involves filing a counter-statement complaint, providing documentation, and holding a hearing in order to get the trademark licensed.

Step 7: Obtaining a trademark registration

The last stage in the process is filing, which occurs after the application has overcome all objections and/or resistance to the trademark registration.

Furthermore, if no objections to the trademark’s registration were raised within the four-month advertisement/publication cycle, the trademark is given an auto-generated registration certificate within one week. Once the registration is completed, it is valid for ten years, after which it must be extended within a specified time span.

DOCUMENTS USED TO REGISTER A TRADEMARK

A trademark registration is an important method for protecting a brand/business from unauthorized use and violation.

The Government of India has streamlined the trademark registration process over time to allow entrepreneurs to obtain trademark registration for their products in a matter of months. The following are the various documents required to register a trademark in India.

Original papers are not required to be submitted during the trademark application registration process. The condition can be met with scanned versions of the original papers.

Documents required by an individual or sole proprietor:

In India, any individual (applicant), whether an Indian or a foreign national, can easily register a trademark. Since registering a trademark does not necessitate the formation of a legal or corporate entity.

But apart from that, the papers required to register a trademark in a proprietorship’s name are similar to those required to register a trademark in an individual’s name, as follows:

  • Ideally in black and white, a copy of the proposed logo (which is optional). If the logo is not issued, a patent claim for the term will be filed instead.
  • Form 48, which has been duly signed. This form serves as an authorization for a Trademark Attorney to file a trademark registration application on the applicant’s behalf.
  • Copy of the actual applicant’s or proprietor’s identification verification, such as a passport, aadhar card, or PAN card.
  • Copy of the actual applicant’s or proprietor’s address evidence, which could include the most recent electricity bill, phone bill, etc.

Documents needed for a partnership, limited liability firm, or company – Small Businesses or Startups:

The trademark licensing price in India ranges from Rs. 4500 to Rs. 9500.

The lower trademark registration fee of Rs. 4500 applies to start-ups, small businesses, companies, and sole proprietorships, while the government-set trademark registration fee of Rs. 9500 applies to all other corporate organizations.

Person applicants must now have the Udyog Aadhar registration certificate in order to be classified as a small business. The following information is also required in addition to the Udyog Aadhar registration.

Partnership / Company / LLP 

The following papers must be submitted by the entrepreneur/applicant in the case of a partnership company or an LLP:

  • a scanned version of the logo (optional)
  • Form 48 Udyog Aadhar Registration Certificate,
  • Form 48 Udyog Aadhar Registration Certificate,
  • a copy of the signatory’s/proof applicants’ identification
  • a copy of the signatory’s/proof applicants’ address

Other applicants in a trademark registration must submit the following documents.

To receive trademark registration in India, all other applicants, including companies that do not have an Udyog Aadhar number, must send the following papers.

  • a scanned version of the logo (optional)
  • Copy of signatory/identification applicant’s proof
  • Form 48 Partnership Deed or Incorporation Certificate
  • a copy of the signatory’s/proof applicants’ address

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