A Guide to Trademark Filing in India
A trademark is a symbol or a sign that helps distinguish a company's goods and services from others. It is an essential tool that helps companies build a strong brand identity, so it is crucial to protect it. In India, the process of trademark filing is governed by the Trademarks Act of 1999 and the rules framed thereunder.
Let us check out the process of trademark filing in detail.
Advantages of Trademark
A registered trademark in India provides the following benefits to the proprietor:
- The exclusive right to use the trademark as a brand name for the products and services listed in the registration.
- The authority to allow others to use the trademark in connection with the products and services listed in the registration.
- The trademark can be sold as personal property.
- Protection of trademark registration throughout the country.
- A stronger position to prevent others from using a similar or identical trademark on the same or comparable goods or services.
- The ability to prevent the importation of items that may infringe on the trademark by giving notice to the Indian Customs Authority.
Process of Registering a Trademark in India
Step 1: Trademark Search
Before filing an application for trademark online registration, it is essential to conduct a thorough trademark search to ensure that the mark is not already registered or used by someone else. The trademark search can be conducted online on the official website of the Trademark Registry, which is maintained by the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks (CGPDTM).
Step 2: Application
Once the trademark search is completed, the next step is to file the trademark application. The trademark application can be filed online or offline. To file an online trademark application, the applicant must create an account on the official website of the Trademark Registry, i.e., www.ipindia.gov.in, and follow the instructions on the website. To file an offline trademark application, the applicant must download the appropriate form from the website and submit it in person or by posting it to the appropriate Trademark Registry. A trademark application must include the following:
- The applicant's name, address, and nationality.
- A trademark representation in the form of a logo or a wordmark.
- A list of goods and/or services associated with the trademark.
- The class or classes of goods and/or services associated with the trademark.
- The fees for filing the trademark application, which is dependent on the number of classes of goods and/or services included in the application.
Step 3: Examination of the Trademark Application
After the trademark application is filed, it undergoes an examination by the Trademark Registry. The examination is conducted to ensure that the mark meets the requirements for registration. The examination includes a review of the application to ensure that it is complete and accurate and a review of the trademark to ensure that it is not similar to any existing registered or pending trademarks. The examination process can take up to six months.
Step 4: Publication of the Trademark Application
If the trademark application complies with the requirements for registration, it is published in the Trademark Journal. The Trademark Journal is a weekly publication listing all the trademark applications accepted for publication. The purpose of the publication is to invite objections or oppositions, if any, from the public.
Step 5: Opposition Proceedings
Once the trademark is published in the Trademark Journal, any interested party can file an opposition to the trademark registration within four months from the publication date. The opposition proceedings can take up to two or more years and be initiated by anyone with a legitimate interest in the matter.
Step 6: Registration of the Trademark
If no opposition is filed within the stipulated period or if the opposition is dismissed, the trademark is registered, and a registration certificate is issued. The certificate of registration is proof of ownership of the trademark. It provides the owner with exclusive rights to use the trademark in relation to the goods or services for which it is registered.
Renewal of Trademark
Trademark registration is valid for a period of ten years from the date of registration. After the registration expiry, it can be renewed for another ten years by filing a renewal application. The renewal application can be filed within twelve months before the registration expiry or within twelve months after the registration expiry by paying the requisite fees.
Trademark filing is a necessary process that provides exclusive rights to the proprietor to use, license, or sell the trademark. In India, trademarks are registered under the Trade Marks Act of 1999 and provide a range of benefits to the proprietor, including protection of the trademark throughout the country and the ability to prevent others from using a similar or identical trademark. The trademark online registration process in India involves application filing, examination and publication, and registration.