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Trademark registration is important for preventing any third party from misusing it. The governing act of registering a trademark is the Trademark Act, 1999 of India.
It is a mark with distinctive qualities which separates it from another. It allows consumers to instantly recognize the brand of a particular product or service.
The goodwill and reputation are facilitated by the trademark. Through registration, the trademark owner gets an exclusive right to use the mark. In case any third party or an unauthorized person uses the trademark then the owner can file an infringement case against such a person.
A trademark is an identifiable name, logo, tagline or symbol that helps a company brand to be different from the competitors.
It not only differentiates a brand from other businesses, but it also sets the goods or services apart from the competition as well.
There are different types of trademarks to help the consumer identify products or services that belong to the registered owner. The types of a trademark are discussed below:
This type of trademark is used for a product. It is used to help the consumer recognize its manufacture. It helps in enhancing the brand value of any business.
This type of trademark registration is used to help consumers recognize the service provider. It is used only on services in place of goods. It helps in building the credibility of any service provider by stand-out performance.
All goods or services are unique in themselves. This type of trademark helps in informing people about certain unique features of a product or service. It can be used by a group of individuals to protect goods and services collectively.
This is the most important type of trademark. It is used to elevate the product’s credibility among consumers by depicting that the product has gone through a series of standard checks.
This type of trademark registration is used to safeguard the shape of goods by protecting them from getting copied by any other person. If you have found a unique shape, it can be registered.
It is the same as a shape mark. It can be registered when your product has distinguished patterns that are unique.
The sound can also be registered from getting copied. For example, the IPL tune is very famous in India and it is registered with the sound trademark.
The registration of a Trademark is performed by the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks (CGPDT). The e-filing of a trademark is made through the trademark registration government website for carrying out the process which is discussed in the steps given as follows: -
Firstly, one must choose a unique and distinct mark for representing the brand in the market. There are in total 45 classes of goods and services of trademark classification within a proposed mark that can be registered. Goods are classified in classes 1 to 34 whereas services are classified in classes 35 to 45.
You can hire an attorney for the rigorous search of the trademark. It helps in saving the cost of future litigation and time. Trademark opposition will lower the cost of a trademark’s legal services with assistance throughout the trademark registration process. When a trademark is selected, the step is to perform a public search for the trademark. It is performed on the trademark online database of the Trademark registry. You need to choose a particular class in the online database.
A single application can be made for registration by filing Form TM-A and the fee payable thereof shall be in respect of each good or service. It must include information such as business registration proof, Identity and Address Proof documents and a soft copy of the logo. After filling out the application on the Trademark Registration portal, the registrar can refuse the application or may accept it or be subject to such amendments, modifications, conditions, or limitations as he may think fit. However, you will receive a receipt of acknowledgment on the official website to use your trademark symbol beside your logo.
After the application is filled, the Registrar of the trademark will check whether the existing provisions of the act and rules thereunder have been followed. There should be no similarity between the proposed and an existing mark.
Once the examination of a trademark is completed, the registrar will publish the brand name logo for trademark registration online in the Indian trademark journal. The purpose of the advertisement is to allow all interested persons to oppose the registration of a trademark. Once it is published, it is opened to the public in general to oppose the registration on the grounds of similarity, etc. They can raise any objections within three months from the date of publication. Where there are no oppositions then the certificate will be issued after successfully registering a trademark.
When the trademark opposition is filed by third parties within three months, then the applicant must submit a reply of opposition within two months. The registrar shall serve a copy of the notice on the applicant for trademark registration within two months from the receipt by the applicant of such a copy of the notice of opposition. The applicant must send to the registrar in the given manner a counter-statement of the grounds on which the applicant relies for the application.
Once the trademark is registered, the applicant can start using the R symbol next to the registered mark. The Registration of the trademark is valid for a period of 10 years and you can renew the same by filling out the renewal application.
The Madrid protocol provides trademark owners who can register their trademarks in multiple countries by filing a single application. Trademark registration for foreign nationals is regulated by the World Intellectual property organization (WIPO). India became a member of the Madrid Protocol in July 2013.
