A trademark is your brand name or logo which represents your business. It can be a signature, label, design, logo, numbers, alphabets, tagline, color combination, etc. used by the owner in his brand name or logo in order to make their particular business recognizable and/or to make it stand apart from the other competitors in the business market. The Trade Marks Registry was established in India in 1940 and presently it administers the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the rules thereunder. Trademarks in India are registered by the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. It ensures the safety of your business, wrong practices and fraudulent use of your company’s logo. However your trademark should not be a copy and be deceptive in cases of which your application will be rejected.
Any individual, company, proprietor, or a legal entity that claims to be the owner of the company and its trademark can apply for Trademark registration. Once you file the application for trademark registration you can start using the “™” symbol since the file registration could take up to 8-12 months. Once you receive the register certificate you can use the register symbol “®” next to your company name/logo. A registered trademark is valid for 10 years from the date of registration and can be renewed from time to time.
Let us understand the process of registering a trademark in India. It can be a little time consuming but what comes without efforts right? And your business requires this to be safe and secure. So let’s proceed.
1) Brief search
Before you dive into the process of designing a logo, registering your trademark, etc. it is important to do a brief search. Once you have a rough draft or idea about what you want your logo to look like, do a search, both online and offline to make sure your logo is not similar to an already registered trademark. When that is done and you know yours is unique, you are good to proceed further.
2) Create an application
After your thorough search for your trademark to be unique, the trademark attorney will create a trademark application. Since you do not want anyone else to steal your trademark while it is in process, you start using the “™” symbol as soon as the trademark application is filed.
3) Trademark registration
Cost: Government fees are Rs. 4,500/- in case of Individual/ Startup/ Small Enterprise (it would be 9,000/- in all other cases) and trademark attorney professional fees is Rs. 3500/- per application per class.
Your application is then checked by the Trademarks office to see if it matches anybody else’s logo/trademark. If it does it will be put for objection in the Trademarks journal. If there is no opposition from other businesses in the next four months, your trademark gets registered in six to eight months.
Documents required for filing a Trade Mark Application in India:
- Trademark or logo copy
- Applicant details like name, address, and nationality and for the company: the state of incorporation
- Goods or services to register
- Date of first use of the trademark in India, if used by you prior to applying.
- Power of attorney to be signed by the applicant
A trademark is an important asset to your business. Even the biggest businesses like Apple, Microsoft, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Lays, etc. have a Registered Trademark. The trademark contributes to your business and its goodwill in the long run. A trademark is also considered to be a valuable asset since it can be sold, assigned or licensed on the basis of its already generated goodwill in the market. It guarantees identity and protects from theft or fraud use of the company’s name or logo. A trademark is not just your brand logo but it has the potential of becoming your customers’ lifestyle.