A brand is the unique sign, design, symbol or name that can be used to differentiate the goods and services of one person from other. A well-established brand name helps the owner in gaining the competitive advantage in the market over his competitors. Some of the well-known brand names in India like apple, levies, Amazon, Domino's has captured the considerable amount of market share just with the establishes a brand name. The trust of people about the quality of the product is associated with the brand name.
Do you think they have established their names in one day? No brand is built in one day rather it takes years of efforts and sweat in building a successful name. Only after providing the good quality of products and services and making a lot of efforts a person is able to imprint its brand name in the minds of people. Think about it can you let your competitors reap the benefits of all the hard work you put in to build your brand name. We all know the answer.
So what can you do to protect your brand name? The best way to protect your brand name is by obtaining a trademark registration. Trademark registration is a procedure by which you can get your unique brand name registered with the trademark department and gain exclusive usage and distributions over it. There is a complete procedure to be followed for applying and obtaining the trademark registration. Below we have outlined the steps involved in the procedure of obtaining trademark registration-
Requirements for registering a Trademark
- Provide the complete details like the brand name, logo, symbol or slogan for which trademark registration is required.
- The date on which the trademark was used for the first time.
- The details of the owner of the trademark like name and address. In case trademark is sought on company name than the Name of all the members.
- An authorization form named TM-48.
- Applicable fees for registration.
The procedure of Trademark Registration in India
There are multiple benefits of obtaining a trademark registration. To avail these benefits it is imperative that an application for trademark registration is made. The process of acquiring trademark registration is not as easy as it appears. There is a whole step by step procedure that is required to be followed by the applicant. To assist you through this cumbersome procedure of trademark registration below we have outlined the steps involved in it-
1. Trademark Search- The main purpose behind the introduction of trademark registration was to provide recognition to the creative and unique ideas. Thus, the main criterion to be fulfilled for getting your brand registered is choosing a unique brand name. How will you ensure that your brand name is unique? In order to ensure the uniqueness of the trademark selected the owner can conduct a comprehensive trademark search from the trademark database provided at the official website of the trademark by clicking on this link http://www.ipindia.nic.in/. This database comprises of comprehensive information related to the trademarks like trademark applied that are already registered, objected, opposed or abandoned. If you found any kind of matches you are advised to select another name. However, if there no matches found you can easily proceed further to the next step.
2. Filing Trademark Application- Now that you have a unique brand you can make an application for its registration electronically or physically. The TM-A form shall be filed for making the application along with the prescribed fees. In case of the physical filing of the application the prescribed fee amount Rs 5000 in case, you are individual / Start-up /Small Enterprise. However, this fee is Rs. 4500 in case of electronic filing. Once the application is submitted successfully an official receipt with a TM number will be issued to the applicant.
3. Examination of the trademark application filed- After the successful filing of the trademark application it will be preceded to the registrar of the trademark for scrutinizing it. The registrar will check the application filed on various grounds and determine whether the trademark applied complies with the rules and regulations specified in existing laws or not. Further, he will check whether the trademark applied is unique or not and it should not result in a conflict of the interests of any existing trademark holder. If the trademark applied satisfies all conditions according to the registrar and he deems fit, he may approve the application and process it for publication in the journal. Whereas if finds any discrepancy in the application he will raise objections to it.
4. Filing Reply to the objection - In case the objection is raised by the registrar the owner or the person authorized by him is required to respond to the same through the reply. In this response, he is required to prove that why his brand name is capable of being registered and how is it different from the existing trademark.
5. Publication of trademark in Trademark Journal- If the registrar not satisfied with reply filed a hearing will be scheduled wherein he is required to prove his point. On the contrary, if he is satisfied with the application made he shall further pass the trademark applied to be published in Trademark journal. Trademark journal is released every week containing the details of all the applications made for trademark registration. The applied trademark will stay published in the trademark journal for three months inviting any opposition on the application made. The period of these three months can be extended by 1 month for inviting the opposition from the public at large. During these three months, any person who believes that the registration of the trademark applied will infringe his rights can raise oppositions on it.
6. Responding to the opposition-The hearing will be scheduled by the department to hear both the parties the one making the application and the one raising the oppositions on it. Both the parties are required to prove the reason for the validity of their claims.
In case no oppositions are received on the trademark applied or the applicant has successfully proved his claim on the trademark during the hearing, the trademark registration will be granted to him. This registration once obtained is valid for a period of 10 years.