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Get your Trademark registered
A trademark is for your brand name/logo which identifies your product/services.
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Trademark is a brand name or logo attached to the goods or services provided by an individual or business. Trademark is a unique visual symbol that may be a word, device, number, or combination of colours representing a business. The proprietors/owners of the trademark use the trademark for their goods or services to distinguish them from other similar businesses.
The registration of the trademark confers the exclusive right of its usage to the trademark proprietor. Third parties cannot use a registered trademark for their products without the authorised permission of the proprietor of the trademark. The Trademarks Act, 1999 (‘Act’) and Trademark Rules, 2017 (‘Rules’) regulate trademark registration in India.
Trademark Application: The trademark proprietor should file Form TM-A (Trademark registration application) with the Registrar of Trademarks (‘Registrar’). The proprietor can file the application either online or by physically visiting the Office of the Trade Marks Registry within whose jurisdiction the principal place of business is situated.
Trademark Objection: The examiner will examine the trademark registration application upon its receipt. The examiner can object to the trademark application if the trademark proposed to be registered is deceptively similar or identical to an already registered trademark. It may also be rejected if it violates the provisions of the Act and Rules.
The examiner communicates an examination report to the applicant when there is an objection to the application. The applicant should send the reply to the examiner within the prescribed time. The Registrar shall pass an appropriate order of acceptance or rejection of trademark application based on the reply and submissions made by an applicant.
Advertisement of Trademark: After the trademark application has been accepted either after the conclusion of objection proceedings or without any objection by the examiner, the Registrar shall advertise the proposed trademark for registration in the trademarks journal.
Trademark Opposition: Any third party can raise a trademark opposition with the Registrar after it is advertised in the trademarks journal within three months from the advertisement date. When a third party opposes the trademark registration, the Registrar will give a copy of the notice of the opposition to the applicant.
The applicant must reply to the opposition notice by filing a counter-statement (Form TM-O) to the trademark opposition. If the applicant does not submit the counter statement within the prescribed time, the trademark application will be considered to have been abandoned and rejected.
Hearing on Trademark Opposition: After the applicant sends the counter-statement to the Registrar, the Registrar will send the copy of the counter-statement to the third party opposing trademark registration. Both the applicant and the third party must submit evidence, and the Registrar will allow them to be heard. After hearing both the parties and considering the evidence, the Registrar will pass an order of acceptance or rejection of the trademark application.
Trademark Registration Certificate: The Registrar will grant registration upon passing an order of acceptance after trademark opposition or the time to oppose the trademark is expired. The Registrar will issue a trademark registration certificate with the seal of the Trade Marks Registry to the applicant.
|Particulars of Trademark Applications||Fees of Applications in case of Physical Filing||Fees of Applications in case of E-Filing|
|Trademark registration application for startups/ individual/ small Enterprise (Form TM-A)||Rs. 5,000||Rs. 4,500|
|Trademark registration application for entities other than startups/ individual/ small enterprise||Rs. 10,000||Rs. 9,000|
|Counter-statement for trademark opposition (Form TM-O)||Rs. 3,000||Rs. 2,700|
|Amendment application to add additional trademark class where the Registrar determines that the trademark applied for falls under additional trademark class than mentioned in the registration application (TM-M)||Rs. 1,000||Rs. 900|
The cost to apply forms online is lesser than submitting forms physically to the Office of the Trade Marks Registry. Online filing of trademark registration is cheaper and also saves time.
Choose the trademark after going through the Act and Rules. The Act and Rules provide the grounds on which a trademark registration can be rejected. The trademarks should not contain generic words, descriptive words, or government symbols, as registration of such trademarks will get rejected.
Avoid choosing a trademark that is similar or identical to an already registered trademark, as it will be rejected. Thus, conduct a proper trademark search to determine if an already registered trademark exists or not.
When a trademark is rejected due to the grounds mentioned for rejection under the Act or Rules, the cost of the trademark application is lost. Plus, after rejection, while filing another trademark application for registration of a modified trademark, the fee for trademark application has to be paid again. Thus, conduct a trademark search and follow the provisions of the Act and Rules before applying for registration to avoid rejection.
The applicant must choose the right trademark class for the goods or services for which the trademark will be applied. The applicant should describe the goods or services for which the trademark will be applied and the class of goods and services in the trademark application. If the wrong class is mentioned for the goods or services in the application, it will be rejected.
When the Registrar determines that the goods or services mentioned in the trademark application fall in the additional trademark class, the applicant has to file Form TM-M by paying the fee to amend the trademark application for including the additional class in the trademark application.
The applicant will have to bear additional costs for filing a new application if it is rejected for mentioning the wrong class or filing an amendment application for the addition of class. Thus, it is necessary to mention the right trademark class in the application.
A business is recognised by its name and logo. If the trademark has a brand name and a design, two applications, i.e. two Form TM-A must be filed for registering the name and logo separately. Only one category of trademark can be registered in one application. Since the name mark and device/logo mark are two different categories, two applications will have to be filed separately for registering the name and logo.
In cases where there is a name and logo, it is better to apply only once for registering the brand name and avoid paying fees for two applications. A word mark or brand name can be represented in a different manner once it is registered. The graphical representation of the name can be done in any manner and in any design. Thus, word mark registration gives broader protection and flexibility to use in any manner.
It is better to hire a trademark expert before applying for trademark registration. Though the trademark proprietors can apply for trademark registration themselves, it is better to engage professional help as they will know the reasons for trademark rejection under the Act and Rules. They will help to minimise the chance of trademark application rejection.
Though the professional fees have to be paid to the trademark expert, they will do a thorough trademark search and mention the appropriate trademark class to ensure that the trademark application is not rejected. When professional help is sought, it will save money to file the application again if rejected or fill the amendment application for any objection.
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