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Trademark Form TM-A

Updated on: Oct 22nd, 2021


9 min read

The Trademarks Act, 1999 and the Trademarks Rules regulate the law relating to trademarks in India. The Trademarks Act, 1999 provides the procedure for trademark registration. 

The Trademarks Rules, 2017 (‘Rules’) provides the provisions relating to the application for trademark registration. The Form prescribed under the Rules to apply for trademark registration is Form TM-A. In this article, we will discuss trademark form TM-A in detail.

What Is a Trademark?

A trademark is a visual symbol that represents a company or the products or services provided by an individual. It can be depicted by way of a word signature, name, device, label, numerals or a combination of symbols.

The purpose of having a trademark is to distinguish the goods and services of one entity/individual from that of the others. A trademark is generally used to brand products or services rendered so that they are easily identifiable. ClearTax helps you with trademark registration. Know more here.

Procedure to Apply for a Trademark

Under the Trademarks Rules, 2002, the Form TM-1 had to be submitted to the Registrar of Trademarks for trademark registration. However, the Trademark Rules, 2017 replaced the Trademarks Rules, 2002. Thus, currently, the Form TM-A is the application to be filed for registering trademarks as per the Trademarks Rules, 2017.

The Form TM-A must be filled and signed by the applicant (owner of the trademark) before submitting it to the Trademark Registry Office physically or online on the IP India website. The applicant can be an individual or company. In the case of a company, the authorised signatory or director should sign the form.

Contents of Form TM-A 

The form comprises the following information that needs to be filled by the applicant:

Nature of the application

  • Standard trademark: A normal application to be filed for a word, device or any such combination. Collective mark: This is in cases where the mark belongs to a collective group or association of persons. For example, the Indian Standards Institute (ISI) mark.
  • Certification mark: Generally, a certification mark on products refers to a mark of quality, validity or an assurance of the fact that the manufacturer has tested the product, and it meets the required standards. For example, the Fruit Products Order (FPO) mark.
  • Series mark: The main element of the mark might be used/intended to be used in several forms/ways by the proprietor, and instead of filing separate applications each time, they can be filed as a series. For example, McDonald’s has a series of ‘Mc’ registered, which represents their different products such as Mc Veggie, Mc Chicken, etc.

Constitution of the entity in whose name the trademark application is filed

The details to be filled here are with respect to whether the entity comes under the category of an individual/start-up/small enterprise/others. The fee levied will differ depending on the constitution of the application.

Applicant details

The basic details such as the name, trade name and address of the principal place of business, mobile number, the e-mail address of the applicant and the nature of the applicant must be entered appropriately.

The applicant must choose the appropriate category and fill it under the nature of the applicant. The category of the applicant must be any one of the following – 

  • Individual
  • Partnership firm
  • Body-incorporate including private limited/limited company
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
  • Society 
  • Trust 
  • Government department 
  • Statutory organization
  • Association of persons 
  • Hindu undivided family

Applicant’s agent details, if any

The basic details of the agent are to be provided in the prescribed form. Additionally, the nature of the agent needs to be specified too. The nature of the agent given in the form include the following:

  • Registered Trade Marks Agent: A person who has completed 21 years of age and has a graduate-level degree from a recognised Indian University or a qualification equivalent to it is eligible to appear for the trademarks exam. Once he/she clears the exam, he/she becomes a registered trademark agent.
  • Advocate: A legal professional who represents his client in a court of law.
  • Constituted Attorney: Constituted attorney is a power of attorney holder acting on behalf of a person.

Trademark details

Here, category and description of the mark need to be mentioned clearly.

Category of the mark can be any one of the following:

  • Word: A word mark is a word or a group of letters together. The word needn’t necessarily have a meaning. Word is the most common type of trademark. E.g.: IBM, TATA, etc.
  • Device: A combination of pictures and words or illustrations is called a device mark. This includes logos, slogans and drawings. E.g.: Apple Logo, Android symbol, etc.
  • Colour: A particular colour or a combination of colours can be considered as a trademark if it helps distinguish the product or service that the entity offers from that of the others. It is generally the toughest category of a trademark to be protected and enforced.
  • Three-dimensional trademark: The three-dimensional shapes of certain products such as whiskey bottles, the Xbox 360 logo, etc. also serve as trademarks. They are usually represented by the physical appearance of the product or its packaging.
  • Sound: Here, the tune has to play as the distinguisher of the services or products that the entity offers. The role played by the tune is its ability to create an impression in the head of the audience so that it becomes easy to recall. E.g.: National Stock Exchange theme song.

Description of the mark

  • The mark should be represented clearly and legibly with the size not exceeding 8cm x 8cm.
  • Where the combination of colours is other than black and white, the distinctiveness of the mark will be considered accordingly.
  • In the case of colour marks, a description must be given in detail.
  • In case of sound marks, a sound clipping in the MP3 format must also be submitted along with the application.

Where the trademark is in a language other than English or Hindi

Firstly, the language has to be mentioned. Additionally, the translation of the mark in English has to be provided, if the trademark is a language other than English or Hindi.

Conditions or limitations with regards to usage

Any condition or limitation placed with regard to the use of the trademark has to be mentioned here in detail.

Class of goods or services

The class of the particular goods or services that the trademark belongs to has to be specified clearly.

Statement concerning the usage of the trademark

When the trademark is not yet in use and is proposed to be used after its registration, the applicant must select the ‘Proposed to be used’ option. When the applicant is already providing goods or services under the trademark, the option ‘The mark is used by the applicant or its predecessor in title’ must be selected and the date from which it is being used is to be mentioned.

In case the trademark to be registered is already being used by the applicant prior to the date of application, the applicant shall file an affidavit testifying to such use along with supporting documents. The statement as to use of the mark once made shall be binding and final.

Priority claim

When a specific trademark is filed for the first time, the owner is granted a six month period from the date of first filing in order to be filed in any other country as well. This is done to ensure that the priority claim can be made on a specific trademark over the world to avoid future conflict. The specified fields mentioned in the application must be filled accordingly.

Any other important information

Any additional information in relation to this statement, which is required or that the applicant feels is necessary may be provided here.

Verification and details of the person submitting the application

The name, signature and authority of the person submitting the application have to be mentioned in the boxes provided in the application.

Documents to be Submitted Along With Form TM-A

The following documents have to be submitted while filing Form TM-A:

  • Business Registration Proof such as incorporation certificate or company registration certificate, in case of a company
  • Address proof of the applicant or authorised signatory, in case of a company
  • Identity proof of the applicant or  authorised signatory, in case of a company
  • Copy of trademark that is to be registered

Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are solely for information purposes. No attorney-client relationship is created when you access or use the site or the materials. The information presented on this site does not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes or used as a substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your state.

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Quick Summary

The Trademarks Act, 1999 and its Rules govern trademark registration in India. Form TM-A is used to apply for trademark registration under the Trademarks Rules, 2017. The form includes information on the nature of the application, applicant details, agent details, trademark category, and more. Various documents must be submitted with Form TM-A, like business registration proof and a copy of the trademark.

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