Wondering how to register trademark in India? The trademark registration process in India is a long process involving multiple steps that require constant monitoring and followups.
You can obtain Trademark registration for a visual symbol, which may be a word, a name, a device, a label, a logo, a tagline, and anything else that gives it a distinct identity. A trademark registration grants the trademark owner the exclusive legal right to use the trademark. Owning a trademark registration provides a shield for your brand, brand identity, tagline, business ideas, goods, or services.
Trademark registration is the process of owning a unique identity whether it is a business idea, company name, logo, tagline, phrase, slogan, etc. It is very important to trademark what belongs to you only. So, understand the power of brand name registration and take steps to protect it today.
Legal Protection of a Registered Trademark
In India, Trademarks are governed by the Trademarks Act, 1999. If your trademark is registered, you are the legal owner of the registered trademark and have the exclusive right to use it. Without your prior consent, no one has a right to use your registered trademark.
Being a trademark owner, you can take legal action against anyone who attempts to copy your trademark without your prior permission. If anyone uses your trademark or brand identity you can sue them.
How to Register Trademark in India?
The trademark registration process involves multiple steps and requires constant follow-up with the trademark registrar. You can apply for your trademark registration by filing e-registration form on your own. But, it is recommended that you should apply for your trademark registration under the supervision of a legal professional.
We have outlined the entire trademark registration process in easy steps in this article. By following these easy steps you can register your trademark successfully.
Trademark Registration Process in India: Step by Step Ultimate Guide
You can register your trademark easily in India by following our Step by Step Ultimate Guide on Trademark Registration Process in India.
Registering a trademark safeguards your brand and business. To protect your brand and business, trademark registration is essential and should not be taken lightly. A trademark is a type of intellectual property that differentiates your product or services from your competitors and prohibits others from using your brand identity and image.
The trademark registration process in India is not a difficult task. A few simple steps outlined below will give you the legal protection you need for your brand and business in India.
Step 1 – Naming your business or choosing a brand name (5-7 days)
This is the first and very basic stage when you get an idea for a business and start thinking of naming your business, registering a company, and getting your logo designed. Generally, naming a business is a stressful process.
Do not make a blunder by naming or designing your company logo that appears to be like any other company name or logo, you may face legal action. Never copy any name or logo from the internet, it may be a registered name or logo, protected under trademark law.
You must choose a unique and distinctive mark (name, logo, tagline, etc.) that represents your business and does not infringe any other registered trademark or under-process trademark applications. Your chosen name should reflect your brand values and your company’s distinguishing characteristics.
Also, you should name your business considering the availability of a domain name and social media handles. Because if your name is unique and distinguishable, your chance of getting .com and @yourbrandname handle on social media is higher.
You can trademark any word, phrase, device, symbol, tagline, etc. But, before filing a trademark application, it is recommended to make sure that you create a brand name or phrase, or logo that is not used by any other business. If it is unique, it will be registered without any hassle.
It is advisable to hire a legal professional at the first stage. A legal professional will guide you throughout the whole trademark registration process from choosing a name to registering your company and getting your trademark registration done without any trouble.
Step 2 – Trademark Search (1-2 days)
If you have followed step 1 thoroughly then there is no need to worry about step 2 as your legal professional has already done a trademark search. But if you completed step 1 on your own then a trademark search must be done, and it is very important before filing the trademark application.
This step is very crucial before filing for trademark registration because conducting a detailed trademark Search helps a trademark owner to know whether their trademark is unique and distinct in nature and check whether there are any similar trademarks registered or not. It also gives you a fair idea of your trademark registration chances and risk.
You can conduct a trademark name search using ipindia public search to check whether your chosen name or mark is similar to an already registered mark or under-process trademark applications. You can do a trademark search online using ipindia public search website. On this website, you will find an option to do a public search of the trademark by entering your name or mark and the class of the trademark.
