Online Trademark Registration in India - An Overview

A trademark can be characterized as a distinctive identity that benefits your product or service to be different from the rest. The distinctive identities can be a logo, photograph, word, slogan, sound, color combination, or graphics. Many businesses normally look to register, either on logo or name. If you are creating a distinctive logo or name, then it is imperative to register as a trademark, to safeguard it as your unique identity. Once a trademark is registered on the identity,  it's legally recognized as your business's intangible asset or intellectual property.

The registered trademark also acts as a shield over the company's investment, made in the logo or brand. Building a brand requires a good deal of hard work and resources. Hence, it is imperative to make sure that, to give your brand a unique identity, you need to have the exclusive rights to use the logo, slogan, shape, and packaging of goods, color combination, or anything else.

In India, one can register under the act named, The Trademark Act,1999. This act provides exclusive ownership rights and restricts others from usage, thus providing benefit to the owners with the registered mark. This Act also provides the right to use against anyone who tries to copy or infringe your trademark. Application for logo registration can be now done quickly, online. One can get the TM symbol quickly, once the application is done online. But, the TM registration process takes nearly 15-18 months, as it requires running various processes for validating original ownership of the mark. The validity of the trademark is 10 years. While nearing the expiry, one can get it re-registered for another 10 years.

Benefits of Trademark Registration in India

Provides Opportunity for Good Business - A business with its products and services, sold under a registered trademark helps to build a long-lasting relationship, trust, reliability, and goodwill, among its customers. When compared to other sellers, a registered trademark provides a distinct identity for your business, especially when selling within online platforms like Amazon and Flipkart, thus helping to create a brand value.

Legal Protection

An owner who has a registered trademark for his business will have legal rights, in case of infringement. But, if the owner has not registered for the trademark, he will not have the remedy to protect his brand/business, if any infringement happens. An owner who has a registered trademark for his business will have legal rights, in case of infringement. But, if the owner has not registered for the trademark, he will not have the remedy to protect his brand/business, if any infringement happens.

As an Asset

Registered Trademarks in India create an intangible asset. Trademarks that are registered, could be sold, assigned, franchised, or commercially contracted to enable benefits to the company or individual proprietor.

Filing of trademark Globally

A trademark that is registered or filed in India can also be filed abroad. Similarly, foreigners can also get registered trademark in India.

What can be Trademarked and who all can apply for the trademark?

As per the trademark rules in India, items like sound, logo, phrases, words, colors, images, symbols, or a combination of all these can be trademarked. However, one needs to make sure that all these items are utilized well to make your business unique from the rest.   Private firms, individuals, companies, LLP's, or NGOs have the right to apply trademark applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Startup founders usually register under their names while large businesses will do so, in the name of the company.

 If it's unique, it's highly likely to be granted.

If your brand/business is registered, but in a different class, it's still ok. Unless being a well-known brand ( like Starbucks or BMW), your application could still likely get approved. But, If in case, a trademark is registered by another brand after you begin to use it first, then you need to look into the matter seriously. Try to find out the origin of the business and send a cease-and-desist letter. These letters normally don't apply to intellectual property, as it is sent, only in cases of infringement. If the party doesn't comply with the letter, then you can take them to court.

After the application is filed, you will get an acknowledgment, giving you the entitlement to use the TM Symbol. After it's registered, you can use the R Symbol.

If an application contains details hurting religious sentiments, geographical names, or common words. It could also be rejected if confusion is created. Eg, for a car brand, one can't use the word 'car'.If an application contains details hurting religious sentiments, geographical names, or common words. It could also be rejected if confusion is created. Eg, for a car brand, one can't use the word 'car'.

Under the Trademark Registry, the goods and services are classified under 45 classes. You must mention in the application, the trademark class/services represent. The trademark would be registered under those classes, mentioned in the application.

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