Trademark means a mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include shape of goods, their packaging and combination of colours. It can be a word, mark, logo, brand, symbol, packaging labels and wrapper, etc. used by manufacturers to identify and distinguish their own product or services from others.
Trademark can be applied by any natural person, body incorporate, partnership firm, sole proprietorship, society, trust, HUF, Association of person, Body of Individuals and many more.
Registration of trademark is not mandatory but to get the benefit of exclusive rights one has to register its trademark with Registrar of Trademark under the Trademark Act, 1999. A person can acquire a right over a trademark for using the trademark and proposed to be used as well by getting registration under the Act. Registration of trademark is very essential to protect the trademark from being copied by others. Registered trademark gives an impression to the customers that the product is standard.
The trademark registration procedure is as follows:
> Search Trademark
The applicant first have to check the availability of the trademark whether it is already registered or the there is some similarity from other’s trademark. This searching process will ensure the applicant that the mark which they want to register is not same or similar to any other registered trademark.
> Filing of application form
The applicant can apply for online as well as offline for registration of trademark. But applicant gets benefit of 10% reduction in fees in case of online filing over offline. For registration of trademark, the applicant has to file form TM-A and also fill all the details as mentioned therein alongwith the set of documents. The same has to be filed on the portal alongwith payment of the prescribed fees with digital signature of the applicant or his agent.
The main content of the trademark application are as follows:
√ Name and address of the trademark owner
√ Logo or the trademark
√ Trademark class
√ Description of the goods or services
√ Trademark used since date
There are 45 classes in the trademark and applicant has to choose under which class they want to register their trademark. The link for classes of trademark is https://www.wipo.int/classifications/nice/nclpub/en/fr/?explanatory_notes=show&lang=en&menulang=en¬ion=class_headings&version=20200101
> Verification of the Trademark application by the Department
After filing the trademark application form then it shall be verified by the Trademark Registry. The Registry may accept, reject, refuse or object the application.
There are few steps of verification which has been done by the Trademark Registry:
> Issuance of Trademark registration certificate
If no opposition in respect of the trademark has been filed, the same shall be registered within a period of 6 to 8 months normally and registration certificate has been issued by the department for such trademark. Finally, the symbol ® is associated with the trademark which means a registered trademark.
The registration of trademark shall be valid for a period of 10 years from the date of registration and be renewed in the application form TM-R which may be made at any time not more than 1 year before the expiry of the registration of trademark.
However, the process for registration of trademark is very simple and does not require much effort. So, it is very important for the business to register its trademark to create brand recognition.