Any word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these things that identifies goods and services is a Trademark. A trademark is used for goods, while a service mark is used for services regulated under Trademarks Act, 1999. The registration of trademark is valid for 10 years from the date of filing of the application. After this period renewal of trademark is done. The trademarks can be Letter, Word, Number, Phrase, Graphics, Logo, Sound Mark, Smell or a mix of colors and the process of trade mark registration in India is convinent.
In the Trademark Registration form, the person whose name is mentioned as the applicant will be declared as the owner of the trademark once the trademark is successfully registered. Any individual, joint owner, Proprietorship firm, Partnership firm, Limited Laibility Partnership, a company (Indian and Foriegn) and a trust or society can be an applicant and may file the application for the registration of the particular trademark.
TYPES OF TRADEMARK
Types trademark registration in India are-
I. Product Mark- Product marks are the marks used for the goods. It helps in recognizing the origin of the product and differentiating the products from competitor’s product. The trade mark applications fillied under Trademark class- 1 to 34 could be termed as product marks as they represent goods. Ex- Class 9 which includes computer software and electronics, Class 25 which includes clothing etc.
2. Service Mark- Service mark is used to represent a service rather than a product. The main purpose of the service mark is to recognize the origin of the service and differentiating the services from competitor’s product. Trademarks filled under class 35 to 45 could be termed as Service mark as they represent services. Ex- Class 35 which includes business management and advertising, Class 41 which includes education and entertainment etc.
3. Collective Mark- The collective mark represents the distinguishing feature of the product and services that are represented collectively. A group of individuals can use this marks for collectively protecting the goods and the services.
4. Certification Mark- Certification mark denotes the product’s origin, material, quality or other specific details issued by the owner. The certification is to bring the standard of the product and also guarantee the product to the customers by showing that the product has undergone standard tests to ensure quality.
5. Shape Mark- The shape mark is to protect the shape of the product exclusively, this helps customers in finding the product relatable with a certain manufacturer and prefer to buy the product. If the product have a noteworthy shape, it can be registered.
6. Pattern Mark- the pattern marks protects the specifically designed pattern of the product and this sepecific design is it’s distinguishing factor. Patterns that fails to stand as remarkable marks are rejected. So, the specific pattern must be unique.
There are many other types of Trade mark that are being registered in India.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR TRADEMARK REGISTRATION
The list of documents required to obtain Trademark registration are:
Initially, you have to provide us with the following details:
1. Applicant’s name
2. Business type
3. Business objectives
4. Brand/logo/slogan name
5. Registration address
The documents required are:
1. Signed Form-48
2. Identification proof of the signatory
3. Address proof of the signatory
4. Business proof (depends on the type of business)
PROCESS OF REGISTRATION
Registration of trademark is done by the registry of trademark. The process for registration are-
1. Mark search- once the trademark is choosen, applicant must conduct a search to check whether mark choosen is already registered or not. Applicant cant get the mark registered if, choosen mark is not available. This mark search can be done from the website of controller General of Patent, Desings and Trademark.
2. Preparing a trademark application- supporting documents required with application for trademark registration are-
- I. Business Registration Proof- On the basis of registrated business, an identity proof of the company’s directors and an address proof have to be submitted. In sole proprietorship business, id proof of the proprietor viz. PAN xard, Aadhar card could be submitted. Whereas incase of companies, the address proof of the company is required.
- II. Soft Copy of Trademark- the proof of claim (which is applicable) of the proposed mark can be used in another country. Power of attorney to be signed by the applicant.
3. Filing application- Applicant can file one application for multiple classes or series trademark, or collective trademark. For this, he/she have to fill in form TM-A. The trademark beyond beyond one class is registered through this form. If ‘manual filing’ is choosen then applicant have to personally move and handover his/her application for the registration to the Registrar Office of Trade Marks situated in the major cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, and Chennai. After that, applicant have to wait for at least 15 -20 days to receive the receipt of the acknowledgment. But in the case of an e-filing system, you will receive your receipt of acknowledgment instantly on the government website. After receiving an acknowledgment, applicant are eligible to use your TradeMark (TM) symbol beside your brand name.
4. Examining the process of the brand name application- after dispatch of application, the registrar will check that wheather the application is as per terms& conditions or not also, whether the brand name complies with the existing laws or not.
5. Publication of the brand name - After completion of examination procedure, the registrar of Trademark will publish the brand name of the applicant. This publications makes the brand name public and will be open for any opposition till 90 days or 120 days in some cases from the date of publication. In case of no opposition, the registrar will finally proceed towards issuance of Trademark Registration Certificate.
6. Trademark Opposition- In case of opposition, by the third party on the brand name published, the Registrar of Trademark will send a copy of notice of the opposition and expect reply to the opposition notice by filling a counter-statement within months. If the counter-statement is not submitted within two months, the trademark application will be considered to have been abandoned and reject.
7. Hearing on Trademark Opposition- If the trademark is opposed by a third party and counter-statement is sent within 2 months of opposition with the evidence in support of argument, the registrar of trademark will give third party an oppourtunity of hearing after submission of evidence. After hearing and considering evidences of both parties, registrar will pass an order of acceptance and rejection of the Trademark Registration Application.
8. The Trademark registration certificate issuance- the registrar will accept taredemark application if no opposition being raised within the stipulated period of 90 days or on acceptance of your trademark application after trademark opposition hearing. Right from the moment you have been issued with your certificate, you can use the registered trademark symbol (®) beside your brand name.
BENEFITS OF TRADEMARK REGISTARTION IN INDIA
Benefits of trademark registration are-
1. Legal protection- Trademarks are classified as an Intellectual Property therefore, they are protected from an infringement. This provides exclusive right to use the trademark in relation to the Class of goods and services represented. The Symbol “TM” can be used with products once Trademark Application has been filled. The symbol “R” can be used only after obtaining registration of your trademark. Further, ® symbol can be used only for the goods and/or services listed in the registration certificate. In the case of unauthorised use of a registered trademark, relief for infringement in appropriate courts in the country can be seeked.
2. Product Differentiation: The Product differenctiation is enabled as Trademark differentiate the products of different companies. As, Trademark is valid for the entire class of goods and services, it helps in distict identification which creates a customer base for specific product.
3. Brand Recognition: A product’s performance, quality, features etc. are associated with the company making products by the customer. It creates a goodwill associated with brand. Thus, the brand is recognized as well as carries a market value over time. This helps in welcoming new customers and retain the loyal customers.
4. Creation of an asset : Registration of Trademark creates an asset for a business enterprises. Trademark is an intangible asset recognized for accounting and taxation purposes as well. It carries a value associated with the product it represents. Trademarks are sold, franchised, and assigned for commercial purpose.
5. Business expansion- A connection between the customer and the product is established by Trademark. It helps in retaining and expanding the customer base of the company which llead towards business expansion. Registration of Trademark confers exclusive rightrs of use for 10 years and protects business revenues.
6. Business Valuation and Goodwill – the overall business value, goodwill and net worth in the industry is enhanced through registered trademark. The quality assurance and distinct features of product is communicated through the trademark. This helps you protect goodwill of business.
Trademark registration allows the applicant to exclusively use the word or symbol representing the business, this help in distinguishing the product or services of applicant from his/her competitor’s product or services. The Trademark applicant is allowed to use “TM” symbol with the brand after registration. Trademark registration is an intangible asset for the company. It also protects the brand name and goodwill of the business. Trademark registrations in India can be obtained by individuals or businesses or by non-profit organizations. However, each of the different class of persons or entity that have different requirement while filing the trademark application