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How to Register a Trademark in India

Trademark Registration

Trademark registration is the process of legally securing exclusive rights to a trademark or brand name for goods or services. A trademark can be a word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these elements that distinguishes a product or service from those of other companies. By registering a trademark, the owner obtains legal protection and the right to prevent others from using a similar mark that may cause confusion among consumers.

Trademark registration provides several benefits, such as legal protection, a presumption of ownership, and the ability to use the registered trademark symbol (®). It also serves as a deterrent against potential infringers and enhances the brand's value and reputation. It is important to note that trademark registration is typically territorial, meaning it provides protection only within the jurisdiction where it is registered.

Trademark symbol

  1. “R” Symbol- This represents that trademark is registered

  2. “TM” Symbol- This represents that trademark is not registered and others may use your logo/symbol if registration gets canceled

  3. “SM” Symbol- This represents that trademark is not registered and must be used by the service industry only

  4. “C” Symbol - This represents that the user has copyrights also

Eligibility for Trademark Registration

Trademark registrations are widely used to protect the brand or slogans or coined words that are unique. Trademark registrations in India can be obtained by individuals or businesses or by non-profit organizations. The following are eligible for obtaining trademark registration in India:

An Individual (Person)

An individual who is not doing any business can also obtain a trademark application and obtain trademark registration for a symbol or word that is proposed to be used by the applicant in the future.

Joint owners

In case two people are deciding to file a trademark application then the names of both the people must be mentioned on the application.

Proprietorship Firms

While filing a trademark application in India for a proprietorship firm then the full name of the applicant must be mentioned. The business name or the proprietorship is not acceptable.

Partnership firm

When filing a trademark application for the partnership firm the names of all the partners are should be mentioned in the application. If in case the partnership firm includes a minor in the partnership the name of the guardian who is representing the minor should be mentioned.

Limited Liability Partnership

In the case of the Limited Liability Partnership, the application should be in the name of the LLP. An LLP is an incorporated body where the partners have their own identity. The partners cannot be the applicant as the trademark belongs to the LLP.

Indian Company

When it comes to a Private Limited Company and the One person Company or a Public Limited Company making a trademark registration application then the application is to be made in the name of the company. As they are all independent incorporated entities they are applied cannot be made by the Director. Though it can be signed and submitted by the Director or any officer that is authorized by the officer.

Foreign Company

In case is a foreign incorporated entity is making a trademark application in India the application is to be made in the corporate name as it is registered under the foreign country. Here the nature of the registration, the country, and the law is to be mentioned.

Trustor Society

In case if a trademark application is made on the behalf of the trust or the society then the name of the managing trustee or the chairman or the secretary that is representing the trust or the society is to be mentioned.

Procedure for Trademark Registration

Choose your brand name

Brand isn't made in days so you should give a deep thought in brand name and decide accordingly. People prefer using general term for easy recognition. But generic term is so common that you will face very difficulty while registering. For example, you will come across various store named AtoZ store, Laxmi Bhandar, Competent Builders or Star services, these are very common. Before naming your brand keep a note of following points:

  1. Whether it is your name or logo, try to make it original and duplication free.

  2. Do not apply for trademarks that are similar to well known trademarks like Philips, Siemens, Godrej, Reliance, and Tata, etc.

  3. Ensure that descriptive marks are not used, namely marks that merely describe the goods or services, for example: ‘Rose and Petals’ for gardening, ‘Samosas’ for food business, ‘Big Bazar’ for grocery store, etc.

  4. Avoid using surnames like ‘Aggarwals’, ‘Shetty’s’, ‘Iyengar’ or ‘Adigas’.

  5. Make the trademark fanciful. It is always better to make up or invent new words or phrases for a trademark. It gives you the strongest chances of getting approval. For e.g. TAXAJ for TAX (+)Abhilesh Jha

  6. Use arbitrary marks. Wherein a product is trademarked with an ordinary name which is not directly associated with the product. For example, Shell for petroleum, Amazon for booksellers, and Amul for dairy products, etc.

Choose your TM Class

Now if your brand name is decided, you must be certainly aware of the products that your business make or services that your company provides. for the sake of convenience trademark is classified into 45 different classes i.e. 34 for goods & 11 for services. You can register your brand in any one class or many. Choosing the wrong trademark class can be an absolute waste of your money.

Trademark Filing

The trademark registration application can be filed with the Trademark Registrar after the trademark search is completed. However, the application must be made in the prescribed manner and preceded by the applicable fees. The application can be made online or at any of the state's five Trademark Registrar's offices.

The Trademark Registration application must contain the following information:

  1. Logo or the Trademark

  2. Name and address of the Trademark owner

  3. Trademark used Since the date

  4. Description of the goods or services

The Vienna Codification Process

The Vienna Classification, also known as the Vienna Codification, is an international classification of the symbolic elements of trademarks that was established by the Vienna Agreement (1973). The Trademark Registrar will apply the Vienna classification to the Trademark based on the marks' figurative elements after the Trademark registration application is filed. While this work is being done, the trademark application status is usually displayed as "Sent for Vienna Codification"

Trademark Examination

Post completion of the Vienna Codification, the Trademark registration application will be assigned to a Trademark Registrar's officer. After that, the officer will check the Trademark application for accuracy and produce a Trademark examination report. The officer has the option of accepting the Trademark application, allowing trademark journal publication, or objecting to the Trademark registration process.

If the application is denied, the applicant has the option of appearing before the Trademark Officer to answer the concerns. If the officer finds the justification sufficient, the Trademark will be approved for publishing in the Trademark Journal. The applicant has the ability to appeal the officer's judgement to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board if the grounds aren't suitable.

Trademark Journal Publication

The proposed Trademark is published in the Trademark journal once the Trademark Registrar accepts the registration application. This journal is published weekly and contains all of the trademarks that have been received by the Registrar. In addition, members of the public can oppose to a trademark registration if they believe it would harm them. If no objections are received within 90 days of publication, the mark will be registered in 12 weeks.

If a third party objects to the application, the Trademark Hearing Officer will schedule a hearing. Both the applicant and the opposer have the opportunity to appear and present their respective justifications. Based on the hearings and the evidence put forth, the Trademark Hearing Officer will determine if the application should be accepted or rejected. However, the decision by the Hearing officer can also be challenged by the escalating officer.

Trademark Registration

If no objections or oppositions are raised, just the trademark document and registration will be prepared and issued. Trademark is deemed a registered trademark of the owner only once the Trademark registration Certificate is issued, providing the owner some exclusive rights to the mark. The ® Symbol can now be added to a logo or a trademark.

Documents required to register a Trademark online

  1. Identity proof of the trademark owner

  2. Aadhar Card

  3. Certificate of Incorporation ( In case of a Private Limited Company or an LLP)

  4. Udyog Aadhar Registration

  5. Logo if it is applicable and available

  6. Address proof

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