Are you wondering how to register a logo? We’ve got all the answers for you. In this article, we’ll be discussing how to register a logo and the potential complications that may occur in each step of the way.
Once your business acquires traction, registering your logo has numerous advantages. Though registering a logo takes a little effort, it will give you the ability to establish your right over the logo (or even the word, sound, graphics or colour combination associated with it) in court. Moreover registering a logo also prevents similar logos from being registered by other businesses operating in the same space as your business. Additionally, a registered logo is considered an asset which any investor would be interested in knowing you have, during their intellectual property audit. The following section will walk you through the procedure of logo registration in India.
- Logo Availability Search
Time to Complete: 1 day
The first step is to see if your distinctive name or logo has already been claimed. You might have probably already done some basic research to determine if there are any other domains with the same name as you. However, it must be done properly through the Trademarks Office. This is possible both online and offline.
It is strongly recommended that you seek the advice of an experienced lawyer, preferably an expert at Vakilsearch. As they are well-versed in the nuances of trademark search and can conduct a thorough search.
Moreover, if another similar name or emblem has already been trademarked, but you believe you have the primary right to it, you will need the assistance of our experts.
Let us now address a couple of important questions:
Is it true that if someone has a similar word trademarked, I won’t be able to use mine?
Not exactly, as there are ways out of this conundrum. Rather than trademarking the word, you can design a unique logo for your business and include the name in it. Take BMW as an example. The BMW is within the logo.
Or you could simply add a small prefix to the name if that will do. For example, if your name is Ravi and you want to trademark the brand ‘Winn’, you could combine both to create a dynamic brand such as ‘R-Winn’.
But remember that it is always good to have a unique name.
Whose name should I be filing the trademark application in, my own or the companies?
It could be done in either name. However, many entrepreneurs choose to register the trademark in their own name rather than the company’s name, as doing so would imply that the shareholders own it. In the former instance, you may want to have a trademark licence agreement.
2. Filing of Form TM-1
Time to Complete: 2 working days
Cost: Starting from ₹4000 per application, per class + lawyer’s fees
So, now that you have your name, it’s time to file Form TM-1. Each of these forms would only include one application. So, if you wanted to register the trademark in two classes (i.e. sectors) – say, Relentless Shoes and Relentless Hardware – as well as a separate logo for each, you’d need to file four applications.
Estimating the government logo registration cost at ₹4,500 per application, you would be paying ₹18,000 in this case. The lawyer’s fees, which start at ₹2,000 per application, would be extra.
Following which the acknowledgement, which includes the filing date and application number, is received right away, but the Original Representation Sheet will take two days.
3. Use your Trademark
Time to Complete: Does not apply
Cost: Does not apply
Congratulations! The ™ symbol can now be used by your trademark. But it’s also time for a long wait to get the registration mark, which allows you to use the ® symbol. This process could take up to two years. And that’s assuming everything goes as planned.
4. Issue of Examination Report
Time to Complete: 3 to 6 months
Cost: Free, but ₹ 4000 to ₹ 6000 in case of an objection
The process of verifying your claim to the trademarked logo has only just begun. First, the government will determine whether it has any objections to your application. Here’s what happens if there is:
- No Objection:
If the government has no objection to the trademark you’ve applied for in its examination report, it will issue a Letter of Acceptance (also known as a TLA order), after which an advertisement will be placed in the Trade Marks Journal.
- An Objection:
The government could raise objections to a proposed trademark for a variety of reasons, for instance:
- it may deem the word or logo too similar to an existing trademark, or
- believe it to be obscene or that it could hurt religious sentiments, etc.
If you want to contest this objection, you will need to pay an additional ₹ 3,000, as well as lawyer’s logo registration fees, which should be between ₹ 4,000 and ₹ 5,000. This is to frame a response to the objection or to give evidence of your trademark’s distinctiveness. An interview with the examiner may also be posted. In this scenario, it is critical that the lawyer is thoroughly acquainted with your business operations. If the government withdraws its objection, an advertisement will be published in the Trade Marks Journal.
5. Advertisement in the Trade Marks Journal
Time to Complete: 3 to 6 months
Cost: Free, but legal fees in case of opposition
Once the government has signalled its approval, the trademark is now ready to be viewed by the public, in the Trade Marks Journal. If no one opposes it 4 months from its publication, the trademark registration certificate will be issued within 6 to 10 months.
However, if there is an objection, the subject might be delayed for months because both parties would be given the right to be heard. Fees for legal logo registration would also apply.
6. Trademark Registration
Time to Complete: Up to 9 months
Cost: This does not apply
The trademark will be registered around 9 months after the advertisement is published. If you file an opposition, you will have 9 months after the Registrar finds it in your favour. The registered trademark is valid for ten years and can be renewed indefinitely.