A trademark is a visual symbol which may be a word to indicate the source of the goods, a signature, name, device, label, numerals, or combination of colors used, or services, or other articles of commerce to distinguish it from other similar goods or service originating from another.
Trademark Registration Process in India
The process for registration of the trademark can be carried out by the business owner or his/her representative. The registration process can be described in the following steps:
A trademark search is a review of various information, including trademark databases, and occasionally commercial and marketplace resources, typically designed to determine whether a particular trademark is available for (a) use without risk of infringement of the rights of a prior user or registrant, and (b) registration, referring to the criteria for registrable trademarks under local laws.
It is highly recommended to conduct a trademark search before filing for a trademark registration application to ensure that there is not a prior existing mark similar to yours that could prevent your mark obtaining registration.
Once it is found out that the proposed trademark does not conflict with any other trademarks available at the Registry, a trademark application is filed at the Trademark Office. Now the Trademark application can be filed for more than one class of goods in one application. An application with priority rights shall be filed within 6 months from the date of initial grant of the registration application of the mark in other country.
After filing, Trade Marks Registry will then examine the mark to ensure it meets the requirements for registration in India. Examination currently occurs around 8-10 months after filing the application, however it is possible to request an expedited examination by paying extra government fees.
If the Registrar objects or wants fulfillment of certain conditions, a Response is sought from the Applicant. After the filing of the Response, if the same is accepted, the Trademark proceeds for publication in the Trademark Journal. If the Response is not accepted, a hearing can be requested. At the hearing, the Registrar may allow for the registration or reject it absolutely. If the Registrar allows, the Trademark proceeds for publication in the Trademark Journal.
When the Trademark is advertised in the Trademark Journal, then third party can oppose the registration of the Trademark within the 3 months from the date of the Trademark journal made available to the public. Normally the following person opposes the registration of Trademark.
- The owner of an earlier Trademark application or registration covering a similar Trademark for similar goods
- A person who has used the same or a similar Trademark prior to the client, but who has not sought registration of the Trademark.
If there are no oppositions within 4 months from the date of advertisement in the Trade Marks Journal, then the trademark registration certificate will issue. Once registered a trademark will be valid for 10 years thereafter it can be renewed for another 10 years upon paying the government fees.
The registered trade mark continues to enjoy all the rights which vest in an unregistered trade mark. By registration the proprietor of an unregistered trade mark is converted into proprietor of the registered trade mark.