The registration process in India is a ‘first to file’ basis. Therefore, it is important to apply for registration as soon as possible. A trademark usually takes 2-3 years to get registered, if the trademark is not being opposed by a third party. Trademark applications are handled by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Trade Marks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications. Branches for these offices are available in Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Chennai. The application must be filled as per territorial jurisdiction.
Advantages of Registering a Trademark
- Trademarks make it easier for your customer base to find you
- Trademarks help prevent marketplace confusion
- Trademarks are economically efficient tools
- Exclusive Rights to owner
- Trademark Builds confidence and Goodwill:
- Product Differentiates:
- Product’s Quality recognition:
- Creation of Asset:
- Symbol usage:
- Trademark provides Protection against breach:
- Trademark protects for Years:
- Get Global Trademark Registration:
- Attract people to join companies:
Steps to register a trademark in India are:
- Select a trademark agent in India: Proprietors are only allowed to file a trademark application if their place of business is in India. If this is not the case, the right holder must file a trademark application through an agent or attorney. The agent or attorney usually takes care of the trivialities such as searching, preparing, filing and prosecution of the trademark.
- Determination of the eligibility and availability of the trademark: The agent usually starts the registration process by determining whether the trademark is eligible for registration and conducting a clearance search to see if there is a similar mark in the office of the controller general.
- Completing the application form and filing: 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 details such as name and address of the proprietor, a description of the goods and services associated with the mark, whether the mark is in use and a copy of the mark.
- Review by the trademark office: The trademark office reviews the application to see if it is complete and then allots the application a number. If the trademark is registered, this number becomes the registration number.
- Preliminary approval and publication, show cause hearing or rejection of the application: The trademark association determines if the application is barred from registration either on absolute or relative grounds for refusal as prescribed in the Trade Marks Act, 1999. After this, they issue an examination report within a period of one month. Depending on the examination report the registrar of the trademark determines whether the application must be accepted, rejected or put up for ‘show cause ‘ During a ‘show cause hearing’ subject to the facts an application might be rejected, accepted or accepted with certain limitations. If the application is rejected, the applicant can appeal at the Intellectual Property Appellate.
- Registration: Within the term of three months publication in the Trademarks Journal, if not opposed by a third party, the trademark will proceed for registration and the trademark authority will proceed to give a registration certificate.