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Trademark Registration – Online Apply, Fees, Process, Status of TM India

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trademark registration

A trademark distinguishes your products or services from your competition. It can be anything. A sign, an expression or a word; your imagination is the limit here.  It deserves utmost importance because it is the thing that market uses to identify your company.

Trademark is considered to be an intellectual property. Trademark Act, 1999 protects trademarks and all related rights from infringement. And to avail this protection, you need to register your trademark. When doing so, you protect your trademark from copyright violations. Your trademark stands protected as long as you renew it within the stipulated timeframe.

Following categories of businesses are eligible to apply for trademark registration:

  • Individuals
  • Private firms
  • Companies- Limited Liability Partnership, OPC, Private limited and Public, Partnership
  • NGOs

When it comes to NGOs, the trademark has to be registered in the name of the person or the business involved.

How to trademark your brand name

When trademarking your brand, you safeguard your brand, your goodwill in the market and your ideas. All these are things that you may have invested lots of time, energy and money. The process is definitely time-consuming. But it is far better than remaining an easy victim to unnecessary legal complications from your competitors. You can trademark any of the following things:

  • Name
  • Letter
  • Word
  • Graphics
  • Phrase
  • Sound mark
  • Logo
  • A particular combination of colors
  • Smell

The registry of trademarks

A registry for trademarks came into existence with the passing of the Trademark Act in 1999. At present, this is the operational body of the Trademark Act. In India, this is the agency entrusted with the implementation of the trademark rules of the country. Its main office is in Mumbai.  It has its branches in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Kolkata. When you register your trademark, it falls under the Trademark Act 1999. The agency inspects if the trademark fulfills the requirements for it to be registered. – https://ipindiaonline.gov.in/eregister/eregister.aspx

Registering a trademark

As mentioned above, the trademark registry evaluates your application and does the needful.  But you have to complete certain formalities before taking that final decision:

  • Practice utmost caution when choosing a trademark

See to it that your trademark is unique. It is the thing that sets you apart from your competition. Know your class and choose a trademark accordingly. You can choose from among the 45 classes of goods and services. Classes 1-34 are for goods and classes 35-45 are for services.

  • Check online

The next step is to ensure that your trademark is unique. You may visit the website of the controller general of patents, designs and trademarks. There, you will have the option to perform a public search. Determine your class and search here. You may also get legal help in the matter. The process may cost you a bit. Still, this is generally seen as a safer strategy.

  • File the application

You are offered two options here. You may file for a class 1 trademark. Here, you register your trademark only for the class you choose. For this, you will have to fill up the TM-1. You may also apply for multiple classes of trademarks. Here, you should fill up TM-A. This lets you apply for multiple classes of trademarks. The website would have information on fees and other details. Determine the category of your company and apply it accordingly.

Documents required

DocumentDescription
Proof of business registrationIdentity proof of your company’s directors and their address proofs
Soft copy of your trademarkProof that the trademark can be used in a foreign country
Power of attorneyTo be signed by the applicant

Examining the trademark

Upon submission of the application, an examiner does an in-depth analysis of your application. The agency sends you a report after examining your application. It may take up to 30 days for you to receive the report. It may have absolute or relative objections to certain processes/processes. You will have to file a reply within 30 days of accepting the examination report. You may raise your arguments against any objection given therein in this phase.

Post examination

The examiner (trademark authority) may opt for a hearing in the following two scenarios:

  • If the objections are not met
  • If the arguments against the objections raised are not satisfactory enough

Upon completion of the hearing, the examiner may forward the application for publication in the journal. The agency may even reject if the objections are not taken care of.

Advertising the trademark

If the application is accepted, it will be advertised to deal with objections from the general public.  Anyone with a grievance can file the same for the trademark published. The person, however, has to do it within four months of publication of the same. The complainant should also make sure that all legal formalities are completed when raising the objection.

Registering the trademark

This is the last step of registering your trademark. If there are no objections after advertising the trademark, the owner receives an auto-generated registration certificate. This is valid for ten years.

Benefits of registering your trademark

Apart from protection from infringement, registering your trademark offers you the following benefits:

  • You become the only owner of your trademark

As the rightful owner of your trademark, you gain the power to stop any unauthorized access to it. Registering it is a must to avail the legal protection available for you.

  • It helps you build a reputation

A trademark identifies you for the values your company upholds. Customers are sure to notice it. If you rise up to their expectations, you are sure to gain a loyal customer base.

  • It helps your product stand apart from others

Your trademark helps customers find you. You may use it to communicate to your potential customers about your unique selling points, your vision and other values.

  • You get recognized for excellence of quality

Customers attach the quality of your product to your trademark. And the ones looking for such attributes stick to you as long as you stand behind your promise.

Finally, it reduces the cost of finding new talents. Bright minds look for something different. And if your trademark fulfills that aspiration, hiring becomes a breeze.

Trademark Registration FAQs:

1. How would you define trademark?

Trademark is the thing you use to identify your products and services from that of your competitors. It is the legal name for intellectual property.

2. What is the fee structure for trademark registration in India?

The fee structure for registering a trademark in India is as follows: • For startups, small businesses and individuals: INR4500 for online registration. For offline registration, the fee is 5000. • For all other ventures, the fee for online registration is 9500. And the fee for offline registration is INR10000.

3. Where to apply for the registration of my trademark?

You may submit your application in person to the office concerned. You can also send it through the post. For online registration, you will look for the e-gateway available in the official portal.

4. How can I know the status of my trademark registration application?

Follow the steps given below to check the status of your trademark registration application: • Visit the portal of IPIndia. • Choose the National Number. • Key in the trademark registration application number. • Check the information available on the website.

5. How long will it take to register my trademark?

Registering a trademark is a time-consuming process. In a direct process, it will take up to one and a half year for the process to complete without any objection. However, you will receive an application number within two days of applying.

6. Should I wait for my trademark registration to complete to use my trademark symbol in my company’s logo?

No. You don’t have to wait for your registration to complete to use your trademark symbol in your logo. Using the same there serves as a warning to copyright violators; you have applied to register your trademark.

7. Can you differentiate between R and TM?

Anyone can use a TM symbol. Businesses generally use their TM symbol for the new products or services they launch. One does not have to wait for the registration to use it. The R indicates that the trademark is registered for the goods and services the company sells. Remember, you can use the registered trademark only in the country where it is valid.

8. Is there any restriction that I should follow when registering a trademark?

Trademark has to be unique. It should identify a particular brand. Thus you cannot use generic words for the purpose. For instance, you cannot use the word “scooter” as a trademark.

9. What is a trademark watch?

The process of registering a trademark is a lengthy one. Thus this service helps the applicant stay updated through every stage of the application. Thus a trademark watch is a service that ensures that an applicant does not miss out on any important development in the process.

10. Is a trademark must in India?

If your market is a competitive one, you may use a trademark. As mentioned above, it will protect you from your competitor taking advantage of you.

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