A trademark allows the owner to prevent others from utilizing a similar mark that may be confusing to the general public, thus demarcating a brand clearly.
Registering a trademark or logo before actually utilizing it is a smart business choice. The entire procedure for registration and duration is centrally provided for under Chapter III of the Indian Trademarks Act, 1999. (Hereinafter stated as, ‘the Act’)
Things to Remember before you register a trademark:
i) Trademarks can be applied for both goods and services. However, it should be able to discern between one company’s goods and services and those of another.
ii) It should be used in relation to products or services so as to indicate a link in the course of commerce between the goods or services
iii) Both graphical marks, as well as audio-visual marks (smells and sounds) are eligible for trademarks under the Act.
iv) The period of validity is 10 years from the date of registration of trademark and has to be renewed within 6 months before the date of expiry.
Things required: Filing A Trademark Application
i) Identity and address
ii) Power of attorney in favour of the trademark agent for filing/representation.
iii) TM user affidavit (in case the trademark is already in use by the applicant)
Process: Filing A Trademark Application
i)Before filing an application to register a trademark, a trademark search should be run for the relevant classes to ensure the non-existence of identical trademarks and protect it from objection. The ‘Public Search’ (ipindiaonline) is the official website available for this purpose.
ii)There are 45 classes of Trademarks. Before applying for registration one needs to know under which section or class your product falls.
iii) Filing of the application for registration can be done in both ways at Pune: Offline mode, in the office of the Trademark Registry, or even in the online mode.
The candidate is required to fill the relevant form, i.e., ‘Form 48’ available on the Trademark’s registry’s website. Any mistake or omission on the form will result in an objection and a delay in the procedure.
iv) The applicants are provided with a TM Application Number after the office has verified the credentials. Using the application number, the status and progress of the application may be checked online, and the ™ mark may be used on the symbol as well.
v) If the trademark has figurative elements/logo, a Vienna Code is assigned. It is a worldwide classification. The status of the trademark application is ‘Sent for Vienna Codification’ during this procedure.You can check trademark availability with Vakilsearch’s free trademark search tool before registering a trademark.
vi) Once the filing process begins, the trademark can be objected to during scrutiny followed by a notice from the registrar. The notice has to be responded to within 30 days with necessary changes and arguments supporting your case.
vii) In case the above claims are rejected again, a hearing shall be scheduled for re-examining the credibility of the application.
viii) If the application is approved it shall be published in the weekly trademark journal for 90 days to invite oppositions/objections from a third party. If such an application is forwarded to the applicant via the registrar, they once again need to furnish the necessary evidence.
ix) If the response is convincing, a trademark shall be granted, otherwise, a hearing shall be conducted with both parties.
x) When you pass through all these stages, and if the application is approved then you can start using the ® symbol which indicates that the Trademark has been registered. The entire process can range between 18-24 months in Maharashtra (Pune).