Trade Marks Act of 1999 regulates the trademark registration in India. It intends to provide registration and legal protection towards trademarks as well as prevents the use of any fraudulent marks. As per the general legal position in India for trademark brand registration, below ones can constitute a trademark-
- Coined or invented words
- Letters, Numerals, and Devices
- Combination of shapes and colors of goods
- Domain Names
- Sound Marks
- Three-dimensional marks
The Procedure To Register A Trademark
1) Search For A Unique Brand Name
You get the point, eh? Come up with a quirky and unique brand name as most of the times all the generic ones are already taken. Before zeroing in on one specific name, do a quick search to ensure no one else is using the same name. The best bet would be to use coined or invented words, in a combination of generic words.
2) Filling The Trademark Application
Now that you have finalized a unique name for your brand, fill in the trademark application i.e., Form-T.M. The total fee may vary depending on the prosecution of the trademark application of yours. However, the government fee is only INR 4000.
Along with the application to register a trademark brand, you will require submitting documents like:
- A Business Registration Concern: Depending on the type of a registered business you have, like the sole proprietorship, etc., you will need to submit an address proof and an identity proof of the directors of the company.
- The standard size image of your brand logo.
- If applicable, you also need to submit a proof of claim of the proposed mark being used before in your native country.
3) File The Brand Name Registration
Currently, there are two ways to file the registration in India-e-filling or manual filling.
In case of e-filing, the acknowledgement of the application is issued as soon as you fill in all the essential information on the IPO gateway. Once you receive the acknowledgement, you are eligible to use the trademark symbol next to your brand name.
However, in case of manual filing, you personally need to walk down and submit the application for trademark brand registration in any of the government offices of the RTM (Registrar of Trade Marks). These offices are located in different cities. You can search online the nearest one from your place. Once you file the application, you will receive the acknowledgement of the application and the receipt within 15 to 20 days.
4) Processing Of Your Application
After filing the application, the Registrar checks if your brand name abides by all the laws, and doesn’t dispute or conflict with any other existing or pending brands. It’s why; remember to come up with a unique brand name! If found any objection, you and the objecting party will be summoned for a hearing before the Trademark Hearing Office to provide evidence of their stand. Based on the arguments and evidence, the officers decide whether to accept or reject your trademark application.
5) Publishing Your Brand Name In Trademark Journal
After examination, the relevant authorities publish your brand name or logo in the Indian Trade Mark Journal. If no one objects or raises an opposition within 90 days (in some cases it is 120 days) from the date of application, your brand name proceeds to acceptance in India.
6) Issuing The Certificate Of Registration
If no one raises any concern, the Registrar not only publishes the brand name or logo in Indian Trade Mark Journal but also issues a Certificate of Registration under the seal of Trademark Registry. After which you can start using registered trademark symbol next to your logo or brand name.
Although registering a trademark takes around 18-24 months, it is definitely worth investing your efforts and time to protect your brand legally. Once the trademark is accepted, it is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of issuance. After this period, the trademark will need to be renewed for another 10 years.