So your query mainly deals with Registring a Trade Mark in India. So I will try to explain the whole process of registration and what you should do regarding your query.
Starting with what is a Trade Mark?
A trademark, popularly known as a brand name or a business name, is a type of intellectual property consisting of a visual symbol or distinctive sign which may be a word, letter, signature, drawing, shape, name, device, label, numerals or combination of colors, etc., which distinguishes the goods and services of one company/business from goods or services of another business. It is a legal protection or a title that grants exclusive protection within a national zone. A trademark helps consumers to identify and choose between products/services based on their distinction, reputation, and quality.
The purpose of a trademark is to protect your business’s brand identity in the marketplace.
Properly registering your trademark puts the rest of the business world on notice that the design, word, name, or symbol you are using to identify your goods or services is your official and legal trademark, and it acts as evidence of your exclusive right to use your marks; potentially vital if another business later infringes on your rights.
What is the Process of Filing a Trademark application:
So these are the steps in the process of filing a Trademark application:
- Select a Trade Mark Attorney: Brand owners are only allowed to file a trademark application if their place of business is in India. If this is not the case, they must file a trademark application through an agent or attorney. The agent or attorney usually takes care of the initial steps such as searching, preparing, filing and prosecution of the trademark.
- Availability of the Trade Mark by conducting a TM search: Whether the brand name is eligible for registration or not is done by way of conducting a clearance search to ensure that no similar trademark exists with the office of the Controller General.
- Filing the application form: If the trademark agent has the power of attorney from the right holder he can complete and file the application form. The form will require certain details of the proprietor and goods and services.
- Review of the application: The Trade Mark office reviews the application to see if it is complete and then allots the application a number.
- Preliminary approval and publication, show cause hearing or rejection of the application: The Trade Marks Office determines if the application is fit to proceed for registration or requires objection either on absolute or relative grounds for refusal as prescribed in the Trade Marks Act, 1999. If there is an objection found based on the preliminary checks, they issue an examination report which needs to be replied within a period of one month by the Trade Marks Agent. The Registrar/Examiner determines whether the application must be accepted, rejected or put up for show cause hearing looking at the reply to the examination report. The applicant can appeal to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board if in the ‘show cause hearing’ subject to the facts his application is rejected
- Accepted & Advertised: If the application is accepted by the Examiner, then the application proceeds to be published in the Trade Marks Journal which is a public document open to the public for objection to ensure that no similar mark is granted protection. In case any similarity in the advertised marks with their prior registered trademarks is found by the public, they can file an opposition against it. Opposition by a third party can be filed against the published Trade Mark within four months of the Journal’s publication date.
- Registration: If no opposition is filed against the mark, then it will proceed for registration and the Trade Marks Registry will proceed to give a registration certificate.
- Renewal: A Trade Mark can be renewed every 10 years. The date of renewal is calculated from the date of filing the Application with the Trade Marks Registry.
As you can see the Trade Mark registration process is too long. Having helped an attorney in filing a Trade Mark myself, I can tell that there is still a lot of research you have to do other than just a basic search on India. Mostly when you file Trade Mark for the 1st time it will be objected by the Trade Mark office on certain grounds even if in the initial search there were no previous similar trademarks. which it will mention in its examination report.
A Trade Mark Attorney shall examine the trademark and shall conduct a thorough search in the database of trademark regarding the availability of the proposed mark and its possibilities of getting registered. A Trade Mark attorney search report will reflect on the classes in which application for the proposed mark should be filed for comprehensive protection depending on the nature of goods/services being offered. The attorney shall further draft a suitable descripttion for the class trademark in which it is to be filed. The Attorney report is a comprehensive report which enables the decision-maker to foresee the possibility of registration of the Trademark from the perspective of absolute grounds of refusal as specified under Section 9 and the relative grounds of refusal as prescribed under Section 11 of the Trademark Act. The report will further highlight the possibility of a third party objection or further litigation. A trademark Attorney Search is a sensible investment and is strongly recommended to the potential applicant of trademark. Hence, it is advisable for you to hire a Trade Mark attorney who will help you and handle your whole operation till the Trade Mark is finally registered.
I hope this solves your query.