There are 45 classes of goods and services under which the trademark can be registered, classes 1-34 are for goods, and classes 35-45 are for services. You can find the class list here
The safer option is to seek the legal assistance of a legal professional, although you will have to pay for it. but it will increase your chances of getting your trademark registration done without hassle. An extensive trademark search by a legal professional saves your money and can avoid time-consuming trademark litigation in the future. A legal professional will also help you with the whole process from trademark search to following you with your trademark status to trademark registrations.
The trademark search done by a legal professional ensures the chance of getting the registration done and reduces the possibility of future disputes that may lead to costly litigation.
Step 3 – Filing of the Trademark Application (1 day)
After conducting a trademark search, now you are ready to file an application for trademark registration. Once step 1 and 2 is completed, a trademark application can be filed by a registered lawyer, agent, or applicant.
The trademark application must be filed in FORM TM-A either online at IP India’s official website or physically at the Trademark Registry Office according to your relevant jurisdiction. There are five Trademark Registrar Offices having jurisdiction over the State or online.
Your trademark application must be filed with the required documents, along with complete details of the trademark, such as word mark, owner name, used since, and goods & services description. If your trademark is already in use before filing the trademark application, then you have to attach an affidavit indicating the usage of the mark and provide evidence in your TM Application.
Being an applicant, you can file a trademark application on your own or you can hire a legal professional (lawyer or agent) who will file a trademark application on your behalf. The trademark application for registration of your trademark must be made in the prescribed manner and filed along with the government fee for trademark registration.
If you have decided to file a trademark application on your own, now you have to register first with the trademark office by creating an account on the website of E-Filing of Trademarks. This is the very basic step of filing a trademark application online. The trademark registration process may be little difficult if you have decided to file it on your own.
Steps to Register for E-Filing of Trademark Application on your won (by applicant)
- First of all, obtain a class III or II digital signature from any of the Indian Certifying Authorities and install the same on your laptop or computer. The cost of a digital signature may be somewhere from Rs. 1,000 to 3,000, depending on the digital signature service providers. Without a digital signature, you cannot file a trademark application online.
- Download and install the Signing Component as per the instructions given in the Digital Signature Manual.
- And then click at Proceed for Registration
Now, select FORM TM-A for filing a trademark registration online, fill up the details and submit the application using a digital signature. By paying the trademark application fee, the process of filing your trademark application online will be completed. The Government fee for trademark registration application is ₹4500 for individuals (Proprietorship) and ₹9000 for companies (Pvt. Ltd. Company, Partnership Firm, LLP,) for only 1 class.
Steps to Register for E-Filing of Trademark Application by hiring a legal professional (lawyer or agent)
If you don’t want to file your application on your own, then you have to hire a legal professional who will file a trademark application on your behalf. You have to authorize a legal professional to act on your behalf in the trademark office. You can change a legal professional anytime within the process.
You also have to provide a Power of Attorney on the Stamp Paper of Rs. 100 along with your documents, such as company registration certificate, tax registration certificate, logo file, and a government identity having your address. The Power of Attorney must be notarized.
A legal professional will charge a fee for the preparation & filing of your trademark application. You also have to pay the trademark application government fee separately. The Government fee for a trademark registration application is ₹4500 for an individual (having a proprietorship firm) and ₹9000 for companies (such as a Pvt. Ltd. Company, Partnership Firm, LLP, etc.). This fee is only for 1 class.
Nowadays, trademark application filing work is done online, mostly. Once your application is submitted, an official receipt with the TM application number will be issued immediately for future reference. Upon receipt of the trademark application number, the applicant has the right to affix the symbol TM or SM next to the proposed trademark or service mark for proper registration.
Congratulations! You can immediately start using the symbol ™ with your brand name and logo if you have received your trademark application number.
Difference between TM and R
The “TM” symbol can be used after you have filed your trademark registration application and the “(R)” symbol can be used once the trademark is registered.
