As a mark, a company’s name, word, label, device, or numeric character sets it apart from competitors’ products. The purpose of a trademark is to uniquely identify the goods and/or services offered by a person from other such products/services.
Trademarks become an intangible asset of a company that protects its investment in a brand or logo when they are registered.
Trademarks can be registered for goods and services if they are unique. Registrants will not accept trademarks that are similar to or identical to trademarks already registered. In order to register a trademark, it must not be deceptive, generic, offensive, similar, and contain exclusive protected trademarks.
India’s Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks is responsible for trademark registration. As a result of the Trademark Act of 2016, trademark owners have the right to sue for damages if their trademark is violated.
When a trademark registration is complete, its owner has the right to use the “R” symbol, and the registration is valid for 10 years. Your trademark will remain registered for another decade if it is renewed.
There are many benefits to trademark registration
Moreover, a registered trademark can be an effective means of conveying the compassion of a company or organization. Another benefit of a strong brand is that it acts as a direct link between the customer and the product because it ensures they are reliable, and the business can be associated with them for a long time.
These and many other benefits include:
- In a trademark registration, the source of the good or service is identified.
- The mark is a guarantee of quality.
- Trademarks are also essential marketing tools.
What a trademark registration means
Having established the benefits of trademark registration for businesses, let us now explain why it is important:
The TM provides unique identification
With more and more companies and brands entering the market, it is getting more difficult to distinguish between them. As such, the best way to differentiate between companies in terms of exclusivity is to register a trademark for your brand and build your reputation around it.
There’s no end to TM
The trademark registration has a 10 year validity period that can be renewed in 10 years, so the trademark can last even longer than the business does!
The TM acts as a shield
The brand of every entrepreneur must be protected from competitors. Obviously, if the trademark that the individual has been creating has already been registered by another individual, then not only does that individual lose his or her business and goodwill, but he or she also loses the right to prevent others from using the same trademark. Trademark shields are intended to protect a business and its brand as well as prevent others from using the same mark.
The TM is economical
A trademark registration costs only one time. Moreover, trademark registration times and procedures have been sped up in a satisfactory manner. In general, trademark registration applications take between six and one year to process.
Additionally, a trademark is valid for ten years following registration, with the option of renewal every ten years thereafter.
An asset is a trademark
This brings direct benefits to the business, brand, or company that has registered the trademark. Trademark registrations are becoming more sought after as businesses grow. A trademark can be sold, transferred, purchased, or even used as security for a loan.
What you should know about trademark registration
In a trademark registration, the application is filed, the mark is examined, the mark is published, opposition is raised, the mark is registered, and the mark is renewed after ten years.
Even though you can register a trademark easily, you should obtain the assistance of an experienced trademark attorney to make it easier and more reliable.
If you are looking for a trademark, follow these steps:
An applicant must be careful when selecting a trademark. Since there are many possible trademarks, it is essential to conduct a public trademark search through the Trade Marks Registry once a trademark is selected to be sure that no other trademarks are identical or similar to the trademark selected.
Trademark searches show all registered and unregistered trademarks that are already on the market. As well, the search shows whether the trademark is competing with another mark.
Step 2: Submit a trademark application
Depending on the goods and services a business offers, a trademark may be registered under a single-class application or a multiclass application.
According to the trademark’s jurisdiction, a trademark registration application can be filed through IP India’s official website, or in person at the Trademarks Office.
Multiple documents supporting the trademark registration application are required. Additionally, if the applicant claims previous use of the trademark, he or she must accompany the application with an affidavit of use as well as proof of this prior use.
Government authorities review trademark applications
According to the Trade Marks Act, 2016, after examining in detail a trademark application, the Examiner issues a mandatory examination report.
A review of authority reports can reveal whether an objection is absolute, relative, or procedural. Applications for trademarks are examined by the Trademark Authority within 30 days of filing.
After receiving any objections in the report, a response providing the arguments and evidence against such objections must be issued within 30 days.
After the examination, step four
If the Examiner (Trademark Authority) is unsatisfied with the reply or the objections are not addressed, the Examiner may have to set up a hearing. The examiner can either accept the mark and submit it for publication in the journal or reject it if a number of objections remain.
Step five involves advertising a trademark
After trademark registration is approved, the application is advertised in The Trademarks Journal for a period of four months. A public advertisement and publication invite the public to submit objections to the trademark registration.
On the Registry’s official website, the Trade Marks Journal is updated every week.
