Trademark Registration in India: How to?

Trademark Registration in India: How to? filingwala.com

Securing a trademark for your brand is crucial for protecting your intellectual property and identity in India’s competitive business landscape. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the A-Z of trademark registration in India, empowering you to safeguard your brand name and logo.

This article is written by the experts of filingwala.com. Filingwala is a Pvt Ltd Company which provides all legal business services from Trademark Registration , GST , Income Tax, Startup Registration, Pvt Ltd, Public Ltd, One person,Section-8 or Limited Liability Partnership.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • What is a Trademark?
  • Why Register a Trademark?
  • Types of Trademarks
  • Trademark Registration Eligibility
  • Trademark Registration Process
  • Documents Required for Trademark Registration
  • Timeline for Trademark Registration
  • Cost of Trademark Registration in India
  • Trademark Classification
  • Conducting a Trademark Search
  • Trademark Infringement
  • Maintaining a Registered Trademark
  • Renewing a Trademark
  • FAQs on Trademark Registration

Introduction

A trademark is a distinctive sign or indicator that identifies a product or service as originating from a particular source. It allows consumers to easily recognize and associate a brand with certain characteristics and quality standards.

Some famous trademarks in India include the Amul girl for Amul dairy products, the Parle-G girl for Parle-G biscuits, and the red and white swiggy logo for the Swiggy food delivery app.

For businesses, getting a trademark registered with the Indian trademark registry provides numerous benefits like legal protection against infringement, improved brand reputation, and enhanced customer trust.

This guide will explore everything pertaining to trademark registration in India – from the application process, required documents, fees, and timeline to tips for developing a strong trademark and protecting your brand identity. You can also visit filingwala.com to better understand the Trademark related issues.

What is a Trademark?

As per the Indian Trademarks Act, 1999, a trademark is anything that distinguishes the goods and services of one business from another. It represents the brand identity and goodwill that a business builds through its name, logo, shape, color, sound or smell.

Some examples of trademarks are:

  • Brand names and logos like Nike, Adidas, Reebok etc.
  • Slogans or taglines like Nike’s “Just Do It” and L’Oréal’s “Because You’re Worth It”
    -Shapes like the Coca-Cola bottle
    -Sounds like the Intel chime
  • Colors like Tiffany Blue (Tiffany and Co.) and Purple (Cadbury)

In short, a trademark can be any word, symbol, design, sound, smell, color or combination of these that uniquely represents a particular brand or product.

Here is the image of our Trade mark for example:

filingwala.com Startup registration, trade mark, gst, income tax, pvt ltd public ltd

Why Register a Trademark?

Getting a trademark registered with the Indian trademark registry provides several benefits:

Legal Protection

Registration gives you the legal right to use the trademark and take action against infringements like unauthorized copying or imitation of the trademark.

It serves as a deterrent to infringers since they can face penalties like injunctions and damages.

Nationwide Rights

Registration gives you exclusive rights to use the trademark pan-India. No one else can use an identical or deceptively similar trademark for related products and services.

Enhanced Reputation

A registered trademark establishes you as the official owner of the brand in India. It boosts marketing efforts and acts as a quality indicator to customers.

Increased Business Value

A registered trademark adds to a company’s assets and valuation. It makes the business more profitable and attractive to investors or buyers.

Global Protection

You can extend trademark protection to other countries by filing the registration application with those countries’ trademark registries as well.

Types of Trademarks

Under the Indian Trademarks Act, trademarks are classified into seven types:

  • Word Marks – Brand names, slogans, or taglines used to identify a product or service. Examples are Spykar, Mango, Blackberry.
  • Logo or Device Marks – Unique designs, symbols, or logos that represent a brand. Examples are the Nike Swoosh and Twitter Bird logo.
  • Shape Marks – Unique non-functional shapes of products or their packaging. Examples are the Coca-Cola bottle and Toblerone chocolate.
  • Color Marks – Specific colors or color combinations used in relation to products or services. Examples are Tiffany Blue and Cadbury Purple.
  • Sound Marks – Unique sounds that differentiate brands like musical chimes or jingles. Example is the Intel Inside chime.
  • Smell Marks – Distinctive scents used in connection with products or services. Example is the floral scent of L’Occitane stores and products.
  • Label Marks – Brand names along with a logo or stylized text. Example is the Dabur Honey label.

