Trademark filing

A trademark is a symbol, or a combination of numbers and letters exclusively used by a business to distinguish its products and services from others in the market. Having a registered trademark can aid a business in establishing its brand identity and ensuring that its offerings have a distinct presence in the market.

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    In India, the process of trademark filing, and registration is governed by The Trademarks (Amendment) Act, which aims to provide registration and enhanced protection for trademarks associated with goods and services, as well as prevent the use of fraudulent marks.

    The initial phase, which involves the submission of a trademark application, corresponds to what is commonly known as “filing” a trademark. This entails presenting a formal request for trademark registration to the relevant governing body.

    In simpler terms, when we refer to “filing a trademark,” “filing of a trademark,” or a “filed trademark,” we are essentially indicating that an application for registration has been submitted to the appropriate authorities.

    It’s important to note that during this stage, the trademark is not yet officially registered. Instead, there exists an application that has been lodged with the competent authority with the goal of obtaining formal registration for the mark.

    Documents Required for Trademark Filing:

    To initiate a trademark application, the following documents are necessary:

    Signed Form 48: Form 48 is utilized to grant an attorney authorization to submit your trademark application.
    Udyog Aadhar Registration Certificate: If you wish to benefit from the reduced trademark fee of Rs. 4500.
    For Partnership Firms, LLPs, and companies without Udyog Aadhar, the government fee for trademark filing is Rs. 9500.
    Incorporation certificate.

    Trademark Filing Process

    Filing a trademark application in India is a straightforward process.During the trademark filing, it is crucial to accurately provide various documents like Form 48, TM-1, and the trademark class. Hence, seeking assistance from a trademark expert during the application process is advisable.

    Trademark Search

    Before submitting a trademark application, it is advisable to conduct a trademark search to identify any similar or identical trademark applications and their status. This search helps minimize the likelihood of objections, oppositions, or refusals to your application. You can perform a trademark search by clicking here.

    Trademark Registration Certificate

    If there are no objections or if all objections have been resolved, your trademark will be registered. Subsequently, you can start using the “R” symbol. The trademark registration remains valid for 10 years from the application date and can be renewed after this period.

    Trademark Application Filing

    Once the trademark search is completed, determine the appropriate trademark class for your application and describe the goods or services your mark represents. Sign Form 48 to authorize the attorney to file your trademark application. The attorney will file the application and provide TM-1. If TM-1 is accepted, you will make the necessary payment for filing the trademark application with the Government.

    Commence Using TM Symbol

    Upon filing the trademark application, the Government will provide a trademark application number within 1-3 working days. Once you have this number, you can start using the TM symbol.

    Trademark Application Processing by Government

    After completing the trademark filing, the Government will process the trademark application within one year. If the application is similar to an existing one, the Trademark Examiner may raise objections.

    Trademark Objection

    Upon receiving a trademark objection, the applicant has 30 days to respond and explain why the mark should be registered despite the objection. Learn more about trademark objections here.

    Trademark Hearing

    If the Examiner requires additional information or is not satisfied with the documents provided in response to the objection, a hearing may be called. During the hearing, a Trademark Attorney can represent the applicant and present reasons for registering the mark.

    Trademark Journal Publication

    If the Government deems the trademark application acceptable, it will be published in the Trademark Journal for 90 days. During this period, anyone can raise objections to the mark’s registration. If an objection arises, the Trademark Registrar will facilitate discussions between the applicant and the objecting party.

    Trademark Infringement

    Unauthorized use of a registered trademark is considered an offense under the Trademarks Act and is referred to as trademark infringement. In such cases, the registered trademark owner can issue a cease-and-desist notice to the infringing party. If the infringer continues to use the mark, legal action can be taken to stop the sale of infringing goods and seek damages under the Trademarks Act.

    Trademark Filing Considerations

    Once the application has been submitted, you can use the brand symbol ™. This symbol signifies that a trademark application has indeed been filed with the appropriate authority, and you are currently awaiting the registration process to be completed.

    Before proceeding with the actual filing of the trademark application, it is strongly advisable to consult with an intellectual property (IP) consultant. Their expertise can be instrumental in conducting essential checks that can lead to a faster and more certain outcome:

    1. The first check involves verifying whether the trademark meets all the necessary requirements for registration. This step ensures that the mark adheres to legal prerequisites such as novelty, legality, accuracy, and distinctiveness. Complying with these requirements is crucial to avoid potential objections from the competent office.
    2. The second consideration is determining where you intend to register the trademark. Specifically, you should identify the geographical areas in which you plan to use the trademark and target potential markets relevant to your business.
    3. The third step entails conducting a thorough search of previously filed and registered trademarks. This is commonly referred to as a trademark similarity search. Such a search serves to ascertain whether there are any existing filed or registered trademarks that are identical or closely similar to yours.

    It is imperative to emphasize that neglecting to conduct a trademark similarity search can lead to unfavourable consequences. These consequences may include encountering challenges from owners of earlier trademarks that are either similar to or identical with yours. Such challenges can have detrimental and sometimes fatal repercussions on your business, both before and after registration.

    Benefits of Trademark filing

    Benefits of trademark filing are given below:

    Legal Protection: Trademark registration grants exclusive rights, protecting your brand from unauthorized use by others.
    Brand Recognition: It enhances brand visibility, making it easier for customers to identify and trust your products or services.
    Market Differentiation: A registered trademark sets you apart from competitors and strengthens your market position.
    Asset Value: Trademarks can be valuable assets, potentially increasing the overall worth of your business.
    Infringement Defence: It provides legal recourse against trademark infringement, allowing you to take legal action if someone copies your brand.
    Licensing Opportunities: You can license or franchise your trademark, generating additional revenue streams.
    Global Protection: Trademark registration can extend protection to international markets, if desired.
    Deterrent to Counterfeiting: It discourages counterfeiters and helps in brand integrity maintenance.
    Consumer Confidence: Registered trademarks instill confidence in consumers, as they associate your brand with quality and authenticity.
    Long-Term Ownership: Trademarks can be renewed indefinitely, ensuring ongoing protection for your brand.

    Trademark filing services in India, expertly provided by Sadique and Ameen Associates, offer invaluable protection and recognition for businesses. A registered trademark safeguards your brand and enhances its credibility in the market. Their expertise ensures compliance with The Trademarks (Amendment) Act, streamlining the process from application to registration. Prior consultation with an intellectual property consultant is recommended for faster, certain results. Benefits include legal protection, brand recognition, market differentiation, asset value, infringement defence, licensing opportunities, global protection, deterrence against counterfeiting, and boosted consumer confidence.