A Trademark Application for Foreign Nationals: Is it Possible in India?

calendar09 Jan, 2021
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
Trademark application

Indeed, foreign nationals reserve the right to make an application regarding a Trademark application. Under the Madrid Protocol agreement, an individual has the right to register their trademark in multiple nations. If various trademark applications are made in other nations, then six months is deducted from the preceding application. This blog will let you explore some crucial facts regarding the Trademark application for foreign nationals.

Trademark Imparting Unique Identity to Foreigners

A Trademark can be symbolized in various forms such as symbol, phrase, word, emblems, sounds, acronyms. Color patterns, shapes, and logos. They exhibit either the specific product or the company. The trademark imparts a unique identity to the product and even makes them stand out in the market. A trademark is usually denoted by the TM symbol, stating that the product is under trademark protection but still lacks the registration.

Meanwhile, the R symbol indicates that the trademark has been registered, and the company/person can sue anyone in case of violation. As soon as the applicant drops the trademark application at the concerned authority, they become eligible for using the TM symbol on their products and services.

The product with ® symbol, on the contrary, represents that trademark registration has been availed by the owners from the concerned authority. SM symbol indicates the services rather than products under trademark protection. The SM logo represents services by the company or an individual but not applicable on tangible products

Importance of Madrid Protocol for Trademark application for foreign nationals 

The overseas individual or the company can make a trademark application for more than one product or service in India. Our country is familiar with the scheme related to multi-class applications. The goods and services are categorized into 42 classes in India. The overseas individual has every right to file a trademark application in our country provided his nation is a member of the Madrid Protocol.

The Trademark application for foreign nationals is possible, but it is subjected to certain legal obligations.  A registered trademark can impart distinct benefits to the business or the individual. However, a trademark registered in a particular nation can safeguard the interests of the concerned owner in that nation only.

If the owner intends to globally safeguard his trademark, he would be required to register this trademark earlier in every nation where he wishes such protections. This might cause trouble as the multiplicity of applications & the cost get increase by manifolds. The Madrid Protocol came into existence as a “single window solution” to resolve such issues.

Importance of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) for Trademark Application for Foreigners

WIPO (International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization[1]), a Geneva-based organization, handles the regulatory aspect of the Madrid Protocol. The system allows the registered members to a registered trademark in various nations by filing a single application. On 8th July 2013, our country becomes a member of the Madrid Protocol. This implies that the Trademark application for Foreign nationals is a practical thing as any person/company from a member nation can apply for Trademark registration in India. 

Filing an International Trademark Application under Madrid Protocol

Basic Mark: Trademark application/ registration of home country

Certify the Mark: Trademark application requires to be filed through the office of original place

Examination by WIPO: Record in the international register & publish in the WIPO Gazette

Substantive Examination: Substantive examination under the domestic law

Benefits of Trademark Registration  

Trademark Registration renders the exclusive rights to the owner to use the Trademark symbol on their products/services. It mitigates any misuse and provides comprehensive protection to the product and services against the act of violation. The trademark registration confers the legal right of the owner to sue anyone in case of infringement. 

Trademark inculcates distinctiveness and makes the products and services stand out among their counterparts. Thus, the products with a trademark logo are more likely to garner unparallel credibility quickly. In general, the Trademark logo acts as a value addition for any products and services seeking customer’s attention for a long time. 

As per the Indian Trademark Law, a trademark cannot be registered for all the categories.

Following are the categories that are eligible for the trademark registration.

categories that are eligible for the trademark registration

Certification Trademarks is for registering the product, origin of the material, or service. On the other hand, service Trademarks is used to specify the services such as trademark for courier services, retail reserve, and many more. The Collective Trademark focuses on areas like institutions, organizations, and companies. The primary objective of the collective trademark is to specify the organization’s membership. 

Process for Making Trademark Application for Foreign Nationals

It is imperative to arrange the relevant documents for registering the trademark either online or offline channel. The applicant seeking such registration is supposed to provide information regarding their personal info and depiction of an intangible asset that is supposed to be trademarked.

The first and foremost step in the trademark registration process is to secure the proper name for the product/services. Many applicants often strive to have an expressive name owing to the reason that it reflects the essence of their product.

Name selection is rather a painstaking process. The applicant has to remain watchful and make sure that the names they are looking to trademarked does not already exist in the market. Such complication should be averted upfront because the last thing you don’t want is to confront unnecessary trouble for such kind of negligence. The TM-1 form is generally used for making an application for Trademark registration.


Trademark registration secured your valuable asset against the possible act of violations and increased the credibility without incurring any additional cost. The product with a trademark logo exhibits a sense of commitment and authenticity among the target audience and further ensures sustainable growth for the organization. So, we can conclude that trademark registration is beneficial for your business as it acts as a value addition for your product and services. 

The CorpBiz is a well-renowned name in the field of government compliances and registrations. If you do not belong to this country and still wants to secure your asset with trademark registration, then we can help you obtain the registration without legal complexities. The Trademark application for Foreign nationals is a practical affairs and anybody could it through a conventional process.

Read our article: Understanding on Powers and Functions of the Registrar of Trademark

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