How to apply for trademark registration in the USA for Indian brand?

Last Updated at: Jul 06, 2021
How to apply for trademark registration in the USA for Indian brand?
US trade office adds foreign domains of Amazon, including in India, to ‘notorious markets’ list. The US President recently said that placed five foreign domains of Amazon, including the one in India, to its “notorious markets” list, accusing the global e-commerce giant of engaging in substantial trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.


A trademark is the brand which companies utilize to assist the people to differentiate and identify their product among the rest of the market. By registration, the companies can safeguard the brand identity from being duplicated or stolen from other competitors. Utilizing the same slogan or logo is illegal. After registration, the company is hand over with trademark licence and registered TM number that assists to identify the brand.

The Trade Marks Registry is a body that was established in 1940, and presently oversees the upholding of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the regulations it has laid down. It functions as an information centre in matters regarding trademarks within India. The primary objective of this organisation is to register and protect brands while preventing the illicit use of the mark.

Browse the articles below for more free information and guidance on government registrations, tax, compliance, patent filing process and more.


A trademark is a “brand” that companies use to help people identify and differentiate their product from the rest of the market. Through registration, companies can protect their brand identity from being stolen or duplicated by their competitors.  The logo and tagline of NIKE are registered and hence cannot be used by someone else. Using the same logo or slogan is illegal. A registered trademark is, therefore, an invaluable asset to businesses and is heavily relied upon by most companies. After registration, the company is provided with a registered TM number or trademark license that helps identify the brand.

Apply for Trademark Registration

Benefits of Registering Internationally

  1. Gives the company exclusive right to commercialise in those markets.
  2. Prevents counterfeiting and ensures the company exclusive rights to monetise their brand.
  3. Provides a basis for franchising and building expansion strategies.

Madrid Protocol

India joined the Madrid Protocol on 8th July 2013. The protocol consolidates registration in various countries and makes it easier for one to apply for trademark licensing in foreign countries. It provides a single, cost-effective strategy to procure a license in several foreign nations. As of today, there are 104 members, covering 120 countries under the Madrid protocol.

  • To apply this protocol, the company must have a valid trademark in India. Through a single application, you can gain access to multiple countries thereby reducing the paperwork and the expense.
  • The fees for the procedure is decided based on what class of license you require and how many countries you need it to be in effect. Also, a payment of Rs. 2,000/-  has to be made to the Indian Trade Mark Registry.
  • Once the application has been filed, each country’s officials examine the documents to check whether it complies with the laws of that country specifically.
  • The international registration is dependent on the primary application filed for five years.
  • If the country you wish to work does not feature in the Madrid Protocol, then separate applications have to be filed directly to those countries.

Advantages of the Madrid Protocol

  1. Lower costs when compared to individual filings.
  2. Easier to manage renewals and updations.
  3. Easier to add countries later.

International Trademark Registration Process

  • International trademark registration requires an application to be filed by the owner of the brand, through the office of origin which is where the company is based.
  • For Indian companies, India serves as the office of origin.
  • The office of origin processes the application and files it if it complies with the rules laid out by the Intellectual Property Organization at Geneva.
  • If the application is approved, it is featured in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Gazette of International Marks, and the International Bureau provides a certificate of registration after notifying the countries the applicant had requested a license for in the application.
  • Each country has the right to refuse the trademark, but objections must be raised within 12 to 18 months at the proper office.
  • If there are no objections, then the registration is deemed complete.
  • The mark is registered for ten years under this protocol, following which they must be renewed through the WIPO or the first office of origin.


For trademark registration in India:

  1. Applicant should be an Indian national or must have a business registered in India.
  2. Applicant must have filed a trademark application with the Indian Trade Marks Registry. This national trademark application forms the basis of their international application. Services and products mentioned must be identical with the ones prescribed in the national trademarks.
  3. Applicant must choose one or more nations from the Madrid Protocol.

Steps summarised

  1. Register the trademark in India first before applying for international protection, ensure you have registered for an Indian license.
  1. Do your research to protect your trademark in foreign countries, read up on their laws so that you have a good understanding of trade laws in those countries.
  1. Make use of the Madrid Protocol. This provides a one-stop solution for all your worries.
  1. Hire a lawyer If the country you want to work in does not fall under the Madrid system,(Saudi Arabia, Canada) hire a lawyer and seek legal counsel.
  1. Translations are important. Carefully consider the foreign languages as translations might get tricky when it comes to slogans. Harmless terms in English may be offensive in other languages.

Approximately four million trademark applications are filed annually all over the world. As more brands are created and more businesses expand, it becomes imperative to be aware of the laws required for you to grow your business and expand overseas. Understanding the intricacies related to registering a trademark helps you streamline your company’s growth prospects.

For international trademark registration, the owner of the brand should fill the application from the company’s origin. Once the application is sanctioned, then it is featured in the World Intellectual Property Organization(WIPO) Gazette of International Marks. The International Bureau issues registration certificate. Any country can refuse the trademark , but rejection should be within 12 to 18 months at the office. Then, the trademark is registered for 10 years and should be renewed through WIPO.

To know more about US Trademark: Click here

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