What properties are you allowed to trademark? What eligibility criteria should you qualify to file a trademark application? As per trademark regulations in India, things like initials, symbols, colors, images, phrases, words, logos, and sound can be registered as a trademark. These features distinguish your firm from the competition. A trademark registration application may be filed by NGOs, LLPs, companies, private firms, or individuals with the prescribed trademark registration fees. When it comes to companies, LLPs or NGOs, trademark registration online must be done on behalf of the entity in its name.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WORD MARK AND LOGO/DEVICE MARK TRADEMARK REGISTRATION
There are two types of trademarks as described below: Word Mark Device Mark
WORDMARK TRADEMARK REGISTRATION
A word mark is a mark where the owner of a trademark has the exclusive right to the word in general, and he can design the word in any font, design or style. The word mark comprises one or more words, letters, numbers or anything in writing in standard character. A word mark might be a wording of a name, business name, slogan or catchphrase without design. For example, Google, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, KFC, Tata, NDTV etc. Additionally, taglines or slogans also come under the category of the word mark. Like McDonald’s slogan - ‘i’m loving it’, Nike’s slogan ‘just do it’ etc. The Trademark Registration protects all the manifestations and use of the word. A word mark registration can be used in any form on all the goods or services included under it. When the business owner intends to protect the name of the brand from any infringement, it is always recommended to move forward for the word mark registration. The procedure for registering trademarks can become costly. Hence, enterprises that are just beginning their operations usually find it challenging to decide between choosing a word mark or logo mark to apply because of cost. If both word mark and logo are viable options, the decision is up to you.
DEVICE MARK/LOGO TRADEMARK REGISTRATIONDevice Mark/Logo:
Logos are the most common form of trademarks. A logo or device mark, however, provide the trademark owner with a right to particular images or design. Hence, the protection given to the words contained in a logo or device mark is limited in scope with a comparison to the word mark because the logo provides only rights relating to the logo overall and not the specific words. If you have created an attractive or unique logo and you desire your buyers notice you then a logo/device mark registration is the most suitable choice. Some of the well-known companies who use their logos as their trademarks are Apple, Audi, Adidas, Mercedes, Nike, Reebok and many more. Yours choosing between a word mark and device mark/logo based on the question of how you want to use your trademark. If you have limited funds and protection of the business name is of most importance, it is suggested to move forward with the word mark registration. Filing a logo or device mark is recommended where the owner has created a new logo for his company and does not wish anyone to use a comparable logo in the same business. If some modifications are brought to a registered logo the trademark protection is not given to the new logo, and therefore, the owner of the company is expected to apply for that new logo if he seeks trademark protection. Hence, trademark registration for a logo/device mark may be a costly affair and is advised if you are ready to spend a good amount of money. For small enterprises, it is always recommended to apply for word mark registration, and in future, if they furthermore desire a separate logo for the business, the same can be applied.
Procedure of Trademark Registration Online
Following are steps required for the registration of a Trademark: Trademark Search: Clearance search for the name, slogan, logo, device meant to be used as trademark. A trademark search assists in obtaining the information regarding the similar existing brands. Application for Trademark Registration: The step involves applying for the trademark registration at the trademark office in India. The trademark offices are established in the four Indian metropolitan cities, i.e. New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. Moreover, now, the applications for trademark registration are filed online. After applying, the trademark office issues a receipt for the future reference. Trademark Examination: Subsequent to the filing of the application, an examiner will be assigned and examined the application for any discrepancy. The examination process can take approximately 12 to 18 months. The examiner must check for earlier registered trademarks and check for deficiencies, requirements and authenticity of the application. If the examiner accepts the application, the trademark will be published in the Trademark Journal; however, if the application is not accepted due to the non-fulfillment of the requirements or the objections put. Then one month time is granted to the applicant to address all the objections and requirements. After that, after the expiration of one month time, subject the satisfaction of the examiner, the trademark will be published in the official Trademark Journal. However, if the application is not allowed, then a chance for hearing being provided to the applicant. If the examiner is satisfied by the clarification provided by the applicant, the trademark will be published in the Trademark Journal. Trademark Publication: If no objection is advanced within three months (extendable by one month) from the date of publication, then the trademark will be registered. Although, in case of objection, the decision pronounced by the registrar shall be the final determination. Registration Certificate: After the publication of the trademark, a registration certificate with the seal of the trademark office will be issued to the applicant.
Trademark Registration Renewal:
A trademark is registered for ten years and needs to be renewed after every ten years. Trademark renewal
applications can be filed within 6 months before the expiration of registration or renewal
. Before the expiration of the current registration of a trademark,
the registrar will post intimation to the registered trademark
proprietor concerning the expiration of the trademark and payment of fee.
