A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a recognizable sign, design or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity trademarks are also being displayed on company buildings.
The law considers a trademark to be a form of property. Proprietary rights in relation to a trademark may be established through actual use in the marketplace, or through registration of the mark with the trademarks office (or "trademarks registry") of a particular jurisdiction.
Trademark Registration Process
1. Trademark search
Although it is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended to conduct a trademark search before filing for a trademark registration application to ensure that there is not a prior existing mark similar to yours that could prevent your mark obtaining registration. It is also useful for you to know whether there are similar marks in the marketplace.
2. Drafting and Filing of Trademark Registration Application
Once the relevant searches have been conducted with the results showing the mark is not too similar to a previously existing mark, then a trademark application is filed with Trade Marks Registry India.
At this stage it is necessary to define the goods and services for which trademark protection is sought. This should be as broad as possible (but not so broad as to be meaningless) as you are endowed protection from a potential infringer only for the goods and services covered by the application. It should include even future uses of the mark.
Government fees for filing single trademark registration application is Rs.3,500/-
3. Examination Report
Trade Marks Registry will then examine the mark to ensure it meets the requirements for registrability in India. Examination currently occurs around 8-10 months after filing the application, however it is possible to request an expedited examination by paying extra government fees.
4. Respond to objections, if any
Objections arising from examination are common. They can often be overcome by:
• submitting legal arguments as to why the mark should indeed be registered; or
• providing evidence that the mark has been in use for a sufficient time; or
• altering the goods/services of the trade mark specification.
5. Acceptance before Registration
If there are no objections from Trade Marks Registry, or they are overcome, then a notice of acceptance will issue. The acceptance and details of the mark will be published shortly thereafter in the Trade Marks Journal, and once published, there is a four months period in which other parties can formally oppose the registration of the mark.
If there are no oppositions within 4 months from the date of advertisement in the Trade Marks Journal, then the trademark registration certificate will issue. Once registered a trademark will be valid for 10 years thereafter it can be renewed for another 10 years upon paying the government fees.