Different intellectual properties, such as trademark, copyright, and patent, are available in India. Each of them has its own importance in order to protect your intellectual property. A trademark is one such crucial intellectual property that protects your company’s identity. Moreover, a trademark can be a design, symbol, word, phrase, etc., that is unique and capable of differentiating your brand. It is not necessary that you can take a trademark of only one differentiating element. At the same time, you can also file multiple trademarks. Scroll down to check more about online Trademark Registration in India.
Moreover, online trademark registration is a crucial yet lengthy process. Also, you can file trademark application via online or offline mode. Still, online mode is a more feasible option as you can apply for a trademark while sitting at home. Once you have a trademark, no one else is allowed to use the same mark, and you get protection from infringement. Everything related to trademark is governed by the Trademark Act of 1999.
To get protection, you need to register the trademark. It is crucial to restrict others from using the same mark. Until you don’t register your trademark, you cannot stop others from using it, and it will be difficult for you to protect it. Also, it is advised to register a mark as soon as you find it because in case the mark is in use before getting registered, then there are chances that other companies may copy it and get it registered before you. Moreover, the trademark owner will be the person who registers it first, and it has nothing to do with who used the mark first.
Types of Trademarks in India
There are various types of trademarks in India, and you must choose the one that suits your mark. Here are the different types of trademarks available in India:
- Product Mark
A product mark is filed under 1-34 trademark classes depending upon the nature of your mark. Moreover, this type of mark can be filed for products or goods. By way of product mark, customers can quickly identify the product and its origin company. This will help in the growth of the company.
- Service Mark
These marks are used to distinguish the services of a company from other similar service providers. You can register these marks under 35 – 45 trademark classes. This mark can be fruitful as it will help people distinguish your services from others.
- Collective Mark
A group of people can collectively use this mark to represent their goods and services. This is any mark on the product or goods that helps people identify the brand. Any mark that you find unique and can be used on your goods can be trademarked under the collective mark, as a group of people can use it collectively.
- Certification Mark
A certification mark is used to determine the quality standards of the product. It provides surety to the people that the products are of excellent quality and it has passed various quality standards. Also, people prefer buying a standardized product rather than a local product due to its quality. You can find the certification mark on the packing of the goods or products.
- Shape Mark
Shape mark protects the unique shape of any goods or products produced by the company. For example, Coca-Cola has a trademark on the shape of its bottle so that no other competitor can create the same bottle. It can be used as a differentiator to differentiate a product and serve people with a unique design.
- Sound Mark
There are companies that use sound for marketing their goods and services. Now, such a sound or tune shall be different so that even by hearing the sound, the people will be able to recognize that this tune belongs to a particular brand. Therefore, in order to have a unique music or sound, you must register the sound mark.
- Pattern Mark
A Pattern mark can be any differentiating mark with a unique design pattern. It is used to distinguish a product. To get a pattern mark, your pattern has to be unique; otherwise, it will be rejected.
Importance of Online Trademark Registration
Following is the importance of Online Trademark Registration:
- Online Trademark registration protects your mark and provides exclusive rights to the proprietor of a trademark to restrict others from using it.
- It protects your brand identity, and if anyone tries to infringe on your trademark, the owner of the trademark can take legal action against such a person.
- The customers start trusting your brand as a trademark provides assurance to the customers that the product is of good quality and can be trusted.
- A trademark can be an asset to your company, and as your company grows, the value of the asset will also increase. It is one asset that no one can take away from you.
- It provides legal protection to your brand.
What are the documents required for Online Trademark Registration?
First, you need to provide the following basic details for Online Trademark Registration:
- Name of the Applicant
- Type of business
- Objective of business
- Brand name/logo/design/slogan
- Registered address
You need to submit the following documents for online Trademark Registration:
- Form – 48 with applicants’ signature
- ID proof of the applicant
- Address proof of the applicant
- Proof of business (it can be anything, depending on the type of business)
- Udyog Aadhar/MSME registration certificate (optional).
Procedure of Online Trademark Registration
Following is the procedure of Online Trademark Registration:
Step 1 – Conduct a Trademark Search
The first step while registering a trademark is to select a mark that has to be registered. Once you determine a mark, you must conduct a trademark search on the official website of Intellectual Property Rights. A trademark search is conducted to ensure that your mark is not already registered. You can go ahead with registering your mark if it is not in use, but if your selected mark is already registered, you won’t be able to register it as your mark. You can also get help from a trademark attorney who will better assist you in your trademark search so that your application is not rejected at any further stage.
Step 2 – Prepare a trademark application with supporting documents
Once you select a unique mark, you must start preparing a trademark application. Also, you need to attach a few required documents along with the trademark application. Here is a list of required documents:
- Registration proof of business – Depending upon the type of business, you need to submit the id proof and address proof of the directors or the company. If you have a sole proprietorship business, you need to submit the director’s PAN card and Aadhar card. Furthermore, if your company is registered under the companies act, then you need to submit the address proof of the company.
- You also need to submit of softcopy of your trademark.
- In the case of any other country except India, you can also use the proof of claim of your mark.
- The applicant also has to submit the signed power of attorney.
Step 3 – Filing the Trademark application
There are two options for filing the trademark application: manual filing or e-filing. If you choose to apply for a trademark by manual method, you must submit the trademark application to the registrar’s office of the trademark. These offices are situated in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, etc. Then, you have to wait for 15-20 days to get the acknowledgement receipt from the registrar. Whereas e-filing can be a much more feasible option as you can file the trademark application on the government website from anywhere. Also, after filing, you will instantly receive the acknowledgement receipt on the portal. Once you receive the receipt, you can start using the TM symbol on your brand.
