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Trademark Registration 2024: Process, Documents, Fees & More

A trademark is a form of intellectual property that consists of any word, symbol, sign, design, phrase or combination of these that identifies and differentiates the product or services. We also can say that the word trademark includes “Trademark” and “Service Mark”. The trademarks in India are regulated under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 (‘Act’) and Trade Mark Rules, 2017 (‘Rules’).

Trademark owners can be individuals, organizations, or legal entities. Trademark Registration is not mandatory in India, it is voluntary under the Act and is denoted by the symbol ® if the trademark is registered and symbol ™ if the mark is being claimed. As a consultant, we advise you to file the registration of a trademark before starting any business. It helps to create a brand and unique identity. 

Who is Eligible for Filing a Trademark Application?

According to the trademark act and rules, the following shall be a legal applicant: - 

  1. Individual
  2. Joint Owners
  3. Proprietorship Firm
  4. Partnership Firm
  5. Limited Liability Partnership
  6. Private Limited or Public Limited Company
  7. Foreign Company
  8. Trust or Society or Section 8 Company
  9. Trademark Classes

There are 45 trademark classes, according to which goods and services are being classified. The form allows you to register your trademark in more than one class. The Trademark Class 1 to Trademark Class 34 signifies a specific category of goods and Trademark Class 35 to Trademark Class 45 signifies a specific category of services. We’re showcasing all the trademark classes below for your reference and support. Now you can check and identify your suitable class yourself. 

Advantages of Trademark Registration

  • Brand Reputation :-Trademark registration provides brand reputation of the product and services. It helps to make a unique identity in the consumer mind.
  • Legal Protection:- Trademark registration provides legal protection to the brand and gives right to the owner who has sole right to use that logo/word of the trademark.
  • Business Expansion:- Trademark registration provides an opportunity to expand a business. It helps to retain loyal customers and protect the goodwill of your business.
  • Financial Benefits:- Trademark Registration provides many financial benefits to businesses in the form of increased profits, loyalty and enhances the growth of the business.
  • Build Trust:- Trademark Registration builds trust in the mind of the customers and assures them that the goods or services of a business are unique in the market.

Marks Not Registrable

  1. The mark that would be likely to deceive or create confusion.
  2. A mark containing indecent matter.
  3. A mark containing any matter which is likely to hurt the religious propensity of any class or others.
  4. A mark that is prohibited to be protected in a court of law.
  5. A mark that is identical or similar to a trademark which is already registered in respect of the same product or service.
  6. A mark prohibited under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.
  7. A mark comprises any scandalous or obscene.

What Can Be Registered as a Trademark?

  • Any Name
  • Invented Word
  • Number 
  • Letters
  • Device
  • Slogans
  • Signatures
  • 3D Mark
  • Combination of Colors
  • Shapes 
  • Sound
  • Smell Mark
  • Pattern Mark
  • Label 
  • Ticket
  • Packaging 

There are various types of trademarks and service marks which can be registered. Some of the major types are given below: 

1. Word Marks: The word marks is the simplest form of trademark which consist of words, symbol, letter or numbers.

2. Device Marks: Device marks are in the form of symbol, image or logo which is applied keeping in mind the distinctive characteristics of the same.

3. Shape Marks: The shape mark protects the unique shape of a product.

4. Sound Marks: Sound marks protect distinctive sound associated with the brand.

5. Three Dimension: The Three Dimensional mark protects three-dimensional shape of a product or its package/container to achieve distinction in the concerned jurisdictional marketplace. 

6. Color: If a particular color has become a distinctive feature indicating the goods of a specific trader, it can be registered as a trademark. For example: Red Wine.

Trademark Registration Process

• Step I: Trademark Classification

The first step in registering the trademark is to classify trademark under the category of goods and services. Then trademark is classified and registered under that class in which it is intended to be used.  

• Step II: Conduct a Trademark Search

After classification of goods and services, when applicant comes to the conclusion that he/she wants to apply for goods or services under the specific class, he/she will further proceed to search the trademark under that specific class to check the availability.  

• Step III: Filing of Trademark Application

After checking the availability of trademark, the next step is to file the trademark application in Form TM-A either online from the IP India's official website or physically at the Trademark Registry Office according to one's jurisdiction. It includes crucial details such as applicant information depending on the constitution of the applicant whether it is Sole Proprietor, Partnership Firm, Company or LLP and specific class of goods or services in which it is intended to be used. 

• Step IV: Payment of Fees for Trademark registration 

Once the application is submitted, it requires necessary payment of the fees. The application must be filed for registration of a mark in a single class of goods and or services or in multi-class, and the fees will be calculated for each class included in the application. We’re showcasing the fees structure for trademark applications for your reference and support.

• Step V: Examination by the trademark department

Once the application is filed, it will be thoroughly examined by the examiner. The trademark examining authority reviews the application to assess its uniqueness for meeting criteria and if any discrepancy is found in the trademark application, the department issues an examination report to the applicant.