Trademark Registration Eligibility

Under the Indian Trademarks Act, any legal or natural person can apply to register a trademark in India, including:

  • Individuals
  • Sole proprietorships
  • Partnerships
  • Companies
  • Societies and non-profit organizations
  • Statutory bodies
  • Foreign applicants and businesses

The applicant must be using the trademark commercially or have intentions to use it within 6 months of applying.

To register a trademark, the brand name, logo or symbol must fulfill certain criteria:

  • It should be distinctive and not directly describe the product or service e.g. Fast Food Restaurant for a fast food business.
  • It should not be similar to any existing trademark in the same industry and product category.
  • It should not consist of offensive or morally unacceptable content.
  • It should not use national symbols or emblems without permission.
  • It should not confuse consumers about the product or service offered.

Trademark Registration Process in India

The trademark registration process involves 7 key steps:

Step 1) Trademark Search

Conducting a comprehensive trademark search is crucial to ensure your brand name, logo or tagline does not conflict with any existing trademarks.

The search can be done online through the Trademarks Registry portal or professional search agencies. It covers phonetically similar trademarks along with an exact match.

Step 2) Trademark Application

The application is filed online on the IP India website along with the prescribed fee. It includes:

  • Applicant name and contact details
  • Type of trademark
  • Trademark description
  • Class and description of goods/services
  • Label or logo samples
  • Power of attorney

Step 3) Formalities Check

The Trademark Registry examines the application for completeness and accuracy as per formalities like correct documentation, classification, signatures etc.

Step 4) Examination

A trademark examiner conducts an examination on relative grounds to determine if the trademark is too similar to existing trademarks in India.

An examination report may be issued approving the mark or raising objections if conflicting trademarks are found.

Step 5) Publication

If approved, the trademark application gets published in the Trademarks Journal which is officially gazetted by the Registrar.

The Journal publishes weekly and the application can be opposed by third parties within 4 months of publication.

Step 6) Opposition

Any person can file a Notice of Opposition within 4 months from the date of journal publication if they feel the trademark application conflicts with their legal rights.

Both parties submit evidence and arguments. The opposition board then decides whether to accept or reject the application.

Step 7) Registration

In the absence of opposition, the trademark registry will approve the application and provide a registration certificate usually within 1-2 months.

The ® symbol can now be used with the trademark across India. Registration is valid for 10 years and renewable thereafter.

Documents Required for Trademark Registration

The primary documents needed for trademark application are:

  • Application Form – Filed online and signed by the applicant
  • Logo Samples – Clear samples of the trademark design in JPEG/PNG format
  • Power of Attorney – Authorizing an agent to manage application (if applicable)
  • User Evidence – Documents showing current use of the mark
  • Applicant Identity Proof – PAN card for individuals, Certificate of Incorporation for companies

You can apply for a Trademark Registration here for Rs 6599/-

Timeline for Trademark Registration in India

The total timeline for securing a trademark registration in India is approximately 1 to 2 years:

  • Application filing – 1-2 days
  • Formalities check – 1-3 weeks
  • Examination – 2-3 months
  • Publication – 1-2 months from examination
  • Opposition period – 4 months from publication
  • Registration – 1-2 months if no opposition
  • Total time – 12 to 24 months approximately

Using professional help can expedite the process whereas opposition often delays registration.

Cost of Trademark Registration in India

The government fee for a trademark application in India is Rs. 4,500 for physical filing and Rs. 4,000 for e-filing per class of goods/services.

