If you are thinking of starting a business, then you must have thought of an appealing brand name and a logo which could entice the customers. But it might be a matter of concern if someone steals your ideas and thoughts. So, one of the only way to prevent this is to get your brand name trademarked. In our country, trademarks are registered by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and trademarks. Ministry of Industry and Commerce. One can register for the Trademark under the Trademark Act, 1999.
Trademark is a type of intellectual property that consists of a recognizable sign, design, or expression of a particular source that one can use to distinguish it from those of competitors. Through trademark registration, one can protect its brand or logo by restricting other people from using it. In India, The Trade Marks (Amendment) Act governs the trademark filing and registration which provides for the better protection of trademarks and registration and to prevent it from illicit use. After trademarking a brand or logo, a registered TM number is assigned within a period of three days from the trademark department. But it takes almost two years to be registered after which you can use the R symbol beside the brands or logos.
What things can be trademarked?
Trademarking helps a business to invest in its branding and ensure that its goods and services have unique branding in the market.
- Names, words, numbers, images, sounds, brands and logo can be trademarked.
E.g., in the case of images, the brand logo of Adidas showing three ascending stripes is trademarked.
- It is a wise idea to apply for the Trademark as an individual because, in the case of a company, the Trademark will become invalid if one changes its name.
Different Trademark symbols
There are different trademark symbols used by the Controller General of Patents which reflects the status of your trademark registration.
- TM symbol – It means the Trademark symbol that can be used for a product. Any business entity can use this trademark symbol “TM” until the Trademark is not registered, that means the application is still in the pending status so that the public is aware of this brand.
- SM Symbol – It means the Service mark that is used for services like providing education.
TM is used for a product while SM is used for the service.
- R symbol – R symbol is finally used when the Trademark is registered, and the Registrar has issued the Certificate of Registration.
- A Collective mark is used to inform the public about certain distinctive features of a service or a product used to represent a collective. Any group can use this mark as they collectively protect the same goods and services. A public institution or an association can be a mark holder. Generally, the products standards are fixed by the regulatory who owns the mark. A renowned collective mark is the Chartered Accountant designation in India.
- Certification mark signifies the origin of the product, its quality material or other particular details issued by the proprietor. The major purpose behind certification mark is to introduce the standard of the product to the customers. This Certification mark is also for the purpose of uplifting the standard of the product amongst the consumers by proving that it has undertaken assurance tests on quality. Packaged foods, electronics and toys generally have their Certification marks.
- Shape mark is used to protect the product’s shape so that the consumers find it connected with that particular manufacturer and then always choose to buy the same product. The particular shape of the product can be registered after it gets recognition to have its unique shape —for example, Coco cola or Fanta bottles.
- Pattern mark is particularly for those products having design patterns that give the product its identity. To register a pattern, it is essential that the pattern is remarkable and unique on that product.
- A sound mark is a sound that can be connected with a service or any product by a specific supplier. It is important that the people identify the sound while hearing it so as to get registration as a sound mark. It is a sound mnemonic that comes at the beginning or at the end of the advertisement. For example the famous sound of IPL.
What are the Documents required for Online Registration of Trademark?
The Registration procedure requires certain documents without which we cannot move ahead.
The list of Documents required for the Trademark Registration is as follow:
- Soft copy of the Trademark
- For an Individual/HUF (Hindu Undivided Family)
- Identity proofs such as PAN Card or Aadhar Card.
- Business Registration Document.
- In the case of Company/LLP
- Shops Establishment License
- Incorporation Certificate
- Address proof of the Company
- In case of Partnership Firm
- Partnership Deed
What are the applications that need to be registered for Different Trademarks?
Different applications need to be registered for various trademarks.
|TM-1||For the specification of goods and services|
|TM-22||For a textile trademark|
|TM-2||Goods or services included in a class form a convention country.|
|TM-52||Different classes of goods or services from any convention country.|
|TM-51||For the registration of a trademark for different classes of goods and services|
|TM-8||Trademarks which come under the goods or services, (Under Section 15)|
|TM-37||For a series of trademarks from a convention country under Section 154(2) for a specification of goods or services.|
|TM-3||For registering a collective mark for a specification of goods or services included in a class Under Section 63(1)|
|TM-4||Under section 71(1) for registering a certification trademark for a specification of goods or services included in a class.|
|TM-45||For a textile trademark (other than a certification trademark or a collective mark) consisting only of numerals or letters, TM-45 specification of goods or services included in any one item of the Fifth Schedule under rule 145 from a convention country under section 154(2).|
What is the Procedure for Online Trademark Registration?
The procedure for online trademark registration is given :
Trademark a “Brand Name”
Firstly you need to pick an awe-inspiring, catchy and exciting Brand name. The name must be wacky-enough to attract the customers and different from other brand names as the other generic names are already registered.
Fill the Trademark Application on the portal:
You need to submit the following documents while filing the Trademark application.
Business Registration Proof:
The proofs which you need to submit vary according to the Business type:
- Sole Proprietorship
- Identity proof of the Company’s Director and Address proof.
- For a Registered company
Address proof of the Company
- Soft Copy of the Trademark
- Proof of the Claim of the proposed mark that can be used in another country.
- Power of Attorney signed by the applicant.
Applying for Brand Name Registration
The Trademark Registration can be done in two ways, either manually or by online means since everyone prefers to go by online methods. We will see in detail the procedure for the e-filing of the Brand Name Registration.
After all the documents are verified, you will receive the receipt of acknowledgement. And now you are eligible to use the Trademark TM symbol. However, if your Brand Name gets rejected due to non-approval of name, you can reapply for the same through the SPICe Plus form without any further charges.
Verify the process of the Brand Name Application
Now, the Registrar will check whether your Brand name complies with the existing law. It should not be offensive, obscene and same as other brand names.
Publishing the Brand name in the India Trade Marks Journals
After all the procedures, the Registrar will issue the Brand name of yours in the India Trademark Journal. After the publication, there should be NO OBJECTION within three months from the date of publication.
Issuance of Trademark Registration Certificate
If no opposition is raised within 90 days, the Registrar will issue the Trademark Registration Certificate with ten Trademark registry seal.
What to do when the trademark application gets rejected?
If your online Trademark Registration gets rejected by the applicable registry on the grounds as mentioned in Section 9 and Section 11 of the Trademark Act, then you can appeal to the Appellate Board against the decision of the Registrar of the trademark registry. You must appeal within the three months of rejection of the Trademark. An appeal could be filed even after three months if some issues were there.
Online Trademark registration is a very strenuous task for any business owner, and moreover, it takes a very long time to complete the registration. So it’s a better option to hire a trademark lawyer at the start so that it can save you time.
Read our article:Exploring the Legality Associated with E-commerce Trademarks