• Step VI: Replying to Objections

Once the examination report issued by the trademark department, the applicant is required to address the objections raised by the department by submitting the reply within 30 days from the date of issuing examination report. Once the applicant files the reply to the examination report, the Examiner if wants can arrange a hearing if due to any reason he is not satisfied with the reply sent by the applicant or if, the reply is not able to fulfill the purpose of the objection stated in the report.

• Step VII: Trademark Publication

After acceptance of the application, it will be published in the Trademark Journal which will remain there for 3 months. Advertisement of such an application is done so that within the time period stated above, any third party can see it and if they want can file an opposition against the applicant, every Monday the Journal is updated with new accepted trademark applications. Third-party opposition may arrive if the mark is similar with other marks these need to be settled before the mark is final for registration.

Step VIII: Settlement of Third-Party Opposition

Where third party raised objections during the specific period of the trademark registration process. This step involves negotiation, settlement or legal proceeding to address the concerns raised by the opposing parties.

Step IX: Trademark Certification Granted

After completing all the processes, Certificate of Trade Mark registration is granted.  This certificate is the tangible proof of the exclusive rights granted to him to use the trademark. Once issued it remains valid for 10 years from the date of the application, but may be renewed from time to time in accordance with the provisions of the Trademark Act, 1999.

Timeline for Trademark Registration

The Trade Mark Registry takes a minimum 3-4 months to register the Trademark. If any objection is raised by the registry, it might take up to 12-18 months. However, by opting for expedited trademark registration which is commonly called as “Fast Track Examination” process timeframe can be reduced to 3 months.

Trademark Registration Fees

 The trademark application form has two distinct cost brackets:

• For applicants, other than Individuals, Proprietorship Firms and Entity having Start-up or MSME Registration, the filing fees will be Rs. 9000, if the application is being filed electronically on the portal https://ipindia.gov.in and filing fees will be Rs.10,000, if the form is filed physically to the Trademark Registry.

• For Individual, Proprietorship Firm and Entity having Start-up or MSME Registration, the filing fees will be Rs. 4500 if the application is being filed electronically on the portal https://ipindia.gov.in and filing fees will be Rs. 5000 if the form is filed physically to the Trademark Registry

Why Should You Register Your Trademark in India?

Get your trademark registered in India for several reasons which are as follows:

• It protects your brand name legality and ensures that other cannot use your trademark without your consent. Further, it helps for brand recognition and maintains trust of the consumers.

• Having a registered trademark increases the value, and goodwill of the business.

• A registered trademark improves your ability to expand your business in a distinct market.

• Registered trademark in India helps to enforce your rights more easily and to avoid trademark infringement.

• Registered trademark used as restrain against infringer and grant you the right to take legal action against illegal use.  

Challenges in Trademark Registration

There are some of the challenges a person may face in the process of trademark registration:

Careful Examination: For initiating the trademark registration process, it is advisable to be very careful while reviewing the category of the goods and services under the 45 classes prescribed as it can be challenging for many people.

Identical Marks: Conduct a thorough search before filing an application to avoid the chances of objections raised by the department

Opposition Proceedings: A third party may file an opposition during the publication of the trademark in the journal.

Classification of Goods and Services: A problem can originate if the classification from goods and services is not properly classified as the trademark registration is highly dependent on this classification since the department prima facie checks the class under which the trademark is applied for. 

Improper Trademark search: It is always prescribed that a person conducts a trademark search before registering a trademark, it is very time consuming.

Documents Required for Trademark Registration in India

The following documents required for registration of a trademark are:

Applicant Details:

• Name of the Applicant - Identity proof such PAN and Aadhaar etc.

• Address of the Applicant.

• Nationality of the Applicant.

Trademark details:

Information regarding that how the trademark will be used for goods and services of a business as per the class of the goods/services.

User Affidavit:

If the trademark has been used prior to the application, an affidavit stating that the date of first use along with evidence.

Authorization Letter:

When the application is filled with the help of the agent or representative, an authorization letter on the company’s letter head is required for trademark certificate.

1. Private Limited Company

The following are the required documents for trademark registration by a Private Limited Company:

• Incorporation certificate

• Brand name, Logo

• Company PAN Card

• MSME Certificate, etc.

