The term Trademark is a cliché to the business world. If you are accustomed to this term, then you must be awareof how important is it for a business. For those who still consider a trademark as an option, then they should rethink and start considering the bright sides of having one. Trademark registration does not only protects invaluable intellectual properties, but also improves the market presence of a company. In this write-up, the readers will come across facets of trademark, including online trademark registration.
An Overview on Trademark
A trademark is primarily a symbol that denotes the brand, product, or service of a company. The trademark could be anything from a word, phrase, or color combination. Fundamentally, it is used to identifies a product or a brand. The Trademark Act, 1999 covers the legality aspect of trademarks in India.
In our country, a trademark is regulated by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, GOI. Under the ministry, the Controller General of Patents Designs & Trademarks held the right regarding the listing of the trademark.
Read our article:An Overview on Document Required for Trademark Registration
How to Proceed for Online Trademark Registration?
The following section will help you get started with the online trademark registration process
Choose a unique trademark
Choosing the right trademark can be tricky sometimes considering the list of conditions cited in the Trademark Act, 1999. The Act compels users to choose a trademark which is unique, doesn’t reflects the functionality, and adheres to strict guidelines.
Every product or service revolvesaround a class out of the 45 classes is eligible for the trademark. Classes 1 to 34 represents goods and the remaining is about services.
Conduct a Trademark Search
A given trademark should be different and hence you must thoroughly search to determine whether a trademark is unique or not. This is essential to preserve the brand value.
The applicant can visit the official portal of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks to conduct such a search. You can also visit the government website to know more about the list of prohibited trademarks.
You can take the services of a trademark agent to make thingseasier. They will investigate all the public trademark indexes for you, & help you pick the apt trademark for your business.
Now,trademarks are either categorized under various classes or are viewed class-wise. Either of these methodscomesin different forms.
Form TM-1 permits users to file trademarks under one class only. The cost of this form is capped at Rs 3500. Meanwhile, TM-A allows users to file a trademark under various classes.Thecostof this form is around Rs 9000 when filed online. A concession of 50% is rendered to a person, small firm, or start-up for filing the said form.
E-filing renders prompt confirmation, whereas, the offline application usually takes 10-20 days for confirmation.
Online Trademark Registration Procedure
The government of India has simplified the online trademark registration process. Once you have chosen a trademark and gathered the required document, the rest is seemingly straightforward
- For online trademark registration, first, you need to visit IP India online website.
- On the portal, select the applicant’s type from the drop-down menu:
- Under entering Code write your business name as registered. The tap on the search.
- Now, another page will pop up on the screen. Under ‘Search Text in Proprietor Name’ again type the business name and then click Submit.
- A page will pop up with the list of the matching names as well as their codes.
- If you don’t find your business here, select the Add New option, located at the bottom to add your business profile.
- Once done, the code will be assigned to your business profile. Now, you will be re-routed to the home page. Here you need to enter your business code and then register with a unique user id.
- After the form’s creation, you can now register online by providing the symbol, & uploading the image, if any. You will promptly get a confirmation message regarding e-filing. Post acknowledgment, you will be permitted to use ™ beside the trademark symbol.
In case of application rejection, the applicant will get another opportunity for correction. This will incur no cost whatsoever. If the form confronts rejection again owing to the name then you refile the form and pay a penalty of Rs 1000.
After you file an e-form, the registrar at the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Mark will examine the form for policy compliance. Any pending request or dispute for the concerned symbol will also be looked at.
Acceptance & Publication
After successful examination, the trademark shall be made publicly available in the Indian Trade Mark Journal. This refers to a provisional approval & a waiting period for which any conflict or dispute shall be heard from the concerned person or entities.
Opposition or conflict will be waited for three months or 90 days, & in some cases 120 days. If no disputes arise in the given timeline then the trademark symbol will be processed accordingly.
Trademark Registration Certificate
Post aforesaid timeline with no dispute found the Registrar will accept the application for the trademark. Following which the certificate of registration stamped with the Trademark Registry seal will be issued to you. Now, you are eligible to use the ® symbol in your trademarked asset.
Status of the application
Post the confirmation message related to application filing, you will get a unique allotment number. This secures your request in the pending approval applications list, thereby allowing you to use the ™ symbol next to your trademark symbol.
Applications are examined on a first come first serve basis, hence applications are examined date-wise. Generally, you will get a certification within two years. The same is true for rejection as well. At this point, you may wish to determine the expiry of your trademark.
After the allotment number is done & approved, it will be re-routed for registration. Post-registration, the registry shall bestow the trademark registration certificate. Such trademarks are covered under exclusive rights and remain valid for 10 years.
Trademark registration isn’t mandatory for anyone, but it should not be overlooked or considered as an optional requirement. Given the benefits it renders to the business owner, it is advisable that one should prioritizes securing their IP assets place before even commencing the business activities.
Read our article:How Can You Apply For Online Trademark Registration in India?