Trademark Registration

A trademark is a visual representation, such as a word, name, number, label, color combination, etc., employed by a company to differentiate its products or services from those of other businesses producing similar goods or services.

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    Establishing a brand demands a significant investment of time, dedication, and financial resources. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you have the legal rights to utilize your brand’s logo, slogan, product design, packaging, sound, fragrance, colour combinations, and any other elements that give it a unique identity. Trademarks are a form of intellectual property that distinguishes your products or services from competitors in the market.

    In India, the Trademark Act of 1999 permits the registration of trademarks. This registration grants exclusive ownership rights and prohibits others from using the registered mark, protecting the owner’s interests.

    Once a trademark is successfully registered, you can use the “TM” symbol alongside your brand and applicant details. To safeguard your brand’s name, trademark registration in India is imperative. It is advisable to seek professional assistance for trademark registration, as the process involves multiple steps and requires continuous interaction with government authorities.

    Eligibility for Trademark Registration varies based on the entity type:

    Individual (Person): Individuals who are not engaged in business can apply for a trademark registration for symbols or words intended for future use.
    Joint Owners: Co-owners of a business can jointly file for a trademark, with both names included in the application.
    Proprietorship Firm: A proprietorship firm can file for a trademark under the proprietor’s name but not under the business or trade names.
    Partnership Firm: Partnerships must include all partner names (up to ten members) in the application, with a minor partner’s guardian’s name if applicable.
    Limited Liability Partnership/LLP: LLPs should apply in the name of the LLP entity, as partners have separate identities.
    Indian Company: Indian companies, regardless of their type (private limited, limited, etc.), should apply in the company’s name, not in a director’s name.
    Foreign Company: Foreign entities applying for trademarks in India must use their registered corporate name, specifying the country and applicable laws.
    Trust or Society: When filing on behalf of a trust or society, the managing trustee, chairman, or secretary representing the entity must be named.

    Documentsrequired for online trademark registration include:

    Incorporation Certificate (for companies or LLPs)
    Partnership Deed (for partnerships),
    PAN Card and Aadhaar Card of the authorized signatory,
    A signed Form TM-48, and
    The brand logo in colour to cover all its elements.

    In India, various types of trademark registrations are available, including Product Marks (for goods), Service Marks (for services), Collective Marks (representing a group), Certification Marks (indicating product quality), Shape Marks (securing product shapes), Pattern Marks (distinctive product patterns), and Sound Marks (identifying products or services through specific sounds, like jingles or tunes). An example of a well-known sound mark in India is the IPL tune.

    Trademark Registration in India

    Trademark registration in India is carried out by the trademark registry. When you intend to register a trademark, several steps are involved:

    Choosing a Trademark:

    Ensure you select a distinctive and unique mark that represents your company. It’s also important to identify the class to which your mark belongs. Currently, there are 45 classes of goods and services for trademark registration in India. Classes 1-34 pertain to goods, while classes 35-45 cover services.

    Trademark Search:

    After selecting your mark, it’s advisable to conduct a search to check if it resembles an already registered mark. You can do this yourself by visiting the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks’ online website, where you can perform a public search. Alternatively, you can opt for legal services, which, although incurring a cost, offer a safer option. Legal services not only conduct the search but also assist throughout the entire process.

    Filing the Application:

    You can file a single application for multiple classes or a series trademark or collective trademark using Form TM-A. This form allows you to register the trademark across multiple classes, and the filing of this form has two cost brackets:

    1. Rs. 9,000 or Rs. 10,000: This applies if you are not a start-up, small enterprise, or an individual. You pay Rs. 9,000 for e-filing or Rs. 10,000 for physical filing with the Office of Trademarks.
    2. Rs. 4,500 or Rs. 5,000: If you are an individual, small enterprise, or a start-up, you fall under this bracket. You pay Rs. 4,500 for e-filing or Rs. 5,000 for physical filing.

    When filling out the form, take care to avoid mistakes, as errors can lead to delays or rejection of the application. Fill in all details and include an image of the trademark with dimensions of 9 by 5 cm. You may need to attach five duplicates of the same. The complete file must then be submitted with two duplicates during filing.

    You can file the application online, personally, or through an agent, depending on your convenience. Online filing provides immediate confirmation, while physical filing may take 15-20 days for confirmation.

    Online Trademark Registration Process in India

    Trademark registration online process involves the following steps:

    Step 1: Choose a Unique Brand Name:

    Search for a distinctive and catchy brand name that stands out. Invent or combine words to create a unique name and ensure it’s not already in use.

    Step 2: Prepare the Trademark Application:

    Gather the necessary documents for online trademark registration, including business registration proof (for different business types), soft copy of the trademark, proof of claim if applicable in another country, and a power of attorney signed by the applicant.

    Step 3: File the Brand Name Registration Application:

    Choose between manual filing and e-filing. Manual filing requires submitting the application in person to the Registrar Office of Trademarks in major Indian cities, followed by a waiting period of 15-20 days for acknowledgment. E-filing provides an instant acknowledgment on the government website, allowing you to use the TM symbol with your brand name.

    Step 4: Examination of the Brand Name Application:

    The Registrar of Trademarks will review your application to ensure compliance with existing laws and check for any similarity or identical marks with existing or pending registrations.

    Step 5: Publication in the Indian Trademark Journals:

    If there are no objections within 3 months (or 120 days in some cases) from the date of publication, the Registrar will proceed with the issuance of the Trademark Registration Certificate.

    Step 6: Trademark Opposition:

    If a third party opposes your trademark within 3 months of publication, you will receive a notice of opposition. You must reply with a counterstatement within 2 months to avoid abandonment and rejection of the application.

    Step 7: Hearing on Trademark Opposition (if applicable):

    If opposition occurs, both parties submit evidence, and a hearing takes place. The Registrar will issue an order of acceptance or rejection based on the evidence presented.

    Step 8: Issuance of Trademark Registration Certificate:

    If there is no opposition or after successful opposition proceedings, the Registrar will issue the Trademark Registration Certificate with the Trademark Registry seal, allowing you to use the registered trademark symbol (®) with your brand name.
    With this guide, even beginners can understand the process of creating and successfully registering a brand name.

    Advantages of Trademark Registration in India

    Legal Protection: Registration safeguards your brand, providing exclusive rights and legal recourse against infringement.
    Product Distinction: Trademarks set your products apart, building a unique customer base.
    Brand Recognition: Enhance your brand’s reputation and value, attracting new customers and retaining loyal ones.
    Asset Creation: Trademarks are valuable assets, recognized for accounting and tax purposes.
    Business Value: Registered trademarks boost business value, goodwill, and net worth.
    International Expansion: Use Indian registration as a base to expand your business internationally.
    Business Growth: Leverage trademarks to introduce new products and grow your business.

    Trademark Registration Number in India

    Once you’ve submitted your trademark registration application, you will receive a trademark application number. This number doubles as your trademark registration number. Essentially, the trademark application number and the registration number are identical. However, if you wish to verify the status of your application and confirm your trademark’s successful registration, you can do so by checking the application’s status.

    With Sadique and Ameen Associates by your side, trademark registration becomes a pivotal step in your brand’s establishment and protection. Their expertise and dedication ensure your brand’s unique identity is preserved and fortified. Your trademark application number, which doubles as your registration number, can be readily verified through the application status check. Secure the future of your brand with confidence by investing in trademark registration in India, guided by the trusted experts at Sadique and Ameen Associates.