Branding has been a critical aspect of the business since time immemorial, and more so with the advent of globalization. It may not be an overstatement to argue that a business is (almost exclusively!) as good as its brand. It takes significant efforts and resources to build a brand. Brands, once developed and marketed with care and grit, significantly influence consumers’ psyche and steer their consumption behavior.
However, many business owners do not realise that Brands and Trademarks are as much a matter of pride as legal disputes. Exclusive ownership of a business’ logo, slogan, shape, packaging, etc., under the Trademark Act, 1999 is extremely crucial – not just to protect one’s brand against usage by any other person, but also to protect one from infringement-related litigation from other business owners. In light of the above, it is critical for the business to register their trademarks. Certain relevant queries in connection with the same have been dealt with below.
- Legally safeguards owner and its goodwill - A registered trademark entitles its owner to protect the goodwill of his/her business or profession. Such owner can legally hold and utilize the trademark to the exclusion of others, and sue in the courts of law against any misuse/ infringement of the same. At the same time, it also protects the owner from possibility of frivolous complaints or legal suits being instituted by others for trademark infringement.
- Unique Branding - A registered trademark is a distinct identity of a company’s goods or services in today’s world of intense competition. It helps in advertising and increasing the brand value.
- Tradeable Asset - A registered trademark,as an intangible asset, is tradeable in nature. It can be sold, assigned, franchised or commercially contracted.
- Power of Attorney (duly executed)
- PAN card, address proof and certificate of registration of the applicant
- Brand Name and Logo
- If a specific date is to be claimed as use date, An affidavit along with documentary proof (invoices, registration certificates, etc. with the brand name proposed to be registered)
- Certificate of registration under MSME or Start-up India scheme (if applicable) to avail 50% rebate on the Government fees.
Any mark that is identical or deceptively similar to an existing registered trademark, or a trademark for which the application for registration is already in process, such trademarks cannot be registered. Also, a mark that would likely cause a deception or confusion, or that appears offensive may not be registered. Geographical names, common names, common trade words and common abbreviation are also not registrable. The names which are listed under “Prohibited marks” and “Well known marks” are not registrable.
- Preparation and filing of Trademark application in the right class, with all the correct details.
- Send it to Vienna Codification – As soon as a new trademark application is filed, a Vienna Code is assigned if the trademark comprises of figurative elements/logo. Vienna codification is done by the Registry so that the trademark searches can be conducted for artworks/logos.
- Formalities Check – This is the first step of verifying the Trademark Application whereby the Trademark Registry usually checks if the basic requirements are met. This includes scrutinizing whether the POA has been uploaded (when filed through an attorney) and whether the appropriate translation/transliteration has been filed in case of TM is not filed in English/Hindi.
- An issue of Examination Report from the Ministry – On verification of basic details, the registry examines the application under various sections to see if the Trademark applied for requires any clarification under any of the Legal sections of the Act. When they feel that any information is required, then they would issue an examination report with the relevant section to which a reply MUST be filed.
- Exam Report Issued / Accepted – After acceptance of the Trademark application or submission Examination Reply if the registry is satisfied then they will proceed for the Trademark name or symbol or both to be published in the Trademark Journal.
- “Advertised before acc” or “Advertised” or “Accepted & Advertised” – At this stage, the trademarked name or logo or both are advertised in the Trademark Journal. These are kept open for Objection for 4 months for any third party to oppose the published Trademark. When any such objections are received, the status would change to Opposed – to which a proper reply should be filed.
- Registration– If there are no other objections, clarifications, or oppositions, the trademark application would be accepted and marked as ‘Registered’. This is when the Trademark applicant can start using the ® symbol.
* Terms & Conditions
1) In case the above plan does not qualify your requirements, kindly contact our executive, we shall be happy to customise a plan for you
2) All the above plans do not include Govt. fee of Rs. 4,500/- towards the filing of Trademark Application (per application per class)
3) Please note that the Govt. fee for the filing of a Trademark Application is Rs. 9,000/-, however, the concessional fee of Rs. 4,500/- is applicable for Individuals & MSME Organisations
4) In case you do not qualify for the concessional fee as mentioned in point no 3 above, an additional fee of Rs. 4,500/- shall be payable over and above the plans mentioned