A Trademark for a company is its intangible asset i.e. the logo, word, symbol, or a group of words and symbols. A Trademark is a unique identity for a company that gives it its brand value. You can say the Trademark is the most valuable marketing asset to a company although it’s intangible.
Under any condition, all companies are required to have their Trademarks when they are doing any business.
History of Trademarks
The first official trademark law was passed in 1940. However due to its limitations and non-use, it was replaced by the Trade and Merchandise Act, 1958. In 1994, India became part of the TRIPS Agreements which set basic standards for intellectual property rights. To meet these basic standards, a number of amendments were introduced to the trademark laws in India. These amendments were made by replacing the former act with the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the Trade Marks Rules, 2002.
The procedure for registering trademark in India
Step 1: Trademark Search
This search is to check whether your business name or logo is similar to other already registered trademarks. Generally 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.
Step 2: Filing Trademark Application
After you are sure that your chosen brand name or logo is not listed in the Trademark Registry India, you can opt for registering the same.
Step 3: Examination
After a trademark application is filed, it is examined by the examiner for any discrepancies. The examination might take around 12-18 months. The examiner might accept the trademark absolutely, conditionally or object.
Once such response is accepted, the trademark is published in the Trademark Journal. If the response is not accepted, one can request a hearing. If in the hearing, the examiner feels that the trademark should be allowed registration, it proceeds for publication in the Trademark Journal.
Step 4: Publication
The step of publication is incorporated in the trademark registration process so that anyone who objects to the registering of the trademark has the opportunity to oppose the same. If, after 3-4 months from publication there is no opposition, the trademark proceeds for registration. In case there is opposition; there is a fair hearing and decision are given by the Registrar.
Step 5: Registration Certificate
Once the application proceeds for trademark registration, following publication in Trademark Journal, a registration certificate under the seal of the Trademark Office is issued.
Step 6: Renewal
The trademark can be renewed perpetually after every 10 years. Hence, your logo or brand name registration can be protected perpetually. And its Done.