A trademark is a kind of Intellectual Property. A trademark helps in distinguishing the goods o...
A Trademark is a sign, design or expression which helps in recognizing and identifying a particular product or services manufactured or provided by a particular manufacturer or service provider. It separates a particular goods or services from those of others. Trademark can be affixed to a particular product, voucher or label. In this article, we are presenting steps for the trademark registration procedure.
Any word, name, device, label, numerals or a combination of colors that can be represented graphically (in a paper) can be registered as a trademark. The trademark to be registered must also be distinctive for the services or goods for which it is proposed to be registered.
Any trademark, which is identical or similar to an existing registered trademark or trademark for which an application for registration has been made and the same is pending, cannot be registered.
A trademark that causes or would likely cause deception or confusion or is offensive may not be registered.
Common names or common trade words and common abbreviation or geographical name can also not be registered as a trademark.
The benefits of Trademark registration can be summarized as under:
A registered trademark confers a bundle of exclusive rights upon the registered owner i.e. the owner of the trademark has the exclusive right to use the mark in relation to the products/services for which it is registered.
In most of the jurisdiction, the law allows the owner of a registered trademark to prevent any unauthorized person to use the registered mark in relation to any products or services which are identical or colorfully similar to the registered products or services.
In certain cases, the registered trademark also prevents the use of a similar mark on entirely dissimilar products or services.
A registered trademark can be hypothecated as security i.e. registered trademark can be pledged.
Registration of a trademark is an identifiable intangible property i.e. a registered trademark will have a separate & independent existence and it can be transferred to any other asset.
If a trademark is registered, the owner of the registered trademark can institute legal proceedings in the event of its infringement. If a trademark is registered it can be used in legal proceedings as evidence of the validity of the original registration.
If the trademark is registered it can be used to obtain registration in some foreign countries and the brand name can be protected worldwide.
A registered trademark also helps in identifying the commercial source of the origin of products or services.
With trademark, a connection between customers and the product of an enterprise is established. It will further expand your business.
Step 1: Trademark Search
This is one of the crucial steps in the whole process of registration. Many entrepreneurs do not comprehend the importance of a trademark search. Having a unique brand name decreases the possibility of trademark litigation. So a trademark search will help you to get to know that if any other identical trademark is available and it gives you a fair picture of where your trademark stands. It also helps in reducing your money in time-consuming trademark litigation.
Step 2: Filing Trademark Application in India
After you assure yourself that the brand name or logo which you choose to be registered as the trademark is not listed in the Trademark Registry India i.e. it is not identical with any other registered trademark, you can opt for registering the same. After checking the availability of trademark, the next step is to file a trademark application form at the Trademark Office, India. The Indian trademark offices are located at Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. Nowadays, filing is mostly done online. Once the application is filed, an official receipt is immediately issued for future reference.
Step 3: TM Examination
After the application has been submitted for a trademark in the Trademark office then it is examined by the examiner for any discrepancies. The examination of discrepancies may take few days time. If no discrepancies are found in the application, the examiner might accept the trademark absolutely or conditionally or he may also object if the application contains some discrepancies.
If accepted unconditionally, the trademark gets published in the Trademark Journal. If any conditions are required to be fulfilled before accepting the application then that conditions are required to be fulfilled or the objections would be mentioned in the examination report and a month’s time will be given to fulfil those conditions or to respond to the objections raised.
Step 4: TM Publication in Trademark Journal
Once such response which is given in respect of the objection raised is accepted, the trademark is published in the Trademark Journal. If the response received is not accepted, the person can request a hearing. While hearing, if the examiner feels that the registration of the trademark should be allowed then he shall register the and further proceed for publication in the Trademark Journal.
Anyone who objects to the registering of the trademark has the opportunity to oppose the same. If, after 3-4 months from publication there is no opposition, the trademark proceeds for registration. In case if any person opposes regarding the registration of trademark then a hearing shall be held before the Registrar and the decision shall be given by him.
Step 5: Registration Certificate
After the application for Trademark Registration has been given and it has been registered and the same has been published in Trademark Journal, a registration certificate under the seal of the Trademark Office is issued.
It may be noted that the trademark can be renewed after every 10 years and it can be done perpetually. Hence, the registered logo or brand name can be protected perpetually.
The trademark holder would cease to enjoy his trademark registration rights in the following cases:
Trademark registration is beneficial if you wish that your brand or product is recognized and the trademark registration procedure is also simplified by online filing. It is a mark of uniqueness which contributes significantly towards building your brand image. Therefore, register your trademark today.
Read our article: International Trademark Registration: A Route to Global Branding