In the world of globalisation, there are multiple businesses and they can all interact with consumers all over the world. This is where trademark registration comes in. Trademark registration grants the owner of trademarked word, symbol, combination of words trademark protection. Trademark protection stands for a set of rights that entities are granted when one register a Trademark in India. The rights granted, vide Trade Marks Act, 1999, are essentially to be able to unequivocally use a mark for own goods and services, the right to transfer that right, and the right to stop others from using identical or similar marks.trademark registration
Importance of Trademark registration
Trademark registration is a vital part of protecting one’s brand. It helps not only prove that one’s brand has enforceable rights, it also helps them protect themselves from infringement being caused by another brand, maybe even one in another country! We suggest that every business entity register their trademark.
Trademark Registration Process
- The first step is filling and submitting the Trademark Application. This is one of the main stages of Trademark registration. It consists of collection of documents, drafting of documents, and filing of the application. The entire process takes about 2-3 working days.
- You send the Trademark to Vienna codification if the trademark is for figurative elements or logos. This entire process takes about 3-5 working days at the end of which the logo or figurative element is assigned a code as per the Vienna Agreement.
- Next the Trademark registry checks your applications for any mistakes or errors.It’s known as the formality pass or fail step. It verifies if all the information submitted is proper, this includes checking accuracy of information as well if there are any clerical errors such as transliteration. In case of issues the check fails.
- Next stage is the query resolving stage of the trademark registration process for formality fail applications. If there were any mistakes found in the last stage, they need to be responded to by filing a reply within the upcoming 30 days. If the reply is not submitted with the required corrections within 30 days, the application is considered abandoned and the trademark process ends there.
- If the application has passed the formality check, then all the primary steps have been passed by the Trademark application. It takes 7-10 days after this for the application to move further to the next step.
- Finally we reach the examination stage of Trademark registration. In this stage the trademark registry checks the various sections of the trademark act and evaluates the trademark based on them. According to their evaluation, they either accept or object to the application. This whole step takes 10-15 days.
- If the Trademark is objected to, then the registry, in comparison to other applications has found another similar registered brand name or logo. The registry may also raise an objection if it feels that the Trademark is too vague or simple to be able to distinguish itself in the market or if it clearly depicts the product’s quality, purpose, quality, geographic origin etc.
- Like in the case of formality fail applications, if a trademark application is objected to, you need to file a reply within 30 days. If the same is not filed, the Trademark is considered abandoned and does not move any further.Alternatively, one can also ask for a hearing with the officer, but that too needs to be asked within 30 days from the issue of the objection report.
- If you asked for a hearing, the next stage for your trademark application is the hearing stage. A hearing stage can also arise if the examiner is not pleased with your reply to the objection report or wants additional clarification.The hearing will be scheduled by the registry based on their convenience. There is no specific duration for this stage. That is why we suggest trying to try and avoid a hearing stage as much as possible.
- Finally, if everything goes well, the mark is accepted and has to be advertised. Otherwise, the Trademark registration may be refused. A trademark reaches the accepted stage if:
- The mark has no objections
- The mark has no objection that the Trademark registry finds apt
- All replies to objections have been accepted by the Trademark Registry.
- After this the mark may face additional opposition that they might have to reply to. Such an opposition needs to be made within 4 months from the mark getting published in the journal. The opposition process has the following steps:
- Opposition Hearing
- Registration or non Registration
- After all of that we reach the Registration stage, where you get a registration if there was no opposition, or after opposition hearing a order was passed on your behalf.
The Trademark registration process is a long one, but it is definitely worth it. A trademark registration can help you protect your brand. It grants you legal rights to defend your brand. As a business owner, you know that your brand is what helps you stand out. The Indian courts have time and time again protected registered trademarks. Which is why, no matter what business you’re in, going for Trademark registration should be one of your first steps.