Being able to have one’s business identified among millions is a dream, yet they manage on fulfilling it by choosing one perfectly unique logo, expression, photograph or slogan. It isn’t easy, but takes all the sweat and courage on choosing and selecting one as a unique identifier towards the brand.
Now following this, seeing someone else gaining advantage out of your hard work, is not really an admirable sight. Hence, it becomes important to protect your brand against any infringement with the help of trademark registration under the act named Trademark Act, 1999.
Doing this would not only protect your trademark from being misused, but also gives you a right to sue against anyone trying to.
Want to mark your presence to more than one country, then you have to apply for separate trademark application. As any kind of national trademark registration end at the boundary of the country and it doesn’t allow its owner to use that trademark beyond the geographical area of that nation for which owner have registered for.
For international trademark registration Madrid Protocol was introduced in the year 1996 with the aim to register a trademark in more than one nation. Madrid is an agreement which tells you about the system of international trademark registration.
All you need to do is file an application for registration through the trademark office of the applicant. After final submission of application if your application is found suitable as per the norms, then your work, mark or logo will get published world intellectual property organization (WIPO) gazette of international mark and will be recorded in the international register. For issues which shall be raised by designated offices Madrid Protocol has set a time period of 12 and half years.
Being one official process, trademark registration too needs a person to provide some basic information on business, like:
It is also mandatory to provide applicant’s identity proof, which can be anything including an Aadhar card, passport, Voter’s ID or Driving License.
If you want to use a trademark to cover more than a single product or service, and those products or services fall into more than a single class (for example, metal products and clothing) additional fees are required for each additional class.
It all starts with you picking and finalizing a unique mark for your organization. But, do make sure on firstly identifying your class that currently has 45 different categories of goods and services. Number 1-34 of these classes belong to goods, while the rest does to services.
Choosing a mark is as important as checking for its unique self, to avoid copying any registered brand mark. Being a much simpler process, this can be done by visiting an online portal featuring controller general of patents, designs and trademarks. The site provides an option to conduct a public brand name search following choosing an appropriate class.
After making sure that the trademark logo you have chosen is not listed in the Trademark Registry India, you can move for next step that is filing a trademark registration at Trademark Registry India, nowadays application can be filed online also. Once the application is filed an official receipt is issued immediately for the purpose of future reference.
Once a trademark application filed it will be goes under examination it might take around 12 to 18 months. After that trademark application might be accepted unconditionally, conditionally or object.
Which means if accepted unconditionally it will be published in the trademark journal and if not accepted then there will be some conditions to be fulfilled or objection mentioned in the examination report and duration of a month would be given to response to the objection mentioned in examination report or to fulfilled the conditions mentioned.
This step is taken for trademark registration process so that anyone having objection have opportunity to oppose for the same. If there is no opposition after 3-4 months from publication then the trademark proceeds for registration and if there is any opposition then decision is taken by registrar after a fair hearing.
After the application of trademark registration proceeds for publication in trademark journal, a registration certificate is issued by the trademark office under the seal of trademark.
once your brand name registration or logo is issued it will be protected for 10 years, you can renew perpetually after 10 years.
A trademark or brand registration can be applied by anyone including private companies, individuals, NGO’s, Trusts or even someone related to the government agency. Considering the “what” part, it actually includes quite a number of options ranging from logo, words, phrases, sound, images, colours, symbols to a combination of all the above mentioned. Although, one must try on making the trademark as unique as possible to make it stand out of the rest.
A Trademark which is registered is not only part of assets of company (or other business entity), but it also has a huge impact on company’s numbers in terms of market worth or turnover, this kind of registration is investment rather than a cost.
While trademark registration isn’t a compulsory but voluntary act, there are several advantages for you, as a business owner, to get convinced on proceeding the process.
Ans 1. Trademark registration usually included three kinds of symbols which are (TM), (R) and (SM).
Ans 2. As soon as you file for the trademark registration, you’d be allowed to use a (TM) symbol.
Ans 3. Registered logo is valid for ten long years, after which you can easily file an application considering trademark renewal.
Ans 4. There are a total of 45 classes in Trademark, that are divided into three different categories:
Ans 5. Sure, it is. Although the transfer fee differs as per the status of mark.
Ans 6. Appointing a professional will ease the process to registration of trademark. The Trademark Office takes about 2 years grant the applied trademark and post in in the Trademark Journal.
Ans 7. You will have legal rights only within the areas where you operate, if you do not register your trademark, it means you may not be able to stop a subsequent user of the mark, from using the mark in your geographic area, even if it is a bigger company, if you don’t get registered your company’s trademark.
Ans 8. Yes, any business/proprietor/individual can apply for trademark registration.
Ans 9. If you are selling goods then your company have to use TM, which is stands for Trade Mark. And if you are providing services then your company have to use SM, which is stands for Service Mark.
Ans 10. If you availed the trademark registration, you can use the ‘R’ symbol which is valid for 10 years.
Ans 11. Yes, it can be filed both online as well as offline mode.
Ans 12. If you are seeking trademark registration for different classes, then you have to file separate registration for both the classes.
Ans 13. If a foreign entity wishes to trade in India, then only they can apply for trademark.
Ans 14. No, any kind of trademark registration done in India is applicable in India only.
Ans 15. To standardized the goods and services trademark registry has introduced 45 classes by which trademark will represented under which all type of goods and services are mentioned. The trademark registration is allowed for the specific class of goods and services.
Ans 16. Madrid Protocol introduced in the year 1996 with the aim to register a mark in more then one country. It is a kind of agreement which tells you about the international trademark registration system.
Ans 17. World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) inspect the application under their framework in which you have applied. WIPO officially look over your trademark application.
Ans 18. Any business entity or individual having effective and real commercial or industrial establishment can apply for international trademark.
Ans 19. Having your own trademark gives you legal rights and allows you to stop others to use your mark to sell goods and services. This will also help you to increase customer loyalty as they can able to know the direct source of goods and services.