Trademark Application in India

In India, trademark application is essentially the legal means by which an individual or a business entity protects its unique trademark against potential misuse or infringement. The process of Trademark application can be completed in a series of steps, which include:
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  • Conducting a thorough Trademark Search
  • Filing an application for Trademark Registration under Trademark Act of 1999
  • Examination of the proposed Trademark by an authorised Examiner
  • Publication of the Trademark in the Trademark Journal for public objection
  • Final registration of Trademark if no objections are received by the Examiner or the public
As the business landscape in India is becoming increasingly competitive, understanding and navigating each step of the Trademark Application Process is becoming essential now more than ever!

Understanding the Steps of Trademark Application Process

  1. Trademark Search: Before applying for the registration of a proposed trademark, it is essential to conduct a thorough trademark search to determine if there are any similar or identical trademarks already registered or pending for registration with the concerned authority. This can be done using the Indian Trademark Registry’s online public search tool or by consulting a trademark attorney. If a similar existing trademark is found through the Trademark Search process, you must change or modify the proposed mark and then proceed with the application further to avoid infringing the IP rights of the existing trademark owner.
  2. Filing the Trademark Application:Once you are sure that your trademark does not infringe any existing registered or applied trademarks, the next step would be to file an application for Trademark Registration in the prescribed form (TM-A) with the Indian Trademark Registry. You can either file this form online through the IP India website or offline by submitting it to the relevant jurisdictional Trademark Registry Office in your locality.
  3. Examination of the Trademark Application:Once your Trademark application reaches the concerned authority, your proposed Trademark undergoes a thorough examination by the authorised Trademark Examiner who prepares a detailed Examination Report. In the report, he may either raise objections and request clarifications from the applicant or qualify the proposed Trademark for further process. If objections have been raised, the applicant must respond to the queries within the stipulated time span, typically one month, to avoid the rejection of the Trademark application.
  4. Publication in the Trademarks Journal: Once the application clears the examination stage, the proposed Trademark is published in the Trademark Journal, inviting third-party opposition against its use. The Journal can be publicly viewed and any individual or non-individual entity can raise an issue against the trademark within four months from the date of publication. If no objections have been raised within this time period, the Trademark will be considered fit for registration. However, if objections have been raised, the applicant will have to furnish a suitable reply to the objecting party.
  5. Hearing and Registration:After clearing the objections received at the Publication stage, the Trademark gets finally registered with the concerned authority and a Trademark Registration Certificate is issued as its conclusive proof. The whole process can usually be completed within 18 months. However, in exceptional circumstances it may take as long as two years or more.

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