What is a trademark?

A trademark in India (popularly known as brand name) in layman’s language is a visual symbol which may be a word signature, name, device, label, numerals or combination of colours used by one undertaking on goods or services or other articles of commerce to distinguish it from other similar goods or services originating from a different undertaking. You can get your trademark registered online with just a few clicks. Trademark can be a word and it should be easy to speak, spell and remember. The best trademarks are invented words or coined words or unique geometrical designs. Avoid selection of a geographical name, common personal name or surname. No one can have a monopoly right on it. Also avoid adopting laudatory word or words that describe the quality of goods (such as best, perfect, super etc.) It is advisable to conduct a market survey to ascertain if the same/similar mark is used in the market.

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Is the registration of trademark compulsory in India? Does registration of trademark provide any benefits?

Registration of trademark in India is not compulsory. However, a registered trademark protects and recognizes your individual rights over that good or service. On a cost-benefit analysis registering your trademark has the advantage of protecting the goodwill of your business. The benefits of a registered trademark are multi-fold: Identifies the origin of goods and services; Advertises goods and services; Guards the goodwill of your business or trader; Prevents misuse of a popular brand name by local vendors to sell low quality goods; Protects legal rights in the event of any litigation; Recognition of brand name.

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What can be registered as a trademark in India?

The following marks can be registered under the trademark law in India: Any name; Invented or coined words; Name with numerals; Devices; Letters or alphabets; Colours or combination of colours; Particular Smell; 3 dimensional marks; Particular Sound; Signature of a brand or person; Shape of goods; Slogans; The list is not exhaustive in nature. You can check for the validity of your trademark registration name online in just a few clicks.

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Which trademarks cannot be registered in India?

A mark cannot be register in India as a trademark if: The mark is likely to create confusion in general public; The mark is likely to deceive the public as being similar to an established brand; Any mark which can hurt or affect the religious beliefs of any class of people; Mark is prohibited by Emblems act or resembles any national symbol etc; Mark contains obscene or scandalous references; Mark demeans another established brand.

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Who can apply for trademark registration in India?

Any person claiming to be the owner of the trademark can apply for trademark registration procedure in India including an individual, company, proprietor, legal entity The application for Trademark registration can be filed within few days and you can start using “TM” symbol. And the time required for trademark registry to complete formalities is 18 to 24 months. You may use the ® (Registered symbol) next to your trademark once your trademark is registered and registration certificate is issued. Once registered, a trademark is valid for 10 years from the date of filing, which can be renewed time to time.

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Can I register my trademark online in India?

Yes, you can register your trademark online in India. There are 2 ways to register a Trademark in India namely physical filing of trademark and online trademark registration.  Online Trademark registration is substantially more convenient and overall the more sensible method in modern times. The new Trademark Rules, 2017 provide for 10% discount on the official fee for applications filed online from the fee of physical filings. It also helps in keeping paperless records of your trademarks portfolio. Another huge benefit is avoiding delays which may be attributed to the physical filing of an application. The application number and filing confirmation are instantly generated.

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What are the important documents required for trademark registration in India?

The important documents required for registration of trademark in India are: The name, address and nationality of the applicant. If the applicant is a partnership firm, the names of all the partners. Also, mention whether any minor is a partner. If the applicant is a company, the country or state of incorporation. A list of goods and/or services for which registration is required. Soft copy of the trademark to be registered. If the mark contains or consists of non-English words, a translation of those words into English is required. If the application is to claim priority from an earlier filed convention application, details of that application are also required (application number, filing date, country and goods/services). A certified priority document or its duly notarized copy is to be submitted. A copy of the priority document can be submitted within 1 month from the filing date of the application. Date of first use of the trademark in India, if at all used Power of attorney simply signed by the applicant (no legalization or notarization is required). For Indian clients, power of attorney to be executed in 100 Rs. stamp paper and signed by the applicant.

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What is the process of trademark registration in India?

The process of registration of trademark in India is: Trademark Search: The first step is to conduct a Trademark search on the Trademark database. The search can be conducted by a registered Trademark agent or professional. Trademark Class: The Trademark application is drafted in accordance with the Trademark class to which the Trademark for goods or services belongs. Trademark Filing: The Trademark registration application is drafted in the prescribed format and filed along with the fee for trademark registration with the Trademark Registrar. Trademark Application Allotment: A Trademark allotment number is provided within 1-2 days after the Trademark registration application is filed with the Trademark Registrar. Trademark Examination: After the codification of Trademark registration application is done, the Trademark Registrar reviews the application and either accepts or rejects the Trademark. Trademark Journal Publication: If the trademark registration application is accepted by the Registrar, the proposed trademark is published in the Trademark Journal. Trademark Registration: If there are no objections or oppositions to the Trademark registration application, the registration certificate is prepared and sent to the Trademark applicant, granting exclusive rights to use the mark.

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What are the different types of trademarks in India?

Under the Indian trademark law, the following are the types of trademarks that can be registered: Product trademarks: They are those that are affixed to identify goods. Service trademarks: They are used to identify the services of an entity, such as the trademark for a broadcasting service, retails outlet, etc. They are used in advertising for services. Certification trademarks: They are those that are capable of distinguishing the goods or services in connection with which it is used in the course of trade and which are certified by the proprietor with regard to their origin, material, the method of manufacture, the quality or other specific features Collective trademarks: They are registered in the name of groups, associations or other organizations for the use of members of the group in their commercial activities to indicate their membership of the group. You can now get trademark registration on phone in just a few clicks.

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What is Trademark Objection under Indian law?

A Trademark Objection is when the Trademark Examiner finds one or more concerns in the Trademark registration application. This means that the Examiner finds the Trademark to be descriptive of goods/generic/laudatory/indicating the quality or nature of goods. A Trademark objection can be raised under Section 9 and 11 of the Trademarks Act. A reply to the Trademark objection needs to be filed within 1 month from the date of objection.

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