What is the cost of hiring a lawyer for trademark registration in India?
The cost of hiring a lawyer for trademark registration in India varies. Different lawyers charge differently, depending on their experience, competencies, and knowledge of trademark registration laws.
Generally, an experienced and qualified trademark lawyer charges between INR 12,500 to INR 35,000 or so (government fee is not included). If there is additional work needed outside of the general trademark filing process (like handling objections, court hearings, disputes, etc.) then expect to pay between INR 12,500 to INR 85,000 or so for continued assistance till the trademark is registered.
The cost may go high in some exceptional cases.
Step 4 – Allotment of Trademark Application Number
You will be allotted a trademark application number once your trademark application is submitted successfully. This trademark application number will help you track your trademark status online through the Trademark Online Search facility. Now you can keep a track of your trademark status and registration procedure.
Step 5 – Trademark Examination
The Trademark examination stage comes when your trademark application is submitted successfully. After completion of the Vienna Codification, your trademark registration application will be thoroughly examined by Trademark Examiner for any discrepancies or objections. Your trademark might be accepted absolutely, conditionally, objected, or rejected, depending on your trademark application.
Step 6 – Trademark Objections
After examining your trademark application, the trademark examiner will prepare an examination report. A copy of this report will be sent to you to let you know if your trademark is accepted, conditionally accepted, objected, or rejected.
Step 7 – Reply filling to Trademark Objections
If your trademark application is accepted absolutely by the Registrar of Trademark, the trademark will be published in the next Trademark Journal. If it is accepted conditionally, rejected, or objected to, you have the right of appearing before the Trademark Officer to respond to the concerns. You have to put forward the reasons why your application should not be objected to and must be processed with further registration procedures.
If the Trademark Officer is satisfied and feels that the trademark should be allowed to register, your trademark would be allowed to publish in the next Trademark Journal.
Appeal against Trademark Objections in Intellectual Property Appellate Board
In case you have solid ground to get your trademark registration done, you have a right to appeal against the Trademark Officer’s judgment to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.
It is very important to know that the applicant must file a reply to the trademark examination report with all the evidence against the objection raised by the trademark office, within 30 days of receiving the examination report. If you fail to reply within 30 days of the time frame, the application will be abandoned. You have to file a fresh trademark application again if your application is abandoned.
Step 8 – Publication in the Trademark Journal
When your trademark application is accepted by the Trademark Registrar, the proposed trademark is advertised and published in the Trademark Journal for a period of 4 months. The aim behind the trademark advertisement and publication in the Trademark Journal is to invite the general public to file an opposition against the registration of the proposed trademark.
The general public has an opportunity to object to your trademark registration if they believe that your trademark will damage them. Anyone can file an objection with the trademark office. In case there is opposition filed by someone, there will be a hearing, and decisions are given by the Registrar after listing both parties.
You can access the Trademarks Journal available on the Trademark official Registry website, which is updated every Monday of the week.
Step 9 – Registration of the Trademark and issue of Trademark Registration Certificate
If there are no objections or opposition being raised within the stipulated period of 4 months from the date of advertisement and publication in the Trademark Journal, The Trademark Registrar will issue a trademark registration certificate. A Trademark Registration certificate will grant you the trademark owner exclusive use of the mark. The ® symbol can now be placed with TM symbol next to the logo or trademark.
Wow! Congratulations! You are the owner of a registered trademark now. Your trademark has been registered and is now protected. The trademark registration process is now completed.
Please Note: A trademark registered in India is protected & valid in India and does not guarantee any international status.
Step 10 – Renewal of Trademark Registration
The trademark can be renewed. In India, trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the filing date of the trademark registration application, after which it is required to be renewed within the prescribed period. The fees of trademark registration also become due and payable every ten years, w.e.f. the date of the filing of applications
Trademark can be renewed indefinitely every 10 years. The registration of your logo or brand name is therefore permanently protected.
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