Trademark Registration Process

  • Setindiabiz Team
  • November 25, 2023
Trademark Registration Process | Procedure of TM Registration in India

The blog will help you gain deeper knowledge about the trademark registration process. Having better understanding of a trademark & its process can be beneficial in protecting your brand identity from any unauthorized use or infringement. Protect your brand identification and push it to walk on the path of long-lasting success by following the tips mentioned in the further blog.

BRIEF SUMMARY

We all know that building a brand’s identity takes a lot of time, energy, and capital. Usually, the means of building brand identity include unique symbols like brand name, logo, slogan, packaging, smell, color combinations, and even sounds.

However, creation of brand identity through these symbols does not guarantee that you can make benefits out of it unless you opt for registering the same symbol under the Trademark Act.

Learn about the registration process of trademark step by step to help you gain a clear and comprehensive understanding. It helps protect your unique mark of identity. The Trademark Registration process includes various steps i.e. classification of the mark, preliminary trademark search and above all, application filing; prescribed under the Trademark Act of 1999. The Act regulates the registration of trademarks in India.

On successful completion of the procedure of registration of trademark, an application will get a trademark certificate with a validity of up to 10 years.After that period, the trademark holders need to renew the same before its expiry to continue the validity.

Trademark Definitions & Meaning

A trademark is defined under Section 2(zb) of the Trademark Act, as a mark capable of being graphically represented and distinguishing the goods and services of one business from those of another. It may include the shape of goods, their packaging and also colors’ combination.

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Any individual, business, or legal entity can own a trademark.Trademarks are administered by the Indian Trademark Department, which comes under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Trademark Types

Before moving to the process of trademark registration in India, it is important to understand what qualifies as a Trademark. There are different types of trademarks as per their symbolic purpose.From logos, designs to sounds, each type of trademark has its own importance and plays a unique role in safeguarding a brand’s identity.

Let’s explore what some common types of trademarks really are.

  • Word Marks: These are the simplest form of trademarks, that consists of words, letters, or numbers. Some wordmark examples include iconic brand names like Coca-Cola or Google.
  • Design Marks: Visual elements, like logos, graphics, or any symbols, make up design marks. Some top examples of design marks are the Nike swoosh and Apple’s bitten apple.
  • Combined Marks: These combine both words and design elements. Famous examples of combined marks include the McDonald’s golden arches with the brand name.
  • Slogan Marks: Catchy and memorable phrases or slogans that uniquely identify a brand come under this category of slogan marks. Think of Nike’s “Just Do It” or McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It.”
  • Product Packages: This extends beyond traditional trademarks to cover the overall appearance and feel of a product or its packaging. The distinctive shape of the Coca-Cola bottle is a notable trade dress example.
  • Sound Marks: Recognizing that brands can be auditory experiences too, sound marks protect distinctive sounds associated with a brand. The Intel jingle is a classic sound mark.
  • Color Marks: Specific colors associated with a brand can be protected as trademarks. Think of the distinctive Tiffany blue or UPS brown.

Trademark Registration Process: A Brief Overview

Trademark registration process in India is a legal procedure through which an individual/business can secure exclusive rights to use a particular mark related to their goods or services.It is an important step that helps in establishing and protecting brand identity by offering a legal protection against any infringement or unauthorized use by any other person/party in the market. While common law rights exist for unregistered marks, the registration process of trademark provides a higher grade of protection and legal foundation for building your brand identity.

Trademark Registration Process A Brief Overview

Why is Trademark Registration Required?

The procedure for trademark registration in India offers a wide range of benefits to its owners, and therefore makes it a strategic move for almost all sizes of businesses.

Primarily, it grants the applicant the exclusive rights to use the mark in connection with their intended goods or services, creating a legal presumption of ownership and validity. As a result, it plays a role of a powerful deterrent against potential infringers and also gives you legal right to take legal actions in case of any unauthorised use or infringement of your trademark.

Above all, a registered trademark can prove to be a valuable asset, capable of being licensed, sold, or even used as collateral.

Beyond the practical aspects, the registration process of trademark also increases brand credibility that increases confidence among consumers as well as investors.

A Stepwise Guide to Trademark Registration Process

Undergoing a legitimate procedure for Trademark Registration in India is necessary to build a unique brand identity and protect intellectual property rights. It can turn out to be a great move for the businesses that are looking forward to protecting and maintaining their exclusivity in the market.

Right from the searching for a unique mark to the final issuance of the trademark registration certificate, each step of trademark registration is important for securing exclusive rights and fortifying the brand’s legal standing.

Here’s a detailed explanation of the step by step process for Trademark Registration to help you understand better.

Step 1: Trademark Classification

In the first step of the process of trademark registration, businesses need to classify their Trademark into established categories predefined under the NICE Classification System. The Nice Classification System comprises 45 classes of goods and services, where classes 1 to 34 represent goods and while the remaining ones represent services.

Trademarks are classified and registered into those classes for which they are intended to be used. In other words, classification of a trademark determines the scope of protection and use of a Trademark, thus laying a precise foundation for the registration process of trademark.

