Anyone can register a trademark even before starting their business.
Just like a patent protects an invention and the inventor, a trademark gives you an exclusive right to your goods and services. In India, you can obtain a registration for words, numerals, slogans, logos, various combinations of these and more.
Following are the steps you need to follow to obtain a trademark registration in India.
Step 1: Decide on an Apt Name & Check if it’s Already Taken
Before you finalize a name or logo, ensure that it suits the kind of goods and services you are going to provide. Also, make sure that it has not already been registered in the Trademark Database. You can check for a trademark by visiting the Trademark Registrar Website.
Step 2: Make it Official – File the Application
After ensuring that your trademark is original, you can begin the filing process. You can file the application at either one of the five Trademark Registrar Offices (located in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Ahmedabad- addresses available on the website of the Controller General) or online.
Read the instructions carefully and make sure that you provide valid details.
Step 3: Start Using the TM Symbol
Once you file the Trademark registration application with the Trademark Registrar, a trademark application allotment number will be provided to you within one or two working days.
You can start using the TM symbol next to the name or logo you have trademarked after you get this number.
Step 4: Wait for Vienna Codification
Right after you get the allotment number, the status in the Trademark Registry website will be shown as “Send to Vienna Codification”. This means that your trademark is sent to be assigned a Vienna Code by the Indian Trade Mark Registry. It is done so that anyone can search for your artwork/logo.
Step 5: Confirm Verification of the Application
Once the Vienna Codification is done, your application is allotted to a Trademark Officer in the Trademark Registrar Office to review and issue a trademark examination report.
Two things can happen at this point. If the Trademark Officer accepts the application, the status of your trademark application will show ‘Formalities Chk Pass’ and it will be sent for trademark journal publication.
If the trademark registration application is objected by the Trademark Officer, the status of your trademark application will show ‘Formalities Chk Fail’ at which point you have the right to appear before the Trademark Officer and address the objections.
If the Trademark Officer is satisfied with your justifications, the trademark will be allowed for publication in the Trademark Journal. Otherwise, you have the right to appeal the decision in front of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.
Step 6: Check for Publication in the Trademark Journal
After the trademark registration application is accepted by the Trademark Registrar, your trademark will be published in the Trademark Journal. This is done so that the public is given a chance to raise their concerns.
If no one files an objection within 90 days of publication, the mark will be registered within 12 weeks – months. The trademark manuscript and trademark registration certificate will be prepared and sent to you. You can then use the ® symbol next to your logo or name.
In case anyone opposes the application within 90 days of publication, the Trademark Hearing Officer will call for a hearing where you and the opposition can provide justifications for registration or rejection of the application.
The Trademark Hearing Officer will then determine if the trademark registration application should be accepted or rejected. If rejected, you can challenge his decision in front of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.
It can take anywhere between 18 to 24 months for the Trademark Office to decide on approving or rejecting your trademark; If objections arise, it can even take longer.
The validity of your registration will be over after 10 years from the date of application. It can be renewed indefinitely as long as you pay the renewal every 10 years.
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