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You may thinking- Is trademark registration necessary? Business owners aspire to standout in the sea of similar products or services in the market. Hence huge amount of time, money and hard work is involved in building a famous brand. Brand name helps the consumers in easy identification. But brand-name can be duplicated by competitors. This may go waste if you do not protect your brand and logo name with Trademark. Trademark registration is simple and easy @ Filingpoint.Com
What is Trademark registration?
Trademark is an intangible asset and intellectual property of an organization. Be wise to trademark your brands and logo early. For your desired designs of brands and logo could already have got trademarked earlier.
Trademark registration is one of the best legal ways of protecting your business brands and logos.
Process of registering a trademark in India
1. TRADEMARK PRE-FILING SEARCH
This is first important step to assess your mark is unique. If you fail to conduct a proper trademark search, then you need to face repercussions. Like infringement lawsuits or third party challenges or ultimate application rejection.
2. TRADEMARK APPLICATION FILING
As per Trademark rules The owner or proprietor of trademark can file trademark application in prescribed Form TM-A to the registrar of trademarks. Once you file the application, a trademark application number gets allotted. This point forward, the trademark owner can affix TM symbol against the mark.
3. VIENNA CODIFICATION
Next, the application goes under this process when your trademark contains logos , symbols or figures. The trademark registrar allots a ‘Vienna code’ as per ‘Vienna agreement’. This is done to facilitate smooth & easy trademark search for artwork or logo.
4. FORMALITY CHECK
This happens before proper examination phase. Here the registrar cross checks the application for formality errors. Like improper documents, incorrect class or category, incorrect goods and service description or any other improper info. The applicant gets intimated for the incorrect info. When you are through this stage you get stamped ‘Formality check Pass’ on your application.
5. EXAMINATION OF TRADEMARK APPLICATION
Trademark application examination is done mainly to check and find out whether it conflicts with existing or pending marks. The trademark registrar issues ‘examination report’ detailing his objections against the trademark , if any. When there are no objections during examination phase from the registrar, your application gets straightaway accepted. It takes two to four months for the examination process.
The prosecution process of the application begins when objections are raised by the registrar in the examination report. You need to submit written response to the examination report along with distinctiveness evidence to overcome the registrar’s objection.
If the trademark registrar is satisfied with your reply and finds your application appropriate, your application gets passed for publishing or advertising in trademark journal. In case the registrar is not satisfied with your response to the examination report, he may raise a show- cause-hearing noticed on a specific date and time. In case the show-cause-hearing goes unfruitful, the trademark applicant can go for appeal before High Court.
Meanwhile the trademark acceptance can be revoked by the registrar as per Trademark Act in case application was accepted by error or any situation the trademark should not get registered or if the trademark registration is subject to fulfillment of conditions /limitations.
6. ADVERTISEMENT OR PUBLICATION IN TRADEMARK JOURNAL
The trademark gets published or advertised in Trademark Journal. It is done because, public is given a chance to file opposition against the said trademark registration. The Opposition must be filed within four months from the advertisement. When there is no opposition, it goes to further proceedings. In case you have opposition, then a fair chance of hearing is given to the opposition and the applicant by the trademark registrar.
Any person who has interest in the said trademark registration can file opposition. Within four months from advertisement the written notice of opposition must get submitted in Form-TM-0. Formality check of the opposition is done by the registrar and then he will forward the same to the applicant. In response to this the applicant has to file counter statement within two months from the date of receiving opposition notice. The opposition has to file evidence within two months of the counter statement. Then the applicant has to file evidence to his counter statement within two months of evidence of opposition. Further, the opponent can file additional evidence within in one month from evidence for counter statement. This is done to give fair chance to the opposition proceedings and also to rebut the evidence of applicant.
8. HEARING STAGE
The hearing phase comes after the completion of evidences filing by both by opponent and applicant. The registrar announces his decision after hearing both parties and considering their evidences. You can appeal against the decision of the registrar with the respective jurisdiction High court. Meanwhile the applicant can apply for Trademark amendment or correction through FORM-TM-M. No alteration of the mark or no new specification of goods or services should be made in the amendment.
9. FINAL STAGE OF REGISTRATION
Trademark registration is the final stage. When there is no opposition filed against the trademark application or when the opposition filed gets decided in favor of the applicant, then trademark gets registered.
A Trademark registration certificate is issued to the applicant. Now the applicant can use encircled R symbol next the trademark or logo. It is a perpetual registration that needs timely renewal every ten years. Trademark is valid only upon its renewal. The registration can get cancelled on occasion of non-usage for five years from registration or wrongly granted or the trademark is contrary to law.
Trademark registration has become crucial in the current competitive business world. Before deciding on trademark, go thorough trademark search. FilingPoint is a specialist in trademark search. Seek professional help from FilingPoint for trademark registration.
For more details call us today.