When professional assistance is used, overall costs can range from Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 15,000 inclusive of:

  • Professional charges – Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 10,000
  • Government fee – Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 4,500 per class

Trademark Classification

The Trademark Registry classifies trademarks into 45 classes of goods and services as per the Nice Classification system.

Applicants must specify the relevant class(es) their trademark applies to based on their business activities. This helps avoid conflicts with existing marks.

Some examples are:

  • Class 25 – Clothing
  • Class 9 – Software
  • Class 29 – Dairy products
  • Class 35 – Advertising services
  • Class 41 – Education and training

Each class requires a separate application and fee. Multi-class applications are recommended for trademarks spanning different segments.

Conducting a Trademark Search

Before applying, a comprehensive trademark search is strongly recommended to ascertain that your brand name, logo or tagline does not conflict with existing trademarks in India.

You can conduct a trademark search through:

  • The official Indian Trademarks Registry search
  • Using professional search firms like IndiaFilings
  • Online databases like TMsearch and Trademark247

The search should cover:

  • Identical match for your trademark text or logo
  • Similar sounding words (phonetically similar)
  • Same industry and business category
  • Different spellings or versions

This ensures that your trademark does not infringe any registered or pending marks that could block your application.

Trademark Infringement

Using an identical or deceptively similar trademark to a registered trademark amounts to infringement as per the Trademarks Act.

The rights-holder of the registered mark can take legal action against the infringer and seek remedies like:

  • Injunction against use of infringing mark
  • Destruction of infringing goods and materials
  • Monetary damages
  • Accounts of profits

Hence, conducting a clearance search before adoption avoids infringement. Monitoring markets regularly also helps take timely action against infringements.

Maintaining a Registered Trademark

Once registered, you must take steps to maintain trademark rights like:

  • Using ® symbol alongside the mark
  • Renewing registration every 10 years
  • Informing customs authorities to prevent counterfeit imports
  • Monitoring markets to detect infringement
  • Taking action against unauthorized use or dilution

These measures help retain trademark ownership and prevent potential cancellation.

Renewing a Trademark

Trademark registration in India is valid for 10 years from the date of application. To retain protection, renewal must be filed within 12 months before expiration.

The renewal procedure is simple and includes:

  • Filing Form TM-12 online
  • Paying renewal fees
  • Submitting User Affidavit

Timely renewal enables you to retain exclusive rights and use of the trademark continuously.

FAQs on Trademark Registration

Who grants trademark registration in India?

The Office of Trade Marks Registry under the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks is the official body that registers trademarks in India.

Can I register a trademark myself?

Yes, you can self-file for trademark registration on the ipindia.gov.in portal. However, hiring professionals expedites the process and avoids procedural mistakes.

What is the cost of registering a trademark in India?

The average cost of trademark registration in India ranges from Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 15,000 including professional and government fees.

How long does trademark registration take in India?

It typically takes around 12 to 24 months to secure trademark registration in India if no opposition is filed. Using a trademark attorney can fast-track registration.

Can I use ® symbol before registration?

No, you can only start using the ® alongside your trademark after the registration certificate is issued. TM can be used for a pending application.

Does trademark registration require renewals?

Yes, trademark registration is valid for 10 years after which renewal for the next 10 years is required within 12 months of expiration.

Can I apply for international trademark registration?

Yes, within 6 months of filing in India you can apply for international registration through WIPO under the Madrid System.

How do I check for trademark availability?

You can verify if a brand name or logo is available for registration through the Trademark Registry search or using professional search services.

What are the remedies for trademark infringement?

You can obtain injunctions, damages, delivery up of infringing goods, and other remedies under the Trademarks Act against infringers of your registered trademark.

Conclusion

Registering a trademark provides immense value for businesses by securing brand exclusivity across India. It enables legal protection against unauthorized use and enhances consumer trust. The application process does involve detailed procedures but can be smoothly navigated using professional assistance. Regular renewals and monitoring are key for maintaining a registered trademark. Overall, trademark registration is a strategic investment that pays off manifold through building brand equity and intellectual property rights.

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