Trademark is something that differentiates the products and services of your business from those of other businesses in the market. It is a valuable asset, an embodiment of the goodwill of the business. Also recognized as a brand or logo, it can be in the form of symbols, drawings or numbers.
Trademark registration of your products gives you the exclusive use of trademark across the entire country of registration along with access to processes mentioned in the Trade-marks Act and protection against people or organizations trying to use similar ones.
The protection of your goods and services largely depends on the proper selection of trademark. While selecting one the following things should be kept in mind:
- Avoid choosing words that are descriptive of your products. Select something unique that distinguishes them from other products.
- It should either be a word or a device or a combination of both.
- Selection of a coined or invented word is most suitable since it won’t be a descriptive one.
- It should be attractive, easy to remember and as short as possible.
- It should not fall under sections 9 or 11 of the Trademark Act, 1999.
TRADEMARK APPLICATION ESSENTIALS
- The name, address and nationality of the applicant. In case of partnership, the names of all the partners.
- If the applicant is a company, the country or state of incorporation.
- A list of goods and/or services for which registration is required.
- Soft copy of the trademark to be registered.
- For trademark comprising non-English words, a translation has to be provided.
- If the application is to claim priority from an earlier filed convention application, details of that application such as application number, filing date, country and goods/services are to be provided along with a certified priority document or its duly notarized copy. If the certificate is not in English, a certified/notarized English translation should be provided. A copy of the priority document can be submitted within 1 month from the filing date of the application.
- In case of having already been used, the date of its first use in India
- Power of attorney simply signed by the applicant (no need of legalization or notarization). For Indian clients, it has to be on a 100 Rs. stamp paper signed by the applicant.
TRADEMARK REGISTRATION PROCESS
As soon as you file for an application, you receive an official receipt bearing the filing date and allotted number.
The application is first checked at the Indian Trade Marks Office for showing similarity with already existing marks. If it is so, registration is put on hold and an official examination report is issued. It can be resolved if proof of distinctiveness has to be provided or an affidavit be filed displaying the mark as used.
In case the application is found acceptable, a Letter of Acceptance (TLA order) will issue, after which the trademark will be published in the Trade Marks Journal. And in the absence of oppositions for a period of 4 months from the date of advertisement in the Trade Marks Journal, the trademark registration certificate will issue.
Trademark Registration takes as long as 18-24 months even in cases which are simple and without any opposition. But once filed, it hardly takes much time to be allotted an application number and beginning of priority.
The validity of a particular trademark after registration is up to 10 years from the date of application. It can be renewed after that for another 10 years or more than that by paying renewal fees.