How to File a Trademark Application in India?: A Step-by-Step Guide

Filing a trademark application for Trademark Registration in India is an important step for businesses to protect their brand identity and distinguish their goods or services from those of their competitors in the market. That’s because a registered trademark cannot be plagiarized by any other business for the specific class of goods/services it is already being used.
However, the process of filing a trademark application can be complex as it requires careful planning and immense attention to detail. So, it is important that you understand every aspect of how to file a Trademark Application in India to guarantee a successful registration and protection for your trademark in the years to come.
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Steps for Filing Trademark Application in India

Step 1: Understand the Eligibility Criteria
Before filing a trademark application in Form TM-A, it is important to ensure that the proposed trademark meets all the eligibility criterias for registration. It must be distinctive, non-generic, and not similar or identical to any existing trademark.
Step 2: Determine the Appropriate Class(es) of Goods or Services
Trademarks are registered under the specific classes of goods or services for which they are intended to be used. In India, we follow the Nice Classification system of goods or services for this purpose. Using this system, the applicant must determine the appropriate class of goods or services for which they want to get their trademark registered.
Step 3: Conduct a Trademark Search
After identifying the appropriate class of goods or services, you need to conduct a thorough search of the proposed trademark in the same class through the online database of the Indian Trademark Registry. If any similar marks are already found existing, registered, or pending for registration, you might have to modify or completely change your mark to continue further with the filing process.
Step 4: Prepare the TM-A Application Form
Once you are sure that your Trademark is available for use, you can proceed with filing the Trademark Application for Registration. A complete understanding of how to file a Trademark Application in India is crucial in getting your trademark registered. The form used for this purpose is called TM-A and can be filed both online as well as offline. In case of online filing, the applicant will have to create an account on the Trademark Registry’s website, access the form, and fill in the necessary details in it. In case of offline filing, the form must be downloaded from the website or obtained from the Trademark Registry Office, and then the details must be manually filled into it. The details to be filled in the application include:
  • Name, address, and nationality of the applicant
  • Representation of the trademark
  • Details of the class(es) of goods or services for which the trademark is sought
  • Date of first/prior use of the trademark (if any)
  • Statement of use of the trademark
  • Details of the trademark owner (if the applicant is not the trademark owner)
Step 5: Submit the TM-A Application Form
After completing the application form, attach necessary supporting documents like the user affidavit, attorney authorisation and the image in JPEG of the Trademark (applicable only in case of device marks). Finally, save and submit the application on the trademark portal and proceed for payment of the government filing fee.
Step 6: Pay the Government Filing Fees
The filing fees for a trademark application depends on whether it is filed for a single class of goods or services or multiple classes. The prescribed government fee for individuals, and businesses registered as MSME or Startups recognised by the DPIIT is Rs. 4500/- per application for a single class. For all other applicant types the prescribed trademark filing fee is Rs. 9,000/- per application for a single class. After the payment of the application fee, an acknowledgement of trademark application filing is generated, using which you can keep a track of your application’s status until your trademark is ultimately registered.
Note: Simply understanding how to file a trademark application in India and submitting your form accordingly, does guarantee Trademark Registration. The Trademark Registry may raise objections if there are any issues with your proposed trademark, such as similarity to existing marks or failure to meet eligibility criteria. You may be asked to modify your proposed mark to meet the conditions prescribed by the Department.