Trademark Registration

A trademark is a unique symbol or word(s) used to represent products or services. A trademark once registered becomes intangible asset or intellectual property of a business and is used to protect its investment on building the brand or symbol. A registered Trademark cannot be used by other organizations or businesses. Trademarks which are similar or identical to existing trademarks cannot be registered. Also trademarks which are offensive in nature, generic, deceptive or containing specially protected emblems cannot be registered. For example a trademark with Indian Tricolor cannot be registered in India.

The trademark can be registered by an individual, business organization, a trust, HUF or any other legal entity.

As per the Trade Marks Act, 1999, “a Trademark means a mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services or one person from those of others and may include shape of goods, their packaging and combination of colours.” A mark can include a brand, label, decive, name, signature, letter, word, numeral shape of goods, packaging etc.

Trademark Symbols

There are different symbols designated to Trademarks as below:

Unregistered Trademark

TM – The letters TM in superscript means that it is an unregistered trademark.

Unregistered Servicemark

SM – The letters SM in superscript means that it is an unregistered servicemark.

Registered Trademark

® - The letter ‘R’ in a circle means that it is a Registered trademark.

How important is Trademark for your business

Valuable Asset

A registered trademark is your intellectual property which can be sold, bought, licensed or used as security against bank loan.

Easily identifiable by clients

The market is crowded and there are new companies popping up every day. Your brand is what makes it easier for customers to identify you.

Effectively utilize internet and social media

Your brand is the first thing a person enters into a search engine or social media when looking for your products or service.

Easy hiring

Trademarks can make hiring easier. Brands can inspire positive feelings in people’s mind. Employee retention can be higher if the employees have positive feelings for the brand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We have got the best answers for you.

What is trademark?

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 a word, phrase, symbol or design, or combination of words, phrases, designs or symbols.

What is the purpose of a Trademark?

The overall purpose of a trademark law is to prevent unfair competition by protecting the use of symbol, word, phrase, design, slogan domain name etc. that uniquely distinguishes the goods or services of a firm.

What is a Company trademark?

A trademark is a unique symbol or word(s) used to represent a business or its products or services. Over time, trademark has become synonymous with company name, so that you don’t even need to see the name to recognize a particular business.

What can be trademarked?

A phrase, word, symbol, design, slogan, even a colour are all eligible for trademark. Anything that distinguishes the goods or your company from another qualifies for trademark.

What is difference between Copyright and Trademark?

While both Copyright and Trademark are intellectual properties protection, they protect different types of assets. Copyright is granted for artistic or literary work such as books and videos. A trademark protects items that help define a company brand, such as logo or device.

What words can you not trademark?

Words that don’t serve to identify the source of a product can’t be trademarked. Generic words, offensive words and certain proper names can’t be trademarked. Words that are already trademarked for goods within the same industry can’t also be trademarked.

Do I need to copyright my logo?

In order for a work to have protection of copyright, it must reach a requisite amount of creativity. Most of the logos however do not. Since copyright can’t protect a name, colour or design of the logo, most simple logos simply do not have the required level of creativity to be considered for copyright.

What is the term or duration trademark in India?

Trademark registration is for 10 years in India and can be renewed for next 10 years. An application for renewal of trademark can be filed within six months from the date of expiry of the registration of trademark.

Who can use TM and ® symbols?

Symbol TM is generally used by the one who has filed application for trademark but whose application is pending for registration to alert the public of his exclusive claim. The registration symbol ® can be used only when a trademark is registered.

Can I apply for my logo, name and tagline in one single application?

Yes, you can apply for your logo, name and tagline in a single application. But it could prove to be an obstacle, as multiple class or marks could have multiple objections and it may create hurdle for one of the mark or class which may not have any objection.

Is my trademark valid outside India?

No, a trademark registered in India is valid only in India.

When do I get my Trademark registration certification?

A trademark normally takes between eight to fifteen months to get registered, this is due to stringent process followed by the Trademark Registry.

Is it necessary to conduct Trademark search?

It is important to conduct trademark search to make sure that the same or similar name is not used by others. Ideally trademark search should be conducted before incorporation of Company. However comprehensive search does not guarantee registration of Trademark.

What are trademark objection / trademark examination report?

An objection is raised by the trademark registrar to enquire about your usage of Trademark. The applicant need to appear before the Trademark registrar on his own or through an attorney, if so required. After the hearing the registrar may approve the trademark if he is satisfied with the answer. There is also a possibility for rejection of Trademark application.

Is it necessary to file reply to trademark objection / trademark examination report?

Reply to Trademark objection report is required to be filed within 30 days of issue of the same. If the applicant fails to file legal reply, the trademark registrar may mark the trademark abandoned.