The registration of a Trademark required certain documents to be submitted with the application form TM-A as follows:
✔ Soft copy of the trademark: The category of the mark can work/ device/color/ three-dimensional/ sound. The description of the mark in specific details including the size of a trademark must be visible not exceeding 8 by 8 cm.
✔ In case of an Individual or HUF: Identity proof such as PAN or Aadhar card, Business registration document and Shops and Establishment license of the state.
✔ In the case of a company or limited liability partnership: A certificate of Incorporation and registered address proof of the company.
✔ In the case of a Registered Partnership firm: A partnership deed.
✔ Class of goods or services
✔ Any other important information.
The trademark application can be tracked online and various actions can be taken by an attorney or an application based on the current status. The applicant can also use the TM symbol on goods or services.
Where the trademark is registered then the applicant can use the R symbol. The steps to check the trademark status are as follows:
Step 1 : Visit the IP India website
Step 2 : Click on ‘Trademark Application/Registered Mark’
Step 3 : Select the search button that is National or IRDI number
Step 4 : Enter the Trademark Application number and fill in the given captcha code.
Step 5 : Click on the View button. You can check your registration status.
There are many organizations offering various types of goods and services. The first stage for beginning a new business is to distinguish the goods or services from the competitors.
The following points are given to highlight the importance of the registration of a trademark:
The Trademark Act, 1999 is the governing act that regulates trademarks and their registration in India. A trademark is the company’s valuable assets. The important things to know before going for registration of Trademark:
⮚ An applicant is allowed to use Trademark (TM) and Service Mark (SM) at the time when the trademark is not yet being registered.
⮚ After the approval of the trademark application, the R symbol is written just next to the trademark. It indicates the officially registered trademark. Use of the R symbol after filing a trademark application or without obtaining the registration certificate is unlawful.
⮚ The C symbol represents the copyright that the owner has over his/her creative work. It is valid for a lifetime.
The registration fees of Trademark for a collective mark or certification mark for a specification of goods and services included in one class have been increased to
A fee has been reduced to the prescribed individuals, start-ups, sole-proprietor, and small enterprises to financially assist such businesses and reduce their cost of compliance.
The Government of India pursuant to Trademark Rules, 2017 has reduced the fees for MSMEs, individuals, start-ups and sole-proprietor by 50% i.e., Rs. 4500/- per application.
Small enterprises are required to have their Udyam certificate for trademark registration and startups must be registered under Startup India Scheme. The process is quick and easy and requires fewer documents as prescribed and the government fees for registration are also reduced.
|Definition||A trademark is a word, design, logo, phrase, or symbol which separates your product from another company.||A copyright is a type of intellectual property protecting the original work of an author in a tangible form.||A patent provides a right for creating a new and unique invention or process.|
|Regulated Act||Trade Marks Act, 1999||The Copyright Act, 1957||The Patents Act, 1970|
|Protection Validity||The validity is of ten years and renewal is required after the expiry of ten years.||The copyright is valid for the lifetime of an author and sixty years after the author’s death.||The validity of the patent is for twenty years. Patents have territorial rights and a separate application is filed for another country.|
|Rights to the Owner||It provides an exclusive right for using the mark and its prevention.||It provides the right to distribution of copies and transfer of ownership by lease.||It gives an exclusive right to the invention and a right of exclusion.|
|Protection of Rights||A name, logo, symbol, and design which distinguishes the brand and owner of the brand.||The material form of art, musical, and literary can be protected but not the ideas of the author.||The invention of a product, or process, can be patented.|
|Provisional application||It does not include a provisional application that requires a trademark search.||There is no provisional application.||A provisional application of twelve months for filing complete specifications.|
|Examples||Some famous examples are Coca-Cola, just do it, Facebook, Google, etc.||Some famous examples are Twitter, Spotify, Apple, McDonald’s, etc.||Some famous examples are iPhone, telephone, computer, lightbulb, etc.|
|Representation||The registration process is registered.||There is no symbolic representation of registration.||There is no symbolic representation of registration.|
In addition to registration or incorporation, a business may require other registrations depending on the business activity undertaken. Talk to an Advisor to find out registrations your business may require post registration.
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