How to get Trademark in India?
In India trademarks are registered under TradeMarks Act, 1999 which came into effect from 15th September, 2003 onwards. But what exactly are trademarks? Have any idea? How to get Trademark in India, A Trademark is a unique or distinct
- alphanumeric number,
- letter or
- a combination of either or all the above
that can only be used by the proprietor once it gets registered with the TradeMarks Office. For instance, the half eaten apple is the trademark of Apple Inc. which manufactures products like iPod, iPhone, MacBook Air etc. Similarly, pouncing cat is the logo of Puma.
Why is trademark registration important?
A trademark allows businesses to get recognition. It helps them create a brand name for themselves. A trademark once registered provides exclusive right of use to the proprietor. Upon registration the trademark cannot be used by anyone else except for the proprietor. The use of a trademark without prior permission of its proprietor is punishable by law. For example, if a clothes manufacturer uses Adidas’ name without the company’s permission then it is committing theft and fraud. Thus he is liable to be punished by law.
Trademark registration in India is not mandatory but if you have a brand name then it is better to get it registered under the Act to prevent copying, misuse etc.
Search through TradeMarks database
Trademark registration process is tedious and time-consuming. It is a lengthy process that might even take up a couple of years. Before you start trademark registration process you must search through Trademarks database to check availability of trademark. One can only get a trademark registered if its unique and hasn’t been registered before. For instance, if you wish to register logo of half eaten apple or a similar to one Apple Inc. uses, you cannot do that as it is already registered under someone else’s name.
Nowadays Government is quite particular about registering trademarks and ensures that there is least similarity with already registered ones to prevent any and every sort of infringement and fraud. Upon searching through the database if you are confident that the trademark is not yet registered begin the registration process. You can conduct the search either online by visiting TradeMarks website or visiting any of the TradeMarks Office.
Apply for trademark registration
The first step towards getting your trademark registered is applying for it in Form TM-1. The form can either be submitted at any of the 5 TradeMarks Offices depending upon the jurisdiction or filled online by logging on to TradeMarks Registration website. The application must contain information about the trademark you wish to register along with the class under which it falls. You must also fill in name of the proprietor along with full address. You are also required to describe the nature of goods or service the trademark is being registered for. Lastly, you must mention the date since trademark is being used. The application must be submitted along with registration fee.
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Examination of application
Once application is submitted with the TradeMarks Office, an allotment number is provided to the applicant. Upon submission of application with the Registrar, it is sent for verification under Vienna Codification. Once that is done, application is forwarded to the TradeMarks Officer for examination. The Officer upon verification of details issues a report, which can be with our without objections.
If the report carries objections, proprietor can make written representations in front of the Officer. If the Officer agrees with the representation and is satisfied with the explanations, the application is finalized. But if he is not, then proprietor can further appeal to Intellectual Property Appellate Board for a formal hearing.
Publication in Trademark Journal
Upon acceptance of application of trademark registration by the Registrar, the notice is published in the TradeMark Journal. If no objection is received within 90 days of publication of notice, the trademark is registered in the name of the proprietor. The TradeMarks Office then hands over the certificate to the applicant making him its proprietor.
A trademark is registered for a maximum period of 10 years upon completion of which it must be renewed. There are no limits on number of renewals but every renewal is done only for a period of 10 years.
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