• Email ID & Mobile No. of the Authorized Person

2. Limited Liability Partnership

The following are the required documents for trademark registration by a Limited Liability Partnership:

• Limited Liability Partnership deed

• Certificate of incorporation

• LLP PAN Card

• Brand Name/ Logo/ slogan

• Email Id & Mobile No. of the Authorized Person

• Digital Signature Certificate of the Authorized Person 

3. Trusts

The following are the required documents for trademark registration by a Trust:

• Trust PAN Card

• Trust Deed

• Logo/ Name/ Slogan

• Trust Deed

• Details of the Author and Beneficiary 

• Digital Signature Certificate of the Authorized Person 

4. Partnership Firm

The following are the required documents for trademark registration by the Partnership Firm:

• MSME Certificate

• Partnership Deed

• Partnership PAN Card

• Logo/ Name/ slogan

• Email Id & Mobile No. of the Authorized Person

• Digital Signature Certificate of the Authorized Person 

5. Solo Proprietorship Firm

The following are the required documents for trademark registration by Sole Proprietorship Firm:

• PAN Card

• Aadhaar Card

• Email Id & Mobile No. of the Applicant

• Logo/ Word/Slogan

• Digital Signature Certificate of the Proprietor

6. Post Registration Companies

When an applicant successfully completes the registration process and take the rights of the trademark, then they have to make sure to the post-registration compliance of the trademark. Here are some of the compliance:

Renewal: A trademark remains valid life time subject to its renewal on every 10 years from the date of registration. Once the trademark has expired it must be ensured that the validity has been renewed well within time.

Use of Trademark: If the person is not using the trademark for goods and service which registration is taken, then there is a possibility that the department might cancel the trademark.

Protection against Infringement: The owner of the trademark must ensure that the trademark is well marketed/advertised so that the chances of infringement become less. 

Record Changes: If there is any change in the trademark details or ownership details, it has to be informed to the registry for the purpose of record.

Trademark Infringement

• Trademark Infringement is defined as unauthorized use of trademark.

• It is the violation of the exclusive rights attached to a trademark without the authorization of the trademark owner or any licensees.

• Infringement may occur, when one party “infringer” use a trademark which is identical to a trademark owned by the other party.

• An owner of a trademark may commence civil legal proceedings against a party which infringes a trademark.

Assignment of Trademark

A trademark assignment is a written document which helps to transfer a recognized word, phrase, and symbol or design from the original owner to another owner. The original owner of the trademark is known as “the assignor,” and the future owner is known as “the Assignee.”

The assignment of a trademark occurs when there is a transfer of the owner’s right, title, and interest with respect to the trademark. In another way, we can say it is the transfer of ownership with or without the goodwill of the business. In case the trademark is registered, such an assignment has to be recorded in the Register of Trademark. One can assign a trademark through a trademark assignment agreement. 

Procedure for Trademark Assignment Agreement:-

The first step is to make an application for the assignment of trademark either by the assignee or the assignor or both of them. The application should mention all the details of the transfer and be made under form TM-P as mentioned under Rule 75 of Trademark rules 2017.

Once the application is complete, file the same with the Registrar of the trademark. It has to be done within 3 months of acquisition of proprietorship

When there is a trademark assignment with goodwill or of a registered trademark, the direction from the Registrar of a trademark is mandatory before an expiry of 3 months (can be extended)

The Registrar will specify the advertisement of the trademark assignment. After which the applicant has to make the advertisement accordingly. Copy of advertisement along with a copy of the Registrar’s direction should also be submitted.

After the Registrar is satisfied with all the documentation, he shall officially transfer the trademark from the original to the new owner.

The name of the Assignee i.e., the new owner is to be registered in the register as a new proprietor. After this, the assignee can use the trademark as per the terms of the agreement.

Penalties or Punishment for Infringement 

Trademark infringement is a cognizable offence which means the infringer may face criminal charges along with civil charges.

In Case of trademark infringement, the court may award the following remedies:

  • Damages
  • Temporary Injunction
  • Permanent Injunction
  • Cost of legal proceedings
  • Account of profits
  • Destruction of goods using the infringing mark.

In case of criminal proceedings, the court imposes the following punishment:

  • Imprisonment for a period not less than six months which may extend to three years.
  • A fine is not less than Rs.50,000.00/- that may extend to Rs. 2,00,000.00/-

How to Avoid Trademark Infringement?

• Choose a name with proper research:

If you choose your trademark certain things are in the mind, those are unique name, proper research of appropriate class of trademark, there are no any similar or existing class of trademark which is already registered.

• Register it with the registrar:

The first step after deciding the class of the trademark which is to be registered, you can gain all legal rights along with benefits, and these include legal protection, brand recognition along with value.

• Obtain authorization from the owner before use:

The best way to avoid trademark infringement is to obtain the owner authorization before its usage and avoid to impose penalty.

• Use for fair purpose:

If the trademark is used for any fair purpose, it does not count as trademark infringement. Fair use like a news, criticism not for commercial use. 

How Will CRSPL Help With The Trademark Registration Process?

CRSPL provides a better support for trademark search until the successful trademark registration process. Our expert will guide you in the necessary documents which are to be mandatory for trademark registration application.

Our CRSPL team are experts in the intellectual property laws. CRSPL services include:

  • Filing trademark Application: CRSPL helps for trademark application, and give expert assistance for which documents is to be submitted and provide facilities to improve your brand.
  • Publication and Opposition: CRSPL gives guidance for the publication of the trademark and file necessary reply in case of opposition for the smooth functioning of the process.
  • Trademark Certificate: CRSPL specializes for trademark registration certificates and to secure your brand value and recognition.