E-Registration of trademark serves as a unique identity of business that distinguishes it from another business in the commerce. A tagline, brand name or logo can be listed as a trademark presenting to be unique. A trademark registration should be done under the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Government of India. A trademark registration will be considered to be the intellectual property of the owner of trademark.
The registration of a trademark has its own enrolment via filing manually or E-Registration of Trademark. The e-registration of the trademark has made the process simpler and quicker. For manual registration one used to wait for 15-20 days to receive the receipt of acknowledgment but after online registration one can receive the acknowledgement instantly. The significance of this receipt of acknowledgment is that the company can use the trademark with a ™ sign next to it until the final registration is completed. Therefore E-registration can save your time as well as effort.
Things to Keep in Mind before going for E-Registration of Trademark
The applicants must consult with a Trademark attorneys before attempting to register their brand, products or company names as not every Logo can we get registered. For example they will need to verify the following points which are as follows:-
- A selected brand product or company name is available for the registration as a (Trademark Searching) in case other party has registered or applied to register a Trademark. The selected mark seems or sounds the same or is similar to your chosen mark then the Trademark officer can object your Mark
- The proposed Trademark should be distinctive, the proposed Trademark need to be distinctive word, logo, picture or any other find that clearly identify your goods and the service is from those of the other.
- The proposed Trademark cannot be descriptive if the Trademark is the too expressive of the goods or services or any characteristics of them then the trademark officer will likely object your mark.
- Certain words or symbol are barred from recording. For example a Trademark that are being contrary to the public order of the morality
- Trademarks are territorial rights and their registration and enforcement is governed by the national laws and the rights can be changed according to different countries.
Legislation Dealing with Trademarks
The Trademark Act, 1999 along with the Trademark Rules, 2017 are the primary laws which governs the trademark registration in India. Also at international level there are various treaties which governs the registration of trademark and the India is party to that treaty, which are as follows:-
- Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, 1883
- Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, 1891
- Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol, 1981.
Other than this the treaties which are governed by the World Intellectual Property Organization which are applicable in India are:
- Vienna Classification, established by the Vienna Agreement.
- Nice Agreement on the International Classification of Goods and Services.
Process for E-Registration of Trademark
The company with the help of a registered Trademark lawyer can start the trademark registration process online through E-Registration portal. It can be measured to be a pro-active way for registration as it facilitates the company to complete the whole process within 6 to 8 months instead for waiting for 2 years to obtain trademark registration. The E-Registration of Trademark consists of the following steps-
Trademark Search and Classification
The first step is the trademark search for applying for trademark registration. After deciding on the mark, Trademark (™) search is used to check if the selected trademark is unique. If there is any existing trademark that is similar to your mark then trademark cannot be registered until further modifications are done. After the modifications of trademark, the trademark search will again be initiated. If the trademark is found to be unique without any offensive word or mark and specially protects the emblems, and the company can proceeds to the categorization process.
Trademark classes have been given by the Trademark Registry and the company is required to select an appropriate class to apply for the trademark registration in that particular class according to the goods and services. The company can seek help from any registered Trademark lawyer to apply in the right class as per the goods & services for the e-registration of trademark.
E-Filing of Application
The following information should be there to apply for E-Registration of trademark through the online portal available on the Trademark Registry.
- Name of the Applicant
- Identity proof of the applicant
- ID proof a business
- Business type along with the Class of trademark
- Objectives of the Business
- Brand or logo or slogan name of the desired trademark
- Address where registration has to be done
The applicant will receive a Trademark number or Application number that helps the applicant to track the status of their application.
Vienna Codification Process
Vienna Codification is an internal procedure of the Trademark Registry in India. In case the trademark includes symbolic elements or logo, the request is sent to Vienna codification. It is an international classification of trademark that allows the trademark search of a logo for internal use.
Examination of Trademark
The Trademark Officer performs a formality check of the application of trademark. The officer verifies the information present in the application. Officers also keep a check that the application is abided by the rules and guidelines set by the Trademark Registry.
If the Trademark Officer has approved the application then the application is marked as “Formality Check Pass”. The submission now has to endure another round of examination held by the Trademark Registry. The Trademark Registry issues an examination report which states the rejection or approval of the trademark.
Hearing before the Trademark Officer
In case of refusal of the trademark application, the applicant can file a reply to the objection or submit an application for a hearing before the Trademark Officer. If the applicant can persuade the officer with supporting documents then the mark will get registered.
Publication in the Trademark Journal
If the trademark gets approval in the hearing, it will get published in the Trademark journal. If no objection is raised within 4 months of publication then the Trademark registry issues the registration certificate. In case of any objection raised from a third party, a hearing can be arranged and the final decision of registering or discarding the trademark will be taken.
Once the registration certificate is issued, the applicant can use the trademark with an ‘R’ sign. The Trademark Registry does not issue a physical copy of the Certificate. The applicant can download it from the Trademark portal using their Trademark application number.
How to Track the Status of Trademark Application?
When you submit an application through the E-Registration procedure, the Application number will be generated instantly. The applicant can check the status of trademark application by the following steps-
- Open the official website of “Trademark Registry”;
- Click on “Trademark Application or Registered Mark” option present in the screen;
- Select the requisite option between “National IRDI Number” and “International Registration number”
- Enter the Trademark number or Application number and the obtained security code. After putting in the details the application status and information regarding your trademark application will be available in the screen.
Benefits of Trademark Registration
E-Registration of trademark helps the owner to defend the status of the company and to make an identity in the business. It also authorizes the trademark owner to take any legal action against any misuse of the registered trademark.
It helps the company in promoting its goods as well as services, which differentiates the goods or service. It also builds up a brand name as well as reputation. Besides, a registered trademark draws more human resources as people love to work with brand name. It helps in the expansion of business as registered trademark can be used to set up and explore business in foreign country.
Validity of E-Registration of trademark
Trademark registration has tenure of 10 years. It can be renewed by filling of the renewal application present in the online portal of Trademark Registry. The trademark renewal is available for 6 months from the date of expiry. It is necessary to renew the trademark before the date of expiry or else it will be stated as “abandoned”.
The term of the renewed trademark registration will be the next 10 years. Therefore, it is essential to expend a little every 10 years for trademark registration and sustain the brand status. An unregistered brand can have an effect on the sales while a registered trademark can have the attention of potential consumers.
The Registry of Trademarks permits detailed E-Registration of Trademark that permits the submission of the marks online, including the entry of the above information and the upload of the respective articles.
Further information on the filing of applications for trademarks can be found on the website of the Indian Trademark Registry.
The official e-filing fee is 10% smaller than that for the actual filing under the newly notified Trademark Rules 2017.
Read our article:A Deep Analysis on Benefits of Trademark Registration