Since this is a question we get asked very frequently, we thought we could simplify things for you a little bit by explaining, step-by-step, how to get your Trademark Registered in India.
Step 1: A trademark application has to be filed before the Registrar of Trade Marks. It should be filed at the office of the Trade Marks Registry corresponding to the principal place of business of the applicant. (In India, the Trademark registries are in Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Ahemdabad and Kolkata. So if your business is in Bengaluru, you have to apply before the Registry in Chennai).
Recommended Read: Explained: Why & How to Conduct a Trademark Search?
Step 2: An application can be filed by the proprietor of the business for use by the proprietor or his business. You can file either in the name of the proprietor or in the name of the business.
We often guide applicants to apply in their personal name if they are unsure about the prospects of the business but have a very catchy name. So for instance, if you have the name “Bangalore Bajji Balle Balle” (or any other funny and catchy name) but don’t know if your restaurant will succeed because of the competition, you should choose to apply in your own name. In case things do not work out, you can always use the name for your next venture. If the trademark is in the name of the Company, it usually dies with the Company.
Step 3: While applying for the Trade Mark Registration, the proprietor has to define the class under which he wants his product / service to be classified. The classification has to be done according to Schedule 4 of the Trade Marks Rules, 2002.
Step 4: Finally, once the work is done, you need to pay the fees associated with the Trademark. Today, as per the Trademark Rules, 2002, the application fees (similar to a tax) are Rs. 3500 per trademark.
Distinctive Features of a Trademark
The trademark to be registered should have distinctive features. Naturally, it cannot be blasphemous or obscene. It should also not make any reference to a living person without his consent or the consent of his representative, as the case may be.
So if you want to start an acting school called “Shah Rukh Khan Acting School” (although why anyone would do that is a wonder), you CANNOT unless you have his consent.
Recommended Read: Trademarks registration in India – The Entrepreneur’s Guide
What happens once I make the application?
The registrar will advertise the application, to find out whether the trademark has been in usage by any other person and to resolve any conflicts if they come to light.
Any person who wishes to oppose the trademark application has to give notice in writing to the Registrar within a period of 3 months after the advertisement has been published.
In an opposition, the applicant has to explain why the trademark should be granted to him. In case the applicant does not respond within two months after the opposition has been received, it will be assumed that he has abandoned the application.
If no opposition is filed or if the dispute is decided in favour of the applicant, the registrar issues a certificate of registration in favour of the applicant and the trademark is registered. Generally, the whole process of registration takes 18 – 24 months from the date of application.
[About the author: Contributed by Hrishikesh Datar, founder of vakilsearch.com, online legal services provider (Legal Advice, Legal Documents & more.]
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