If you’re starting a new business or trade, a logo, name or signature is the first thing you choose to separate yourself from the rest. A “trademark” is that symbol you will use to do so. Registering a trademark is a legal process provided for under the Trade Marks Act, 1999. In this article, let’s get you acquainted with a tiny portion of the dirt and sweat and tons of paperwork that you will have to accept with arms wide open as a budding entrepreneur!
How to make a trademark application?
Before filing an application for registration of a mark in India, it is advisable to conduct searches to insure that the mark has not been used and registered by someone else in India. Such trademark searches can be made online, at the Office of the Trademark Registry, by anyone who has an account with an Indian bank to enable payment to that trademark office (you will also need an Indian address and fill form TM-54). But it is faster and easier to appoint a trademark law firm in India to do the searches and submit application for your company.
Selecting your trademark section
Before registering a trademark in India you should however know for which category (and subcategory) you want to register your trademark. You can choose your product or service categories in which your business operates (or plans to operate) at the World Intellectual Property Organization. The site shows you all the 34 goods classes and 11 service classes. For each class you register a trademark in India, you will have to pay extra, the selection of several subcategories will however not attract any extra cost. It is therefore advisable to select all the relevant indications of goods or services in the selected section. The application can be submitted at one of the Trade Mark Registry offices in India in Mumbai (Head Office), Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad or Chennai. This will depend on the place where you reside or have your main place of business.
- The cost for the registration of a trademark in India is Rs. 3,500 for each section (this is a Government fee and does not include any property consultant or law firm fee for preparing the application and eventual oppositions to be filed in case the application is rejected).
- You will need to do a pre-filing search before filing your trademark.
- Once you register your trademark, you will be issued an official receipt with a TM number.
- Then an examination report is filed within three months from application. You will get a response to your registration either by an affidavit, a hearing or by an interview.
- Your application will be looked at to ascertain if it does not conflict with existing registered or pending trademarks. Based on this, an examination report is issued.
- As you defeat objections raised by the registrar, your application is then published in the Indian Trade Marks Journal, with an endorsement stating either that it has been accepted or that it is being published before acceptance.
- Once it is published, any person has three months (which can be extended to a month at the registrar’s discretion) to file a notice of opposition to registration.
- Acceptance or refusal of your trademark application will be considered once the opposition proceedings have been completed.
Types of trademarks available