First of all, what exactly does trade-marking a brand name mean?
Trademark registration of a brand name means nothing but brand name registration as per Intellectual property laws. It really means, “this brand name is ours! And if you try to use it to sell your products and services, we can charge you in the court of law!”
You can trademark any of the following or a combination of below-given things:
- Sound Mark
- Combination of Colors
Now let’s discuss the procedure of registering a trademark.
Step 1: Search for a brand name.
You get the point, don’t you? Come up with a quirky brand name, because all the generic ones are any which way taken. Before using in on one name, you might want to do a quick search to make sure that no one else is already using the same name. And your best bet would be to use created, invented or coined words, in a mixture with generic words.
Step 2: Making the trademark application
Now that your name is confirmed upon, fill in the trademark application i.e. Form- TM 1. The application costs INR 4500 and is a one-time fee.
Along with the application, you will need to submit a few supporting documents:
- A Business registration concern: Depending on what type of a registered business you have, for e.g. sole proprietorship, etc. you will need to submit an identity proof of the proprietor and an address proof.
- A picture of your brand logo in a standard size of 9 x 5 cms
- If applicable, proof of claim of the proposed trademark being used before in another country.
Step 3: Filling the brand name registration application
There are two ways to file the registration form –
- manual filing
In case of manual filing, you need to personally go and submit the application for registration to any one of the offices of the Registrar of Trade Marks located nearby. After which you receive the acknowledgment and the receipt, usually within 15-20 days of the filing.
But in the e-filing system, the acknowledgment of the application is issued immediately.
And after you receive the acknowledgment, you can start using the (TM) symbol next to your trade name!
Step 4: Examining the brand name registration application
After receiving the application, the Registrar checks whether the brand name obeys the law and does not conflict with other existing registered or pending trademarks.
Step 5: Publication in the Indian Trademark Journals
After due examination, the logo or trade name is published in the Indian Trademark Journal. If no one raises an objection within 90 days or in some cases 120 days, from the date of publication, the brand name proceeds to acceptance.
Step 6: Issuance of the trademark registration certificate
If no one raises any objection, within the stipulated 90 days period, the Registrar accepts the trademark application. And issues a Certificate of Registration with the seal of Trademark Registry.
You may now be allowed to use the registered trademark symbol (®) next to your trade name, once the certificate has been issued.
The entire process of registration of a trademark usually takes between 15-18 months. The trademark application once accepted, is valid for a period of ten (10) years from the date of issuance of the Certificate. After the end of 10 years, the trademark will need to be renewed.
Though the process is lengthy and a little more costly, it is worth the investment of legally protecting your brand.
However, if you are just starting out, investing in a trademark may not be extremely essential. What matters most is creating awesome products or giving services and putting in all the time and effort into building your brand, from ground up