Trademark Registration in India
In a layman’s language, a trademark can be defined as a design, symbol, mark, word or phrase that marks the identity for a specific product, commodity, or a service. A trademark is a very important asset for any business. In this article, we shall discuss about the frequently asked questions about the various aspect of trademark registration in India:
1. What are the good qualities of a trademark?
Iconic, coined and unique
Easy to remember, spell and pronounce.
General words such as best, fastest should be avoided.
Should not be descriptive.
2. How can I get trademark registration?
The trademark can be registered by filing Form TM-A on the Trademark portal i.e. http://www.ipindia.gov.in/ under any of the 45 classes or multiple classes as well.
3. Is registration of trademark mandatory in India?
No, registration of a Trademark is not mandatory in India but it is always advisable to do so for protection of your mark and business as well.
4. How is a trademark designated in India?
A trademark in India is designated as following:
It is used for an unregistered trademark, meaning when the trademark is not registered and the user claims to be the proprietor of the mark. It can be used as soon as the proprietor makes application for registration of the trademark.
It is used for a registered mark. Only the proprietor of a registered mark can use this symbol above (extreme right) their mark.
5. What can be registered as a trademark in India?
Following marks can be registered as a Trademark in India:
Word Mark: A Word mark consists of word and combination of words, numbers and symbols in standard form e.g.: Nike
Device Mark: Device mark means logo or label or word or combination of words used with specific style or format or shape, e.g. or
Colour: Colour mark consist a specific colour or combination of colors to indicate the usage or origin of Goods or Services.
Three-Dimensional Mark: It is used the where the product has particular shape and it is well indicated in three-dimensional mark.
Sound mark: A sound can be so distinctive to indicate something that’s why it becomes necessary to protect such sound mark.
6. Who can apply for registration of trademark?
An application for registration of the mark can be made by any person claiming to be the owner or proprietor or user of the specific mark. Further, he/she must have the intention to use that mark. For instance, If X is using the mark which is unregistered though it has gain significant place in the mark then Y cannot make an application for registration of X’s mark without having any intention to use that mark just to harass X.
7. Whether foreigners can also apply for registration of their marks in India?
Yes, foreign proprietors can also make an application for registration of their mark in India provided it is well-known and it has reached to Indians.
8. How can we know whether a similar trademark exists?
The same can be known through a public search on the trademark official portal i.e. http://ipindiaonline.gov.in/tmrpublicsearch/frmmain.aspx. Alternatively, the Registrar can be requested for preliminary advice in Form TM-M along with the requisite fees as well.
9. What is the procedure of registration of trademark?
The procedure for registration of trademark is as following:
Application: The application for registration of a trademark shall be filed in Form TM-A.
Scrutiny of mark (Objection): The scrutiny of the mark is done by the Registrar and if found satisfactory, he shall publish the same in the Trademark Journal or else issue examination report i.e. objection.
Issue of Examination Report: An examination report stating the grounds due to which the trademark shall not be considered for registration is issued by the Registrar generally within 15-20 days of filing the application.
Advertisement in Indian Trademark Journal: An application is advertised in the trademark journal so as to invite the public for filing an opposition for the mark.
Opposition: The time period to file a notice of opposition is four months from the date of advertisement of the mark in trademark journal.
Registration: Where no opposition is filed within the specified time, the application shall proceed to registration.
10. What is the fee structure for filing and registration of a trademark in India?
The statutory fee for trademark registration is Rs. 5,000/- for individual/sole proprietor, Start Up (Certificate mandatory from start up India) and Small Enterprise (MSME certificate mandatory) and in all other cases, the fees shall be Rs. 10,000/-. Please note that in case the application is being filed online, there will be a rebate of 10% i.e. the statutory fees shall be Rs. 4500/- and Rs. 9000/- accordingly.
11. How long does it take to get a trademark registered?
Normally, it takes 8-10 months for a trademark to get registered. But in case there in an objection or opposition, then it may be anywhere from almost a year to several years, depending upon the basis of legal issues that may arise.