A trademark is a kind of recognisable phrase, word, symbol or sound that denotes a certain product and thereby differentiates it from all the other products in the market.
It is something that recognises the company’s ownership of the brand.
Know how we can help you out with trademarks here.
2. Application for registering a trademark
An application must be submitted in the form TM-A to the Trademarks Registry in order to register that particular trademark. The prescribed fees must also be paid. It is always advisable to keep checking the status of the trademark because there are instances when the applicant may have to act upon the same to ensure the trademark gets registered soon.
3. Steps to check trademark status
Once the application is filed, the status of the trademark may be checked as follows:-
- Log on to the website http://ipindiaonline.gov.in/eregister/eregister.aspx.
- On the left side of the page, the first option that reads ‘Trade Mark Application/Registered Mark’ is to be selected. Once it is selected, two options appear.
National IRDI Number is to be clicked on.
- Next, the trademark application number has to be entered. Additionally, the captcha code also needs to be entered correctly. Once the details are entered, click on ‘View’.
- Once the ‘View’ button is clicked, the website will display the status of your application.
4. Different types of trademark status
On a general basis, an application of any kind always goes through several stages of checking and scrutiny. It is the same in the case of the trademark application. It is vital to understand what each type of status conveys in order to understand the action to be taken in the case.
- New application
When the status reads ‘New Application’, it means that the application has just been received for further scrutiny. This is the initial stage of the application. It is yet to be checked in detail.
- Send to Vienna Codification
Vienna Code Classification is an internationally accepted standard for logos and its elements. The Code is assigned based on the nature of the figurative elements in the logo.
- Formalities check pass
This stage of the trademark means that all the initial/preliminary documents submitted along with the application are accepted by the Trademark Registry. In other words, there are no problems whatsoever with the documents submitted so far.
- Formalities check fail
If the Trademark Registry finds any issues or any sort of discrepancies with the documents that were initially submitted along with the application by the applicant, then the status will be read as ‘Formalities Check Fail’. This could be due to the insufficiency or lack of clarity in the documents previously submitted.
- Marked for exam
After an initial round of checking, if the trademark receives a ‘Formalities Check Pass’, it will be sent to a Trademark Examiner who will scrutinise all the documents as well as the application to ensure the application is complete in all respects.
If the trademark has this status assigned to it, it means that the examiner has raised certain objections with regard to the trademark and its registration. In this case, the examination report has to be answered to within a month from its issuance. If the reply isn’t given within the stipulated time, the trademark status shall read ‘Refused’.
- Refused or abandoned
In a case where the examiner is not satisfied with the reply to the Examination Report or even after a Show Cause Hearing, he will stamp the application as ‘Refused or Abandoned’.
- Advertised before accepted
There are also cases where the trademark status reads ‘Advertised before Accepted’. This means that the Trademark Registrar is not yet convinced about the nature of that particular trademark.
- Accepted and advertised
In this stage, the Trademark Registrar is satisfied with the nature of the trademark and thereby allows the trademark to be registered in the Trademark Journal as it is distinctive enough to be recognised as a trademark.
Once it is advertised and published in the Trademark Journal, the general public is given a time of 3-4 months to respond in terms of opposition to the trademark. Any such opposition after the stipulated period will not be considered. However, where there is opposition from a third party, the status of the trademark shall read as ‘Opposed’.
Once the trademark status reads as ‘Opposed’, the applicant can choose to fight the opposition case. In case the applicant chooses not to fight the case, he/she can voluntarily withdraw the trademark application. The status of the trademark will read ‘Withdrawn’.
Once the trademark application is cleared through all stages of inspection and also through the ‘Accepted and Advertised’ stage, a certificate of registration is issued to the applicant against his/her application by the Trademarks Registry. At the same time, the status is updated on the website as well.
In a case where the trademark is not used for five consecutive years after the issuance of the Trademark Registration Certificate, or in a case where the trademark owner forgets to renew the trademark registration, it can be removed from the Trademark Journal. At this point, the status shall read ‘Removed’.
Therefore, it is always advisable to take out time and provide clear documents in order to avoid any sort of delay with regard to the registration of the trademark.