Procedure to Register a Trademark in India
In this era of technology uniqueness is one factor that gives you edge over your competitors. However, only being unique is not enough rather it is of utmost importance to keep that uniqueness intact. One way through which you can keep up the exclusivity of your brand name and logo is trademark registration. It is a step wise procedure that helps the owner of the brand name/logo to secure his exclusive rights. Through the course of this article we will take a look at the steps involved in the procedure of trademark registration.
Step 1: Choose a brand name /logo:
Prior to beginning with the trademark registration procedure it is important for the applicant to choose a brand name or create a unique logo in case they do not possess one. There are certain rules and regulations that are prescribed by the trademark act to be followed by every person while choosing a name in order to get it trademarked. Some of these rules state that the name chosen should unique, should not hurt any religion sentiment, should not indicate any relationship with the govt etc.
Step 2: Perform a trademark search to see if the mark is available:
Once you have chosen a perfect name or logo for your business that is suitable for your business it is important that you have searched the trademark. Trademark search is a process wherein the entire database of the trademark is checked for the presence of the similar mark. This search can be conducted at the official portal of trademark registry namely ipindia.nic.in. In case no similar name is found that the said mark is considered to be available and can be preceded further for application. On the other if any similar mark already exists then it is highly recommended that the applicant should either make some changes or may a entirely distinct mark.
Step 3: File the application Online
Now, as you have a perfect and a unique brand name/logo it is the time that you should go ahead with filing the trademark application. For making the online application you are required to visit the official portal of trademark at ipindia.nic.in. In this application there is a space for the word-mark or logo that you have chosen and a space for the descriptions of goods and/or services. Make sure to fill every detail with utmost care. To make sure that the application is filled in the correct manner, you can take assistance from a trademark agent.
In case you are applying for a device mark rather than a word mark, it will go through Vienna codification where it will be further categorized.
Step 4: Examination of the Trademark Application made:
Once the application is made firstly a formality check id conducted. In this step it is ensured that the application made by the you complies with the applicable rules and regulations format wise. If the applications is found to be in line with all the formalities it will be then forwarded to the Trademark office for the examination by the trademark officer. There are certain criteria on which the application made will be checked. Some of them include the uniqueness of the mark applied, indication of the business activity, indication of geographical area etc. The time period within which your application can receive objections is 1 month from the date of filing the application. However, at this juncture, you can use the “TM” symbol with your mark. In case no objection is received it will be published in the trademark journal.
On the other hand if an objection is raised the applicant is required to submit the reply to it. If the trademark officer is satisfied with the reply filed it will process the application further on the other hand in case of being dissatisfied it will schedule a hearing. The applicant is then required to attend the hearing and put his representations with the help of an advocate.
Step 5: The trademark will then be published in the journal:
Once you have cleared the stage of the trademark objection your applied brand name will be published in the Trademark Journal. Trademark journal is weekly news paper kind of document that contains the details of the all the marks published. The trademark once published remains in the journal for a period of 3 to 4 months. This is a risky stage where there are many chances that the mark might be objected to by a third party. During this period any person from all over country can oppose the published mark in case he has a sufficient reason to believe that the registration of the mark will harm his rights. Therefore, it would be a right thing to be prepared for this.
In case an opposition is received the applicant is required to respond to that within the period of 2 months. The opponent is required to respond to that with evidence filing and then finally a hearing will be scheduled to decide the case. In this hearing both the parties will present their claims and the one with the stronger claim will win.
Step 6: issuance of Trademark registration certificate
This is the final step in the procedure of trademark registration. After the stipulated time period of 4 months is over without any opposition or you win the case in matter opposition the registrar accepts your application for registration. Consequently, they issue a Certificate of registration under the seal of trademark registry. Now, you can use the coveted “R” symbol with your mark.