The sixth step is the opposition of the public
Those aggrieved by the advertisement and publication of the trademark in the journal can contest its registration by filing an opposition. To oppose a trademark that has appeared in the Trademark Journal, you need to file Form TM-O within four months. The due process of law must be followed if a trademark application is to be opposed, which includes submitting evidence, filing a counterstatement, and holding a hearing.
Seventh step is trademark registration
Once all oppositions and objections have been overcome, a trademark can be registered.
After four months of advertisement and publication, an automatic trademark registration certificate is issued if there is no opposition to the trademark registration. Once a registration is valid, it remains valid for ten years.
How many trademarks do you think exist in India?
Trademark law in India covers a broad range of marks, including logos, labels, words, and device marks. When deciding whether to register a mark as a word mark or logo, making the right choice can be challenging.
The word mark for this entry
Among the other available trademarks, a word mark allows you to indicate the brand name. For instance, Jio and Britannia have trademarked only their brand names, or word marks.
Word marks register themselves on the computer. By filing a trademark application for a word mark, the applicant gets automatic rights to use and represent the word as they wish. A broader protection can be provided by this, which includes exclusive rights to the mark’s name in all of its forms, regardless of style, covering all goods and services that fall under the mark’s umbrella.
As opposed to a trademark, however, a logo allows the owner of the trademark to combine images, words, and designs. For instance, Nike and Adidas are examples of logos. For a logo that could be recognized by viewers and customers without any ambiguity, a trademark application would be required.
As opposed to the shield provided for words in a word mark, the shield in a logo mark provides fewer benefits since the logo mark is only valid as a whole. Therefore, if one wishes to register a distinctive design or a combination of words and design, they would be best advised to register the trademark as a logo.
The composite logo mark
Most brands have a combination of words and logos, like Jack & Jones (a global apparel manufacturer) which has an intricate logo composite mark that incorporates its label placement on the rear of its jeans. It is best to file a trademark both as a word mark and a logo in such cases to maximize intellectual property protection. Because registering a trademark as a word mark is less costly than filing multiple trademark applications.
If you want to get the comprehensive shield, both the word and logo must be trademarked separately. This can, however, be extremely costly for newly established companies. Consequently, the trademark should be registered as a word mark, thereby giving the applicant the next strongest defense against possible infringements.
Documentation for trademark registration includes the following:
Mark registration is an essential step in protecting a brand/business from unauthorized use and infringement.
Due to a simplified registration process, Indian entrepreneurs can now register their trademarks within a couple months. A list of the documents needed for trademark registration in India is below.
The original documents do not have to be submitted for trademark registration. Simply scanning the original documents is enough.
For sole proprietorships or individuals, there are certain documents required
Almost anyone can register a trademark very easily in India, whether they are Indian or foreign. No legal entity or business entity is required for trademark registration.
Also, registering a trademark in the name of a corporation requires the same documents as registering one in an individual’s name, as follows:
- If possible, include a black and white version of your logo. It is also possible to trademark a word without a logo.
- This form needs to be duly signed. Basically, it’s an authorization from the applicant to the Trademark Attorney to file the registration application on the applicant’s behalf.
- It is usually necessary to show a passport, an Aadhaar card, a PAN card, or another form of identification.
- Please enclose the latest power or telephone bill of the applicant or proprietor.
Documents Required For Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, and Small Businesses
India charges a trademark registration fee from Rs. 4500 to Rs. 9500.
A trademark registration fee by the government varies from Rs. 9500 to Rs. 4500, depending on the type of business entity.
As a small business applicant, the individual must now present a Udyog Aadhar registration certificate. Additionally to Udyog Aadhar registration, the following details will also be required.
Whether it is a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company
In the case of an entrepreneur/ applicant forming a partnership or LLP, the following documents must be submitted:
- Scanned copies of logos are optional
- but must accompany Form 48
- with Udyog Aadhar Registration Sheet
- as well as on the partnership deed
- Deed, a copy of the signatory’s identity proof
- A copy of the applicant’s address proof
Other applicants for trademark registration will need to provide the following documents
All applicants seeking to register a trademark in India need to submit the following documentation, regardless of whether they have an Udyog Aadhar number.
- If desired, a scanned image of the logo can be included
- on Form 48 with the signature.
- Certificate of Partnership or Incorporation.
- A copy of an identity document for signatory/applicant.
- Address confirmation for signatory/applicant