What is Trademark?
A trademark can be defined as a visual symbol that offers a distinguished identity to the business and makes your company, product(s), or service(s) stand out from the crowd. A registered trademark through a trademark registration process is essentially your business’s intellectual property. The trademark registration procedure benefits the business by protecting its investments and helps in imbibing trust and loyalty among your customers. The Trademark registration process also provides businesses with the right to sue whosoever tries to copy your trademark and prevents entrepreneurs from using a similar trademark to the one registered by you.
When one invests their time and money to build a brand, it can be painful to see your brand name or logo is used by somebody else, robbing you of your hard-earned reputation and well-built goodwill.
Who wants to get entangled in a web of prolonged litigation processes just because you did not apply for the trademark registration process at the right time.
Trademark Registration process is not a difficult task and should be done on time. That is far better than facing some severe consequences or regret at a later stage. The Trademark registration process is easy, and if you follow step by step correctly, as explained below, you can get the much-needed legal protection of your brand or trade name & logo.
The following are some of the steps required for trademark registration process of the brand or trade name in India –
The foremost step in Trademark registration process is Trademark search. It is a crucial step of the Trademark registration process. Moreover, having a unique brand name in mind is not a good enough reason to avoid it. A trademark search helps you to know if there are similar existing trademarks available and gives a fair idea of where your brand stands. So the best course of action is to avoid getting stuck in time-consuming litigations & be aware of whether you can get the trademark registered or not.
Filing Trademark Application
Once the Trademark search is complete and considering that our brand has not got listed in the Trademark Registry India, you can go ahead to start the registration process for the same. All you have to do is file a trademark application at the Registry and start filling the form online. Once its done, an official receipt gets issued immediately for future reference and use in the Trademark Registration process.
After your trademark application gets submitted, the next step is examination by the proper officer or examiner. The examiner checks your application & finds whether there is any discrepancies or errors. This part of the Trademark Registration process may take up to 12 to 18 months. Moreover, during the examination, the examiner can accept your trademark absolutely or conditionally and even object to it if he comes across some discrepancies or errors.
If the examiner accepts it unconditionally, the trademark gets published in the Trademark Journal. And if not, the examiner mentions the conditions you need to fulfil to proceed with the trademark registration process further. They may also add the objections in the examination report and give you a month to respond to it accordingly.
Once you give your response and it gets accepted, the trademark gets published in the Journal. If your answer is again denied, you may seek a hearing.. Nowadays hearing can be through video conference as well.
The decision for the hearing proceedings for Trademark registration process rests in the hand of the examiner at the time of the hearing. And if they feel your reasons are valid and fair enough, the examiner further process your Trademark Application for publication in the Trademark Journal.
The Publication in trademark Journal gives 150 days time to the public at large so that they can object to the registration of your trademark during the stage of publication. If even after the given time of 150 days, there is no opposition regarding your application, the trademark can proceed for registration. A hearing is conducted in the event of an objection. And the final decision is given by the Registrar post-hearing.
Once the application gets published in the Journal and proceeds for registration, a registration certificate gets issued. It is under the seals of the Trademark Office.
You can renew the trademark after every 10 years.