Validity Period of Trademark Registration
The Trademark Act, 1999 governs the registration of trademarks throughout India. This registration allows businesses the legal right to sue people who copy their trademarks. No individual can utilize a trademark that is similar to a previously-registered trademark. It is possible to get trademark registration online as well. After registering for a trademark, you’re allowed to utilize an R symbol with it, which has a 10-year validity period. The ™ sign can be obtained within three days but obtaining the ® symbol will require around 2 years. If your trademark registration period is about to expire, you can get it extended for another 10 years after approval by the registrar of trademarks
Importance of Trademark Registration in IndiaBenefits of Trademark Registration in India
Trademark registration offers several benefits and advantages to the owner:
When registered, trademarks are categorised as intellectual property and are protected from infringement. Registration of a trademark bestows an exclusive right to use the trademark with regard to the “Class(es)” of goods or service it is registered. Once you applied for the trademark registration, “TM” Symbol can be used with goods and services. The “R” symbol can be placed on the trademark only after granting registration of your trademark. Moreover, you can utilise the ® symbol only for the goods and services mentioned in the registration certificate. In the event of use without authorisation of your registered trademark, you can file infringement suits in appropriate courts in the country.
Trademark will facilitate the differentiation of your goods and services as against the goods and services of your competitors. Furthermore, because trademark registration is valid for the whole class of products and services so registered, it will assist in precisely distinguishing your goods. Consumers easily identify goods carrying different trademark, therefore building a customer base for your goods and services.
Buyers associate a product’s quality, features, performance, and so on so forth with the company offering such products. They distinguish the goods usually by the trademark, which is often a registered trademark. Registered trademark helps brand identification for your goods or services. It also builds goodwill connected with the brand. Therefore, your logo is seen as well as provides a market value over a while. Brand recognition greets new buyers while retaining dependable customers. Asset Creation:
Registration of a trademark creates an asset for an enterprise. Trademark is identified as intangible property for income tax and accounting purposes. Trademarks are IP and carry a value connected with the goods they portray. Trademarks can be sold, assigned, franchised, and commercially used in different manners. You can know in the books of accounts the cost or value associated with trademarks, and can also claim depreciation
under the Income Tax Act and verify income. Business valuation and goodwill:
Trademarks registered and linked with your goods and services improve your overall market value and goodwill. Your trademark demonstrates your quality promise and distinguishing characteristics of your products. Trademarks add value to your business, help retain dedicated clients and preserve the goodwill of your company. Trademark recognition:
From the date of filing of a trademark application trademarks are protected for ten years in India. But, the trademark can be renewed further. If you aspire to use your trademark outside of India or grow your business outside of India, you need trademark registration in the individual countries. In such situations, your trademark registration in India functions as a base to get registrations outside of India. Business expansion:
A trademark builds a relationship connecting the buyers and the goods of an enterprise. With unique and efficient products, you can create a customer base. Your mark assists you in maintaining and increasing the customer base. Trademark registration confers exclusive rights for ten years and shields your company revenues. Businesses can leverage the advantages of a customer base by adding new goods and services and growing their business.
What is Our Role In Trademark Registration? Detailed Overview of the Trade Application Process In India
Trademark Search & Verification
We are ready to aid your trademark registration journey by using our Trademark director to conduct a search for authenticity. We also perform a detailed verification process to ensure that the brand name and logo you’ve come up with haven’t been registered yet by anybody else. Trademarks can be properly registered once they have been assessed to be completely unique. However, if your brand name or logo has been registered already, we can help you modify it in such a manner that your trademark registration won’t get canceled by the authorities.
When you apply for trademark registration, ensure that it has been filed under the appropriate category classification along with relevant documents required for trademark registration. Trademarks provide you the legal right to carry out sales using a specific brand name. There are over 45 different sectors, or classes. Services and goods have been separated into 45 distinct classes as per the Trademark Registry’s regulations. All brand names or logos need to be properly registered under appropriate classes. For instance, Class 28 covers services and products related to toys, sports, and games. Therefore, people intending to start new toy brands should apply under this Class.
Prepping The Application
Once we’ve ensured that the brand logo and name and unique, we will start the application process by prepping your authorization letter. It allows us to file trademark registration and act at your behest. You may then sign this letter & send it to us. We’ll help you in filling out the requisite forms and update you regularly until your registration process has been completed with the filing of prescribed trademark registration fees.
