Background: Trademark registration enables businesses to protect their brand and logo and thereby this is vital foundation on which to build a strong business identity. Gaurav G explains the trademark registration process in India.
When you think of trademark registration in India, you think brand protection. How valuable is this protection? Let us explain it through this example
When you turn on your PC, there is distinct sound that you hear. It tells you that you are running Windows desktop. Do you think of anything else after hearing that sound? You don’t! It is because Microsoft has trademarked this sound and in doing so, have created a unique way of brand identification.
That sound is Microsoft’s trademark!
Trademarks refer to a symbol, a word, a shape, a colour combination, a sound or even a smell that uniquely identifies the product or service that you provide. Without a proper trademark, the consumers won’t know the source of the product that they are using. And without trademark, you won’t be able to make a mark in the business world.
However, even if you have a trademark, it does not mean that others can’t copy it. Just think if Microsoft’s boot up sound was used by someone else too. Would you be able to even know about Microsoft? Therefore, exclusive ownership over the trademark is important as much as the product itself. This is where the concept of Trademark registration comes in. Through registering your trademark at the authorities, you have a way to ensure that no one copies your trademark. This way, your brand is protected. And this can help your brand grow freely.
Also read: 10 things entrepreneurs should know about patents
Trademark registration process in India
How to protect your brand? Well, through trademark registration of course! However, how to register your trademark in India? Well, this is where the answer gets tricky. Therefore, let us dedicate this section to make you understand trademark registration process in a simple manner:
- Decide what your trademark is going to be: Your first task is to decide trademark for your product or service. It can be a device, a word mark, smell, shape colour combination or sound. However, even when you are choosing unconventional trademarks, ensure that they are:
- Not offensive to any community.
- Not explicitly stating the quality of the product.
- Not a copy of pre-existing trademark.
- Not a deceptively similar to any trademark.
- Conduct a thorough trademark search: In order to ensure the uniqueness of the trademark, you need to conduct an online trademark search. It is the most important step in trademark registration process in India. It is especially important in India because in the population of 1.25 billion, chances of similar trademarks are quite high.
- Gather the documents for trademark registration: You can register your trademark online in India either as a business or as an individual. The documents for both these cases are different:
- In the case you are applying as a business (partnership / LLP / company). Logo copy (if you want to trademark a device)
- ID proof of the signatory
- Address proof of the signatory
- Certificate of Incorporation or Partnership Deed or LLP Agreement.
- In case you are applying as an individual
- Logo Copy (If you want to trademark a device)
- ID proof of the signatory
- Address proof of the signatory
- Fill and submit the form online: You can only trademark registrations apply online. This is done to ensure convenience for the applicants.
- Trademark examination report: After application submission, time comes for trademark examination. The examiner checks the application and creates a trademark examination report. The results of this report can lead to:
- Trademark acceptance: The trademark is accepted and sent to trademark journal
- Trademark objection: Trademark objection happens when there are some errors with the application. To get the trademark to the trademark journal, you have to apply yourself to clear the objection.
- Trademark published: After the IP department accepts the application; the trademark is published in the trademark journal. The period of the trademark publishing is 4 months. It means that for 4 months, your trademark shall remain in the journal. This period is there so that third parties can see the mark and can pose opposition. If there is a case of trademark opposition, you need to get it cleared before the trademark is registered.
- Grant of trademark registration certificate: Once the time period of 4 months is over, and all the oppositions (if any) against the registration are dealt with, your trademark is registered.
Also read: Key elements of a non-disclosure agreement
Best places to register your trademark
While you are register your trademark anywhere in India, there are some places that trademark registration holds more value. Let us tell you about it:
- Delhi: Delhi’s significance in India cannot be overstated. From culture, to tech to politics, businesses of every vertical can be found here. Therefore, trademark registration in Delhi is something to consider. With a high influx of brands in Delhi, trademark registration allows the brands and companies to survive in the long run.
- Bengaluru: Tech based brands need a lot of protection now that they are literally everywhere. While you don’t want to separate from the pack, you do want recognition. Therefore, you should apply for trademark registration in Bengaluru as soon as possible.
- Hyderabad: Hyderabad has now emerged as another Bengaluru. There is technology, culture and everything else there, including delectable foods. Establishing your brand in Hyderabad through trademark registration in Hyderabad is a good thing to think about. Your brand shall be protected, your company shall grow and your name shall evolve.
Cost of trademark registration in India
Trademark registration is a legal process, and therefore, legal professionals are involved with its process. Therefore, there is government trademark registration cost in India. However, the government costs are not the only costs that you are required to pay. There are also professional costs.
Get in touch with us for all your trademark registration requirements.
Also read: How to apply for Digital Signature Certificate & its benefits
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