Step 4 – Examination of Trademark Application
The next step after filing the application is its examination. Now, the examiner will check whether your application is complete. They will also check that your selected mark is not similar to any already registered trademark. If your application is incomplete, which means there are any missing documents, then your application will be rejected. Furthermore, you must always select a unique name so that there are no chances of similarity.
Step 5 – Publication of Trademark
If your trademark passes the examination process, then the examiner publishes your trademark in trade mark journal for 3 to 4 months depending upon the case. During this time period, the trademark is open to objections from the general public. The person having any objections can file them in the specified period. If there are no objections to the trademark application, then the application will proceed towards trademark issuance.
- Trademark Opposition
If objections are raised on your trademark objection within three months, then the registrar will provide you with a copy of the trademark opposition. You will be required to submit a counter-statement replying to the opposition within a month. In addition, if you don’t file a counter statement within two months, then your application will be automatically rejected.
If there are no objections, then this step will not be applicable for you, and your application will proceed towards the issuance of the trademark certificate.
- Hearing for Trademark Opposition
This step will apply only if there are objections to your trademark application. If your trademark is opposed, and you have filed the counter-statement within two months. First, a copy of your counter-statement will be given to the opposing party. Then, both parties will be given an opportunity of being heard by arranging the opposition hearing with the registrar.
The registrar will hear both parties and review the supporting documents to reach a conclusion. Moreover, the registrar will either accept your application or reject it. If your reply is strong enough that the registrar is convinced, then he will accept your application, and a trademark will be issued.
Step 6 – Issuance of Trademark Certificate
Suppose your application does not have any objections within 90 days. In that case, it will be accepted by the registrar, and even in case of objections, the registrar will accept your application if your reply seems convincing during the opposition hearing. The registrar will issue the registration certificate under the trademark registry seal.
As soon as you get trademark certification, you can use the R symbol with your brand name, and this trademark registration will be valid for 10 years, and then you will have to renew it for using for 10 more years.
Advantages of online Trademark Registration in India
Trademark registration is governed by the Trademarks Act, 1999. It is always advised to get a trademark registered for your brand in order to secure your identity. Moreover, the online trademark registration also has many other advantages discussed below:
- Expansion of the Business
You can easily attract customers to your brand with a distinctive trademark. You only have to build trust among the people for your goods and services. Moreover, trust building starts with getting a trademark for your company. It helps customers trust your brand regarding the quality of the products. The companies also work hard to ensure quality standards as their brand is registered. With this, you get more customers for your brand, and your business will eventually expand to a larger scale. The trademark provides you protection for 10 years, and it also protects the revenue of your company.
- Asset Creation
A recognized brand is an essential resource for your company. Over time, the worth of these assets keeps rising. The worth of your trademarks automatically rises over time as your business grows. As a result, your brand’s value rises along with your business’s success. As a result, a trademark can be your company’s most valuable and helpful possession because it will remain valuable as long as your business exists. Additionally, all other business assets, like machinery, can be copied. Still, a trademark is one such asset that no other company can imitate, even when making the same kind of products.
Additionally, trademark licensing is necessary to protect the company’s name, which is its most valuable asset, by ensuring that no one else can use it to market products. A brand is also a tool for differentiating your products and services. Even though the products are identical, their company identities will always be distinct.
- Brand Security
A trademark is used to protect your brand identity. Moreover, it acts as a shield for your brand and keeps your brand identity safe and unique. Once you search for a mark and want to take a trademark for it, you have to file a trademark application with the registrar of the trademark office. Once a trademark is registered and has received an acknowledged number, you can now use the TM symbol with your brand name, this will act as a protector for your brand. Also, by seeing the TM symbol, people will be aware that your trademark registration is under process, and they can trust you.
Additionally, after your application passes all the registration steps and you have been granted the registration certificate, you can now use the R symbol. This indicates that your trademark is registered and no other person can use it. If someone uses a similar mark, then he is said to infringe on your trademark, and legal actions can be taken against him.
- Product Differentiation
Many brands are already existing in the market, and new brands are entering the market every day. Now, in order to stand out in the competitive market and have your own identity, it is a must to have a differentiator. That differentiator will be the unique identity of your company that makes you different from others. It can be anything, a logo, name, symbol, phrase, etc. In order to offer something different to the customers, there must be product differentiation, and once you have decided on the differentiating element, make sure to get a trademark for it. If you do not have a trademark of your unique identity, it will become easy for others to copy it. Customers will be able to recognize you through your trademark. Therefore, it must be unique and registered.
- Brand Recognition
Customers generally identify a product by its originating company through its packaging by the logo or brand name. Therefore, in order to be a big player in the market and have recognition, it is a must to have a trademark. It helps you build goodwill in the market. People prefer buying from a brand with goodwill in the market due to trust and quality assurance. This enables a company to get new customers and hold on to the old ones.
The trademark registration is valid for a period of 10 years, and then it can be renewed further by just paying the government. Now, if your wish to expand your business outside India, then you have to follow the trademark procedure of that country. Having a trademark in India will help you in getting a trademark outside India, as it will act as a base for your company to get a trademark in other countries.
Trademark registration is a process that is not necessary. But every big company considers it as an essential practice, and it is also advisable for every company to get a trademark. You can apply for a trademark either offline or online, but online filing is feasible as you do not have to roam around. You can easily apply for a trademark at your convenience. To get help with the registration process and if you have any questions, you can contact Corpbiz. We will listen to your queries and provide you with the best possible solution on the trademark.
Read our Article:How To Respond To Trademark Infringement?