A trademark plays a huge role in promoting your products. It offers information about the product's quality. If you get your trademark registered, it will enable your enterprise to acquire special and individual rights to distribute, use or assign a mark on your products. India is a highly competitive market for company owners, and you can find vast numbers of new products and brands that keep emerging every day.
So, in this huge corporate jungle, you need to prevent anybody else from reaping the benefit of your brand or name. To do this, you need to legally protect your business, and that's what trademark registration is all about.
This article will discuss the trademark registration process, its necessity/importance and allow you to understand the benefits.
Did you know?
1.4 lacs industrial trademarks were registered in India in the financial year 2020. In 2019, the number was 3,16,798. In comparison, in the same year in the US, 10,70,235 trademark patent applications were filed.
Step-By-Step Process to Apply for a Trademark Registration
The process of getting trademark registration involves:
- Filing a trademark registration request
- Examining the trademark publication website or giving out an advertisement for the trademark that you are planning to acquire
- Opposition (objections) raised or identified if any
- The actual registration of the trademark
The process of registering trademarks is easy, but we suggest engaging the assistance of an experienced trademark lawyer during the registration process to make it easier.
How Do I Search for Trademarks?
The applicant should take care of several aspects when selecting a trademark. There are numerous types of trademarks available. So, it's crucial to conduct a public search of the trademark database available through the trademarks registry, to ensure that the trademark is distinctive and that there isn't another similar one that is already existing.
The trademark search reveals all kinds of trademarks available on the marketplace, whether registered or not. If something is too close to yours, better plan to change it for uniqueness.
You Must Complete the Trademark Application
The trademark registration application could be filed in one class or in a multi-class format depending on the services/products that the company is involved with. The application for registering a trademark is from TMA, which you can submit online via IP India's website or physically at the Trade Marks Office. It completely relies on the trademark's jurisdictional status of the applicant.
The trademark registration application needs to be accompanied by multiple documents containing all the trademark details for which registration is requested. In addition, if the applicant is asserting an earlier use of trademarks, then they must file an affidavit that substantiates the usage and the proof of the previous usage.
Examining the Trademark Application by the Governing Authority
Following the submission for the trademark registration, an examination report must be released by an Examiner after a thorough examination of the trademark application in accordance with the rules in the 2016 trademarks act. The report of the examination authority could provide a list of objections that can be absolute or relative. The Trademark Authority will issue a report of the examination within thirty days from applying for the trademark registration.
A reply to the examination report must be filed within the timeframe of 30 days from the date of receipt of the report, stating the reasons and supporting any objections to them. No matter which business you’ll be choosing to open, you must have good knowledge about the types of industries in India.
Following the responses filed to the examination report, an examiner can schedule a hearing when it is determined that the examiner is not completely satisfied with the response filed or if the objections raised are not addressed. After the hearing, the examiner could accept the trademark and then forward the application to be published in the journal or deny the application in case any objections persist.
Advertising the Trademark
When the registration application is accepted, The trademark will be announced and then released in the trademarks journal for the first 4 months. The advertisement/publication intends to invite the public to file an objection to trademark registration. Trade marks journal is available through the official IP India site, which is updated on Mondays of each week.
Opposition by the General Public
After the publication and advertisement on the brand, every dissatisfied individual can file a complaint to contest the trademark registration for the trademark advertised or published. The notice of opposition to the trademark should be filed using a special form. If the trademark faces rejection, you'll have to follow the proper legal procedure. This includes filing a counter-statement, submitting evidence and hearing to complete the trademark registration.
The Trademark Registration
The very last step in the entire process is registration. The application registration will complete after defeating the objections to the registration of the trademark. Additionally, if there were no objections to the trademark's registration in the 4-month advertising or publication period, then the trademark will be issued with an auto-generated registration certificate within one week. When the trademark registration is completed, it will be valid for 10 years. After that, it will need renewal within a specified time frame.
Benefits of Having a Trademark Registration
There are many reasons to apply for trademark registration. They are necessities for all enterprises and entrepreneurs since it is an important asset to the business. There are numerous benefits of applying for trademark registration.
Intellectual Property Protection
Trademark registration offers legal protection against the use or copying of the business's name or logo registered. The trademark proprietor gets the trademark's rights and legal protection from unauthorised usage. Registration of trademarks lets the trademark owner have worldwide rights to the trademark and that is legally valid. Trademark registration provides an official acknowledgement to the public that the owner owns this brand.
Powerful Deterrent From Unauthorised Usage
A trademark owner avails the right to publicly promote the brand as a trademark. This will alert others and help to prevent the defence of unwanted violations. After you register the trademark, you'll search reports which can deter other applicants from pursuing the same mark or similar one.
If you're first to sign up for the trademark, The National trademark office in New Delhi will deny registration of any similar trademark.
While obtaining the trademark registration in India, the trademark owner could recuperate up to triple damages from the person who infringed their trademark. The trademark owner is the only legitimate owner of the trademark and hence, the registration of a trademark grants the owner the right to take action against anyone who uses the trademark to unwantedly sue in any legal proceeding.
A registered trademark marks your ownership over the brand, logo, or name. It protects your brand from all unauthorised usage. It proves that the product belongs only to you, and you've got all exclusive rights to use, modify, or sell the goods or brand in whatever manner you want. So, if you want to keep your business trademark safe from third party infringements, register your trademark.