Step 2: Trademark Search

Another important step before getting into the process for trademark registration is to search for the trademark comprehensively. This step involves searching local and international databases to check if there are any similar or identical marks that could create a challenge while registering your desired mark. A deep trademark search not only helps minimize the risk of objections during the examination/review process but also helps businesses in making informed decisions about the uniqueness and viability of their chosen mark.

Step 3: Trademark Application Filing

Once all the prerequisites have been fulfilled, the next step of the trademark registration process is to file a trademark application. The application is submitted online to the relevant intellectual property office, requesting an examination as well as approval of the mark. It includes necessary details such as the applicant’s information, a representation of the mark, and the specified class of products/services for which it is intended to be used.

Accuracy and completeness are above all at this crucial stage to enable a hassle-free progression through the trade mark registration process step by step.

Step 4: Trademark Fees Payment

Once the application is filed, the applicant needs to file the payment of requisite fees. These fees cover the costs associated with processing the application, conducting examinations, and other administrative functions. Applicants also need to be familiar with the fee structure applicable to them as per the type of their business and number of classes their trademark is to be registered.

Step 5: Trademark Examination

In this stage, a keep review/examination of the proposed trademark by the concerned department takes place. The main reason behind this review is to assess the uniqueness as well as availability of the proposed trademark.

Additionally this step helps to confirm whether the mark meets the criteria for distinctiveness, non-descriptiveness, and adherence to other legal formalities or not. An examination report is prepared by the Examiner, highlighting any objections that may cause hindrance or delay in the trade mark registration process.

Step 6: Replying to Objections

Addressing objections raised during the examination stage is extremely crucial to take the trade mark registration process further. The applicant must respond to the objections within 30 days from the date on which they were raised.

If the examiner is satisfied, they will proceed to the next stage. However, if unsatisfied, the examiner may summon a show cause hearing to resolve the issue.

Step 7: Trademark Publication

Upon settlement of the objections, the approved trademark application moves to the publication stage. The mark is published in the trademark journal, a publicly accessible document inviting potential third-party oppositions. Third-party oppositions may arrive on grounds like the similarity of the mark with other marks. These need to be settled before the application is finally processed for Trademark Registration.

Step 8: Settlement of Third-Party Opposition

In instances where third parties raise objections or oppositions during the specified period, resolution becomes a critical aspect of the trademark registration process. This step involves negotiation, settlement, or legal proceedings to address the concerns raised by opposing parties. Only after a successful resolution of all public oppositions, the department will consider proceeding with the application.

Step 9: Trademark Certification Granted

The last milestone of the trade mark registration process step by step is achieved when the applicant is granted a Trademark Certificate. This official document serves as tangible proof of the exclusive rights conferred to him. Once issued, it remains valid for 10 years from the date of application.

Throughout this period, the Trademark remains protected against unauthorised use and plagiarism.

Step 10: Trademark Renewal

Trademark protection is not everlasting, and in the final step of the trademark registration process, trademark owners must renew their trademarks to maintain their rights. Failing to the trademark renewal before the deadline, may result in the loss of protection. The renewal process is almost similar to the original registration process. There is no predefined limit on how many times a trademark can be renewed.

Trademark registration process is a useful tool for the businesses that is beneficial in protecting their brand identity. From selecting classifications to handling objections and continuous renewals, each step adds a distinct layer of legal protection. The process can’t be taken as a compliance only but it’s also a strategic investment beneficial in securing a brand’s credibility and ownership in the competitive landscape.

Conclusion

FAQs

Q1: What is the step by Step Trade mark Registration Process?

Trademark Registration stepwise process include:

 

  1. Trademark Classification & Search
  2. Application Filing
  3. Payment Trademark Registration Fees
  4. Trademark Examination & Reply to Objection if any
  5. Trademark Publication
  6. Settlement of Third Party Dispute
  7. Issuance of Trademark Certificate

Q2: Why is the Trademark Registration Process important for businesses?

The procedure of registration of trademark in India is highly important for the businesses as it offers legal protection, deters potential infringers, and enhances brand credibility. It shows a commitment to securing a unique identity in the market.

Q3: How long does the Trademark Registration Process take?

The duration of the trademark registration process may vary from one to another. It, however, may take some months to a year. The potential factors like objections, oppositions, and also the work load or efficiency of the intellectual property office can influence the time taken for the trade mark registration process.

Q4: Can I handle the Trade mark Registration Process on my own?

While it’s possible to follow the initial stages, the intricacies of the trademark registration process often require legal expertise. Consulting a trademark attorney or seeking legal consultant can help you in accurate filings, determine objections, and thus increase the chances of your trademark registration.

Q5: What happens after the Trade mark Registration Process is complete?

On successful completion of the trade mark registration process, the applicant obtains a certification granting exclusive rights. Ongoing responsibilities include monitoring for potential infringements, timely renewals, and also protecting the registered mark’s integrity in the market.

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3 thoughts on “Trademark Registration Process”

  1. This is such a powerful article on trademark registration process in India and I’m so happy I got the chance to read it. Thank you so much!

  2. Very good blog to read as complete information is very useful. Thanks a lot for sharing process of trademark registration in very very simple steps.

  3. I haven¦t checked in here for a while as I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I¦ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

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