A Trademark is a symbol or word(s) which is capable of distinguishing the goods and services of one entity from the other entities. Once registered, those symbols or word(s) cannot be used by any other entity as long as it is in use by that entity. Trademark Registration is done by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Government of India to assure its restricted use by the entity registering for it. In this article, we will discuss the process of Trademark Registration in India.
What is the Process of Trademark Registration?
Trademark Registration can be applied for logos, slogans, numerals, words and more in India. Trademark Registration is a long process with multiple steps to be followed as prescribed by the Trademark Registry. Once Trademark Registration is done, the owner can legally use the Trademark exclusively for entity day to day businesses. The various steps involved in Trademark Registration are as follows:
Read our article:Overall Trademark Registration in India: Current Development
Search for Trademark
Before applying for Trademark Registration, one has to search for an identical or similar Trademark already existing with Trademark Registry. A Trademark Search can be conducted in the Trademark Register Website. Once a unique name is found, the owner of the entity can register for Trademark.
Filing of Trademark
The Trademark search once completed the Application for Registration can be filed with the Trademark Registrar. The application for Trademark Registration should include the following things:
- ‘Mark’ Selected for Registration
- Trademark Owner’s Details
- Goods and Services list for which Trademark will be used
- Trademark Class
- Trademark used since the date
Once the application is prepared with the required particulars, the owner can file the Registration Application online or offline. For online application filing, Digital Signature Certificate is needed whereas on the other hand, for offline filing an application is to be sent to Trademark Registry.
After the application is filed, the Registrar of Trademark will review the application for any discrepancies in it. The Registrar will search for the uniqueness of the name and will search the already registered marks and pending applications of Trademark with the Trademark Registry.
Application for Allotment
The application once filed with the Trademark Registrar, a Trademark Application Allotment Number will be provided in 2-3 working days. The Trademark Application can be tracked online also. After obtaining the Trademark Application Allocation Number, the owner can use a TM symbol next to the logo.
The Vienna Agreement (1973) established the Vienna Classification for the figurative elements of marks. After the Trademark Registration Application is filed, the Trademark Registrar will apply the Vienna Classification to the Trademark based on figurative elements of the mark. The Trademark Application at this time reflects the application status as ‘Sent for Vienna Codification’.
Examination of Trademark
Vienna Codification once done, the Trademark Application will be sent to the Trademark Officer in the Trademark Registrar Office to review the Trademark Application and check for the correctness and issue the Trademark Examination Report. The Trademark Officer has the authority to accept the application and sent it for Trademark Journal Publication or can raise objection in the Trademark Registration Application.
Journal Publication of Trademark
The proposed Trademark is published in the Trademark Journal. The Trademark Journal contains all Trademarks that are accepted by the Trademark Registrar. The Journal is published weekly. The public has the opportunity to oppose the Trademark Registration if they believe that there will be damage to them if the Trademark gets registered. If no objections are filed within 90 days, then the Trademark will be registered permanently for the entity registering for Trademark.
Registration of Trademark
If there is no objection filed with the Trademark Registrar regarding the Trademark Application and Trademark Journal, a Trademark Certificate will be issued.
What is Trademark Objection?
Sometimes during the Trademark Registration Process, the Trademark Registrar raises some objections on the proposed Trademark as it violates the rules and regulations followed for Trademark Registration. Trademark Objection is raised when the Trademark Registrar thinks that the Trademark is descriptive of the goods/generic or indicating the quality or nature of goods. Another objection which can be raised by the Trademark Registrar is when a Trademark is similar with an already existing Trademark.
The Trademark Applicant can appear before the Trademark Officer and address the objections. If the Trademark Officer is satisfied with the justifications of the Applicant, the Trademark officer can allow the Trademark for Trademark Journal Publication. The Trademark if is not permitted by the Trademark Registrar, the Applicant can go for appeal before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.
What is the Trademark Assignment?
Trademark Assignment occurs when there is a transfer of the owner’s rights, title and interest in Trademark to other person is done either with or without the goodwill of the business. The assignment can be partial or complete. Trademark Assignment does not transfer the rights of ownership in the Trademark. However, sometimes there is a burden on the Company with some resources. These resources should be drained as soon as possible for an increase of profitability in the Company. To increase profitability Trademark Assignment is done of some tangible and non-tangible assets of the Company.
What are the Benefits of Trademark Registration?
Getting your Trademark Registered has several benefits associated with it, such as:
- The owner will get an exclusive right over the Trademark.
- It will help you to protect your Trademark like other assets of the Company.
- It will help you to protect your hard earn Goodwill.
- Once registered, it will stop others from promoting the same Trademark in the same industry.
- It will give you Nation-wide protection of your Trademark.
- Use of ® symbol with your logo.
Trademark is an important marketing tool in some conditions. Trademark Registration should be done to avoid similarity with any other entity using the same Trademark. It is a long process which is discussed in detail in this article. It is better to consult an expert to understand the process of Trademark Registration.
Read our article:Grounds for the Refusal of the Trademark Registration