Trademark Registration in India
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How It Works
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The only right to use a trademark or service mark in connection with specific products or services is granted to the owner through a legal process called trademark registration. The registration process includes applying to the appropriate government agency or trademark office, together with details regarding the mark and the products or services it will be used for.
The application is examined for legal conformity and may face opposition from third parties if they think the mark infringes on their rights. If the application is accepted, the pattern is registered, and the owner is given the right to use it with the goods or services mentioned.
What can you register as a trademark?
Trademarks protect brand names, logos, and catchphrases linked to products or services. Generally speaking, any trademark that is distinctive, non-generic, and unlikely to confuse with already-existing trademarks is eligible for registration. What can be trademarked is shown in the following:
- Logo – comprises distinguishing noises or jingles connected to a brand or item.
- Product – A product mark is something that identifies a specific product. They serve to protect product categories and prevent product duplication.
- Pattern – Since the word “pattern” generally refers to repeating a similar design, it can be used as a trademark to identify one brand’s goods and services from another.
- Shape – The shape markings fall under the category of trade dress, where a product can be identified by its packaging in addition to its logo, label, and other distinguishing features.
- Certification – A certification mark is made to showcase a company’s or organization’s standards.
- Service – Instead of using a product name to identify a company’s goods, it uses a service mark. For intangible goods, the service mark is utilized.
- Word – A word mark is a distinctive text version of the company or product name used for branding. Consequently, it is solely text-based, unlike a logo that symbolizes a visual image.
- Sound – It is possible to register sound notations graphically represented as trademarks.
- Numbers – The product or service must be branded with the number. The number 5 must be used explicitly to identify a line/class of goods/services to receive the TM.
- Colour – Color schemes take on a life of their own and become associated with a specific product. People frequently link the plan to a particular product.
- Packaging – All information displayed on the packaging’s outside, such as the names and catchphrases, may be trademarked. It can prevent a rival from marketing their goods with misleadingly identical packaging.
- Device – A printed or painted figure, design, or character is a device. They don’t contain any letters, words, numbers, or other symbols.
It’s important to remember that the particular requirements for registering a trademark can change depending on the nation or territory you are trying to protect. Furthermore, the registration procedure can be complicated and time-consuming, and some marks may be more challenging to record than others.
Benefits of trademark registration
Trademark registration has several benefits. Some of the main benefits include:
- The popularity of brands: Building brand recognition and reputation is facilitated by a registered trademark. A registered trademark increases the likelihood that consumers will trust and identify a brand, which can improve sales and foster customer constancy.
- Special rights: In connection with the goods or services it is registered, a trademark may only be used by its registered owner. It implies that no other party may use the same or a related trademark in the same region.
- Business resource: Over time, a registered trademark may prove to be a significant corporate asset. It may be licensed, sold, or put up as loan collateral.
- Protection by law: Legal defence is provided by trademark registration, which permits the owner to pursue legal action against unauthorized users. It can entail seeking financial compensation for trademark infringement or stopping others from using it.
- Protection on a global scale: The ability to develop a firm internationally is facilitated by trademark registration, which can protect the trademark in other nations.
- No Time Limit: Trademarks do not lose their validity after a certain period. If the trademark is used by its owner, it will remain in existence.
Trademark registration offers significant financial and legal advantages that can help safeguard and develop a brand.
What are trademark classes?
A trademark only gives users the right to use it exclusively in connection with the types of products or services for which it has been registered. In India, different classes are used to categorize the production of goods and services when trademarks are registered. Making the right choice for the Trademark Class might speed up the registration process. Therefore accuracy is essential.
Trademark applications may be submitted in more than one class if a company’s operations include a variety of goods or services that fit under several trademark classifications. A different company may submit a trademark application for the same mark under another class even though it has previously been registered under one class. Consequently, filing a trademark application under a single category does not guarantee complete exclusivity for using the mark.
Types of trademark
- Generic Mark – It must describe features, traits, or components of your company’s product to be eligible for trademark protection.
- Descriptive Mark – It must progress from describing what the brand stands for to representing who it stands for to be considered a descriptive mark.
- Suggestive Mark – The client must exercise creativity to ascertain the products or services the business provides.
- Fanciful Mark – Because it usually doesn’t compete with anything else or become too generic, this category makes it the easiest to secure trademark protection.
- Arbitrary Mark might contain a word or phrase with a widely understood meaning, but not in this instance.
- Service Mark – While a service mark and a trademark are identical, they distinguish businesses that offer services rather than goods.
- Trade Dress – Trade dress refers to distinguishing characteristics of a commodity or business, such as packaging components, home accents, and other ideas of a like nature.
How to register a trademark in India?
Step 1: Trademark Search
First, one must conduct a trademark search to confirm that the chosen trademark is not registered or confusingly similar to another brand. The Indian Trademark Office’s trademark search tool allows it to carry out this action online.
Step 2: Submitting a trademark application
The next step is to submit a trademark application to the Trademark Office following the completion of the search. A list of the goods and services the trademark will be used for, the applicant’s information, and the trademark image should all be included in the application, which can be submitted online or offline.
Step 3: Review the Application
If the trademark satisfies the conditions for registration, the Trademark Office will review the application and make that determination. The Trademark Office will produce an examination report if the application is judged to need to be completed.
Step 4: Trademark Journal publication
The trademark appears in the Trademark Journal after the application is approved. Because of this, if a party has an interest and thinks the brand shouldn’t be registered, they can challenge it.
Step 5: Certificate issuing
The Trademark Office will issue the registration certificate if there is no resistance or if it is rejected. The trademark is then regarded as being registered.
Eligibility for trademark registration (who can register a trademark?)
- An individual or a person
- Joint owners
- Proprietorship firm
- Partnership Firm
- Limited liability Partnership (LLP)
- Private limited company
- Foreign Company
- Trust or society
Documents required for trademark registration
- A copy of any brand names, logos, or trademarks the applicant wishes to use as their trademark. To guarantee that the registration covers all of the trademark’s hues, avoid uploading the logo in black and white.
- Certificate of Incorporation. If a business or LLP is listed as the trademark’s registered owner.
- If the applicant is an individual, then the information such as the applicant’s name, address proof, citizenship, etc., should be provided.
- Business evidence (varies depending on the sort of business)
- Information on the goods or services that need to be trademarked.
- The date the trademark was first used by the applicant if an individual or business is filing for a trademark already used.
- A copy of a power of attorney bearing the applicant’s signature on a stamp-sized paper.
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