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- Mr. Vipul Maheshwari
The Trademark Law in India at governed by Trademarks Act, 1999 along with therules Trademarks Rules, 2017. A trademark is a distinctive sign or symbol that an individual, company or a business organization uses on its products to distinguish their goods/services from those of others.
The main purpose of having a trademark is to distinguish the origin of goods and services as it helps the customers to differentiate between various products available in market. It also acts as an advertisement for the products which ultimately increases the sale andgenerates goodwill of the trader.
In case of dispute related to the use of trademark, strength and popularity of the trademark is one of the factors courts will analyze to determine if you can stop another from using your trademark. A good trademark should be distinctive and not too close tothe already existing trademark, easy to remember and short.
A trademark can be registered online as well as offline. However, filing application online is beneficial because as per Trademark Rules, 2017, a 10% discount in fee can be availed by applicants who file electronically.
Information required to register a trademark includes name and address of the applicants and other persons in full, along with their nationality (in case of a partnership firm, full name and nationality of every partner thereof shall be given), TM-48 or Power of attorney in case a trademark application is filed by a person other than the trademark applicant.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), date of first use of a mark, if at all used, fees that is required for registration, details of goods or services that is proposed to be registered, soft copy of the logo in JPEG format andaffidavit and supporting documents (only when the trademark is already in use).
The duration of trademark registration is 10 years from the date of application which can later be renewed for a further period of 10 years. The application for renewal (Form TM-R) along with the renewal fee can be made prior to the date on which renewal falls due.
A trademark is designated different symbols such as a small TM i.e. ™ for trademarks which are not registered and small R enclosed in a circle i.e. ® for registered trademarks.
Step 1: File an application for the registration of trademark on Form TM-A along with fees and all the documents, after which an application number will be allotted.
Step 2: Trademark office will issue an examination report after checking all the formalities. If an objection is raised in the report then an appropriate reply is to be filed within 1 month from the date of receipt of examination report and a hearing with the examiner may be called. If the application is still refused, then an appeal can be made to the Intellectual property appellate board. However, in case of no objection in the examination report, trademark is published in the trademark journal for a period of 90 days for general public to raise objection, if any.
Step 3: If general public does not object within 90 days of publication, mark will be registered within 12 weeks time. However, if it is objected, then a hearing will be called and both the parties have to appear before the court.