Overview of Trademark Registration
Trademark Registration plays a vital role in enhancing the business image and goodwill. Besides, this registration ensures the unique positioning of goods and services, thereby enabling businesses to reap more profit. In general, Trademark registration serves as a legit instrument that provides comprehensive fencing of the company's intangible assets such as brand name and logo against possible infringement.
Getting Trademark registration is a tedious affair considering the quantum of compliances presented in the prevailing Act. Presently, it is governed by the Trademark Act, 1999, which lays down various provisions relating to registration, eligibility criteria, and type of rights accessible to the owner.
Types of trademarks that can be registered in India
A trademark refers to a brand or a logo that distinguish one's product from others. Trademark is the legal term for "intellectual property".
Trademark can be a word, name, logo, tagline, symbol, image or a combo of these elements. A trademark identifies the brand owner of a specific product or service.
Below mentioned are the different type of Trademark that stands eligible for registration in India.
Words and service marks
The wordmark is primarily referred to as any mark used to identify the products and services of a particular company or a service-oriented firm. Service marks, on the contrary, are used to indicate the services of a service-oriented firm.
As the name suggests, the Shape marks refer to marks that are the shapes of the product or packaging. It helps distinguish one's product from others on the basis of shape and appearance.
Logos and symbols
Logos and symbols refer to the printed design/ figure or character or painted figures or design denotes the firm's name, service, or product's name.
Collective Marks are vital marks owned by the companies or associations. Such marks impart distinctiveness to the organizational origin.
For example, the international charitable trust "Red Cross" leverages such marks to separate its members & services from other identical establishments. Moreover, it deters others from using their mark as they adhere to a global reputation and reliability.
Series marks, aka Series of trademarks, are regarded as a plurality of marks with either a common prefix or suffix. It is a radically new concept, but there are some norms for it in the Trademarks Act of 1999
This mark is registered to ensure conformity with local standards and regulations. Unlike other trademark types, this mark is not used by an individual other than an authorized user. Furthermore, to ensure additional protection, these certification bodies cannot confer certification marks for their own use, as stipulated by the "duty of neutrality."
Potential Benefits of Trademark registration
- Provide much-needed thrust to a brand value which could further be translated into increased sales for the company.
- Facilitate exclusive ownership right to the owner, i.e. ensuring complete fencing of concerned IP asset
- Enable companies to reduce marketing campaign budget for promoting particular goods and services.
- Create IP assets for the company that can be sold, assigned, franchised or commercially contracted
- Vest owners with rights to sue the infringer in case of trademark infringement
Trademark Registration: Mandatory Documentations
- Applicant's identity proof
- Aadhar Card
- Certificate of Incorporation (COI), in case of companies registered under Company Act, 2013
- Logo if it is applicable and available
- Address proof
Detailed Trademark Registration Process
Following is the step-by-step process of registering a Trademark in India:
Step 1: Conduct the Trademark Search
Many entrepreneurs overlook the significance of a Trademark Search. Having a distinctive brand name or logo in mind is not a fair enough reason to avert a TM search. This aids you to get accustomed to identical trademarks available & it gives a clear picture of where your mark stands. It also provides you with a forewarning relating to trade litigation.
Step 2: Filing Trademark Application
After you are sure that your selected mark or logo is non-conflicting in nature, you can proceed to register the same. The first and foremost step is to file the prescribed application at the Trademark Registry India. Nowadays, the facility of online filing is available to the applicant. After filing the said application, an acknowledgement receipt is generated by the official portal for future reference.
Step 3: Verification of Application and Documents
After application filing, the scrutiny process comes into effect. It is conducted by a designated official known as an examiner. The verification process might take around 12-18 months.
After inspection, the examiner may accept the concerned mark absolutely, conditionally or object.
- If accepted unconditionally, the Trademark in question shall find its way to the Trademark Journal.
- If not accepted unconditionally, the stipulates to be met, or the objection would be cited in the examination report & one month time would be granted to the applicant to meet the conditions or response to the objections. If the examiner finds the applicant's response satisfactory, the mark in question shall be published in the Trademark Journal
- In case of non-acceptance of response, the applicant would get the chance to represent their case in the hearing. Upon receiving a satisfactory response from the applicant, the examiner may render his/her approval and publish the concerned mark in the Trademark Journal.
Step 4: Publication of Trademark in Trademark Journal
Publishing the mark in the trademark journal helps the authority to invite objections from third parties. In case no objection is raised in the given timeline. The authority may grant their approval to proceed further. On the contrary, if the mark somehow attracts some objections, the authority would conduct a fair hearing.
Step 5: Grant of Trademark Registration by Registrar
Finally, the registrar grants the registration certificate to the applicant in question, which would remain valid for ten years. The registrar shall enclose the trademark office seal on the certificate.
Get in Touch with Arvisa Professional to Avail Best Services Regarding Trademark Registration
Trademark Act 1999 pens down a long list of requirements for registering a given mark or logo in India. It is needless to mention complying with such conditions requires a fair amount of field knowledge and expertise. Arvisa, as a Tech-savvy platform, strives to facilitate unmatched services regarding trademark registration and underlying conditions. Besides, we have a separate team of experts and professionals that strictly deal with trademark-related affairs and help clients secure trademark registration with minimal effort and cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
At the national/regional level, a trademark certificate could be availed via registration by filling a prescribed application and paying the standard fees. At the international level, the applicant has two options: either he/she can file a trademark application with the concerned trademark office of each nation in which you are aiming to avail protection, or you can use the Madrid System.
How does Trademark registration ensure comprehensive legal fencing for intangible assets like logo or name?
In principle, a trademark registration shall accord an exclusive right relating to the use of a registered Trademark. This indicates that the Trademark in question can be exclusively used by its owner or licensed to third-party for use in return for payment. Trademark registration facilitates legal certainty and reinforces the position of the owner in case of legal disputes.
The trademark registration serves a validity period of 10 years in general. The owner can renew it after filing the request with the concerned trademark office. The renewal seeks submission of standard fees that go along with the application. Trademark rights are exclusive rights, and protection is ensured via court orders.
A word or a string of words, numerals, alphabets can ideally constitute a trademark. But trademarks may also comprise symbols, drawings, and 3-D features such as shape and good's packaging, non-visible signs like fragrances or sounds, or colour shades utilized as distinguishing features.
Trademark Act, 1999 is the primary regulatory source for Trademark registration in India.
World Intellectual Property Organization, broadly known as WIPO, is an international institution that aims to advocate the global protection of both industrial property such as design, inventions, and trademarks and copyrighted materials (artistic, musical, literary, photographic, musical works)
IP Indian online is a government-backed web portal that allows Indian nationals to register for a trademark via electronic mode.