When we think about Google, McDonalds or Nike, which image spontaneously popup into our mind?
Above images or specifically “logos” are associated with a certain company. They are called as trademarks.
Trademarks can be images, logos, banners, texts, shapes, color combinations, any graphical representations, or even audios which represent the goods and services offered by any company or individual, as well as distinguish them from others.
The trademark should be unique so that other parties or businesses cannot take disadvantage or misuse the logo to deceive or delusion the customer by selling them low-quality items or services leaving a bad imprint on them about your goods or service.
However, an unregistered trademark cannot prevent the selling of the same goods with different trademarks.
So, it is a wise decision to register a trademark for good business practice. Registration provides several benefits:
Exclusive Right: Getting trademark registered gives us authority that no-one can use it without our permission Trademark is intellectual property, which means that it is protected by law against any illegal misuse and enable the owner to gain financial benefit and credit.
Legal Remedy: Trade Mark Act gives a user remedy against unfair use.
Creation of an asset:
So, here is the step by step guide to register for trademark in India:
Selection of Trademark:
We can design a proper and unique logo or any graphics we want as a trademark. It’s also important to recognize the class of our trademark. We need to research whether the selected trademark is not used by someone else. We need to wisely select a trademark so that it faces minimum objections during the later process.
Filing an application:
Rather than visiting a trademark registration office and getting yourself involved in a tedious process, it is a quick and easy way to register online. There are many websites on the internet that will assure you to file the application for trademark registration and getting your trademark registered. But for safety, I personally prefer you to visit onlinelegalindia.com. Being recognized by the government of India, it is ISO Certified and ensures data security and privacy.
Filing an application is a super easy process and you don’t need to worry about it.
First of all, we need to visit a website on a link :
Then we need to fill out an online form that asks about the owner’s name and other important credentials such as phone no., and a photo of our logo we want as a trademark in a JPEG format which we need to upload.
Filing the Trademark application requires a government fee of Rs.4500/-.
The actual amount of government fees are Rs.9000/-. But in case you own an MSME/SSI OR Udyog Aadhar certificate, we can avail of the 50% discount (i.e Rs.4500/-).
Searching for class:
A trademark classification is a procedure in which examiners arrange trademarks and essential documents according to the description of our goods into groups or “classes”. For example, Trademark Class 1 deals with industries dealing with chemical use such as adhesives, agriculture. Etc.
Drafting of Authorization letter:
They draft Form TM-48, under The Trademarks Act (Application for the grant of national permit) on our behalf.
Uploading the required documents:
The documents we need to upload are:
Brand/ logo/ slogan name
Office/ Business address
Allotment of application number:
Once we file a trademark application we have the right to use TM symbol next to our brand or company’s name. An application number is generated which will help you to track the record of current status. But note that, only putting TM mark before our brand won’t ensure legal protection and prevent the third parties from misusing the same mark.
If our trademark consist of logo or design it is sent for Vienna Codification.
After Vienna Codification, it is sent for approval of Trademarks examiner who checks for correctness of the application. It generally takes 3-months or a year depending upon whether he raises an objection. If he raises an objection, we have 30 days to respond.
Advertisement under trademarks journal:
After the application is thoroughly examined, our trademark is published in the trademark journal for 90 days, allowing the public to raise valid objections or complaints. If any opposition is raised, the matter goes into litigation and takes a long time.
Completion of registration:
If no objection is raised or solved, our trademark is registered successfully, and we can use the R-symbol before our brand. We can enjoy a valuable asset and legal protection.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):-
What is the difference between trademark, copyright and service mark?
It protects original works in the form of intellectual property (literary, dramatic, musical, artistic etc.). A business can copyright its books, reports, audio or video materials.
It protects words, names, symbols, colors, etc that distinguish products and services from those of others. It indicates the source of the goods. A company can register its business name, logos, slogans, etc that create the brand image of a company.
The government grants an exclusive right to an inventor for an invention for a limited period of time in exchange for the disclosure of the discovery to the general public.
How long does it take for completing trademark registration?
Filed trademark registration application processed and approved by the trademark examiner if satisfied; it will take 10-24 months. Once your trademark gets approval, you can use the ‘R’ symbol with the brand names.
How long is registered trademark valid for?
Registered Trademarks are valid for 10 years from the date of filing the application. The trademark owner can file for renewal of the trademark to keep it protected for more time prior to the end of the validity
What if someone has a similar word trademarked?
Though you can’t get the word still all is not lost. You can design a unique logo instead of your business and include the name in it like BMW. The name is within the logo making it a great example. A prefix could also be permissible. This is known as a logo composite mark. Though there is a way out, it is best to have a unique name.
Who can apply for trademark?
An application for registration may be made by any person who wants to be the owner of a mark for such goods and services for which he is using or intends to use the mark. The owner/ proprietor must have the intention to use the mark At the time of filing the application. Foreign proprietors can also apply for registration of the trademark in India.