Documents needed for Trademark Registration
A simple authorization letter, which has been duly signed and authorized by you gives us the legal right to start filing for your trademark registration. After the authorization letter has been received, we’ll begin preparing your documents and file the trademark registration application online & pay the fees. Once the application has been confirmed, you’ll be given the authorization to utilize the ™ symbol for your brand. Here are the documents required for trademark registration:
- Name of the application
- Type of business
- Objectives of the Business
- Slogan/logo/brand name
- Registration address
ID & Business Proofs
Either the trademark’s owner or his representative needs to provide their proof of identity. It could be their voter ID, ration card, passport, driving license, or Aadhar card.
Documents required for Trademark Registration
Individuals and Sole Proprietor
Any individual, whether national of India or a foreign country, can register a trademark in India easily. There is no condition to form a legal entity to register a trademark. Moreover, the documents needed to register a trademark for a proprietorship are the same for an as an individual, following are the documents required:
- Logo/word/slogan, the logo is preferable in black & white.
- Signed TM Form -48. TM Form-48 is an authorisation/permission from the applicant to the trademark attorney for applying for a trademark on his behalf.
- ID Proof of the individual/Proprietor.
- Address Proof of the individual/Proprietor.
Partnership/LLP/Company – Small Enterprise or Startup
The trademark registration fees ranges from Rs.4500 to Rs.9500. For small enterprises, startups, individuals and proprietorships, the trademark fee is Rs.4500. For other entities, the trademark fee is Rs.9500. To be categorised as a small enterprise, the applicant would have to produce the certificate of Udyog Aadhar registration. Moreover, with Udyog Aadhar registration, the following details are required.
LLP / Company/Partnership
In the case of an LLP or partnership firm, the applicant requires to provide the following:
- Signed TM Form-48.
- Certificate of Udyog Aadhar Registration.
- Certificate of Incorporation or Partnership Deed.
- ID Proof of Signatory.
- Address Proof of Signatory.
Applicants who do not have Udyog Aadhar registration need submit the following documents.
- Signed TM Form-48.
- Certificate of Incorporation or Partnership Deed.
- ID Proof of Signatory.
- Address Proof of Signatory.
Usage of Logo Along With a Tagline
In case the trademark application deals with a tagline that contains only words, there are no logo requirements. If the logo has been used, it needs to be submitted to the authorities in a B/W format. The logo must also contain the same number of words that have been stated in the trademark application.
An attorney can be authorized to submit trademark applications on your behalf with the official Trademark registrar. You have to submit a trademark user affidavit as well if the situation deems it necessary.
What Should You Know Regarding Trademark Registration?
Thanks to the latest technological advancements, it is possible to carry out trademark registration online without any hassles. A licensed trademark attorney can help you file the application online, thus saving you a trip to the official registry office.
Trademark Registration Online
Compared to normal registrations, an online registration costs less and is recommended for budget-conscious individuals and enterprises. The amount that needs to be paid is reduced by ₹1000 when the e-filing route is taken for trademark registration.
The Vienna Codification Process
Vienna Codification plays a major role during the IP trademark process. It’s a name and international classification that will be provided after submitting the trademark application form. Here, your registration application will show up as - “Sent for Vienna codification.”
When the application is submitted for implementing the Vienna classification, a Trademark officer will examine the trademark to see whether it is in line with certain procedures and guidelines. Acceptance or rejection of the application is completely their discretion, which is why it makes sense to comply with all requirements carefully.
Hearing Before the Trademark Officer/Registrar
In case your trademark application gets rejected, you can sign up for a special hearing. If you can convince the officer and submit all supporting documents, your application will get approved. However, if he isn’t convinced enough, he may reject the application. In case you’re not willing to accept this decision, you can contact the IP Appellate Board for another hearing.
Trademark symbols & how to use them
Once you’ve filed the trademark registration application, you can start using the R symbol. It can protect your trademark from being stolen by other individuals.
You can use this symbol for your unregistered trademarks. While it doesn’t provide any copyright protection, it does warn others and protects your symbol, name, or logo from being stolen. However, if your registration application is rejected, the name or logo can be used by others without any challenges.
This symbol is used by the service sector. It can be used by services belonging to the classes between 35 – 45. It doesn’t protect your logo or brand name from being copied though.
It stands for copyright-free content. It is compulsory in a number of countries and must be shown properly to file copyright claims.
HOW TO AVOID TRADEMARK REGISTRATION APPLICATION REJECTION?
The Trademark is not similar to an existing Trademark
The Trademark is not a well known or generic
The Trademark is not deceptive or misleading people
The Trademark contains bad or offensive words
The Trademark contains words like Government or President or other well-known personalities