A trademark is any sign which can distinguish the goods and services of one trader from those of another. Trademarks can be words, logos, pictures, or a combination of these and are used so that the product or service that a particular trader provides can be recognised by customers and cannot be imitated by others.
To register a trademark the mark must be;
- Distinctive for the goods or services which you are applying to register it for.
- Not deceptive, or contrary to law or morality.
- Not similar or identical to any earlier marks for the same or similar goods or services.
Any person which can be an individual, company, proprietor, or legal entity claiming to be the owner of the trademark can apply. The application for the trademark can be filed within a few days and you can start using the “TM” symbol. And the time required for the trademark registry to complete formalities is 8 to 24 months. You may use the ® (Registered symbol) next to your trademark once your trademark is registered and the registration certificate is issued. Once registered a trademark is valid for 10 years from the date of filing, which can be renewed from time to time.
The procedure for registering trademark in India
Step 1: trademark search
(time: about 4 hours) Cost: Rs 0 to Rs. 500
This search is to check whether your business name or logo is similar to other already registered trademarks. Generally, the trademark agent or attorney conducts this search with the Trademark Office to check if there are any similar trademarks already registered under that particular class. There are two kinds of search: online and offline. It is recommended that you get both the searches done. Once found to be unique you can proceed to the next step
Step 2: create a trademark application
(time required: 2-3 days)
Based on the results of the search conducted, the trademark attorney will draft a trademark application, provided that your business name/logo found to be unique. If someone already has the same or similar trademark, you need to change yours. Or if you are of opinion that the trademark is rightfully yours and you are using it for a long time even before other party trademark registration. You can start using the ™ symbol as soon as you file the form of a trademark application.
Step 3: trademark registration
(time 8 to 24 months)
Cost: Government fees are Rs. 4,500/- in case of Individual/ Startup/ Small Enterprise (it would be 9,000/- in all other cases) and trademark attorney professional fees is Rs. 2500/- per application per class.
- The Trademarks Office will first check your application to see if it’s already been taken. If it has, a trademark objection will be raised.
- If it has no objection, it makes an advertisement in the Trade Marks Journal.
- If there is no opposition from other businesses in the next four months, your trademark is registered around six months later.
Note: objections Dependent Costs Drafting legal response to objections can be from Rs. 2000/- to Rs 5000 in order to overcome the objections and in case hearing is required, the cost per hearing would depend upon the complexity of the matter.
Steps you need to take to registration your trademark in India:
- Select and authorize a trademark agent or attorney to represent you.
- The trademark attorney conducts a search.
- Depending upon the results of the search, the trademark attorney will draft your trademark application. In case someone already has the same or similar trademark, you may have to change yours.
- The trademark attorney will file your trademark application with the Trademark Office and send you the receipt.
- After a few days, the trademark attorney will send you the Original Representation Sheet of your trademark as it has been filed with the Trademark Office.