A trademark in India refers to a word, a symbol, a name, or any combination between these, to represent the identity of a brand operating on the local market. Those who want to register a company in India and to protect the intellectual property rights associated with their company should know that trademarks are regulated under the Trade Marks Act 1999, administered by the Trade Mark Registry.
Our team of specialists in company formation in India can provide in-depth assistance on the manner in which a company can register a local trademark.
The main characteristics of trademarks in India
The intellectual property laws in India provide for various rights that can be protected in this country and among them, trademarks are the most common. This why when applying for trademark registration in India, a citizen or company must make sure they comply with the requirements imposed by the legislation in order to not have their requests rejected.
In order to be considered for registration, an Indian trademark should meet the following requirements:
- it must be distinctive, meaning it must distinguish the goods or services of the applicant from other goods and services;
- it must not resemble any previously registered trademark, meaning it must be unique;
- it must not deceive the public it is intended for, therefore it must not contain offensive words or signs;
- it must help with the identification of the goods and/or services it is registered for.
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The trademark registration process in India is presented in the infographic below:
Types of trademarks available on the Indian market
Investors who want to open a company in India will need to be represented by a trademark. The trademark is required to have unique characteristics on the Indian territory and, under the applicable legislation on this domain, trademarks can refer to the following:
• a name (including the name of a person);
• an invented word or a real word;
• letters or numerals;
• combinations of colors;
• various shapes;
• tridimensional signs.
Registration requirements for Indian trademarks
The registration of an Indian trademark is handled by the Trade Marks Registry, located in Mumbai and other major cities in India. The exact office where a company should register depends on its place of incorporation. The applicant will need to fill out a form providing information on the trademark and to pay a fee.
The representatives of the Trade Marks Registry will analyze the application and will issue a report in a period of a maximum of three months since the date the file was submitted. Our team of consultants in company registration in India can offer further advice on the documents that are to be submitted in this case.
India has 45 classes of trademarks, representing all the business fields available on the local market. The company’s representatives should choose the most appropriate classes. It is also important to know that the trademark registration is available for a period of 10 years and, upon expiration, the trademark’s owner can renew the application for another 10 years.
Steps for trademark registration in India
The steps for registering a trademark in India is the same as in any other country in the world and implies the following:
- the trademark search procedure in order to ensure the uniqueness of the mark to register;
- the preparation of the documents to be filed with the Trade Marks Registry;
- the submission of the documents with the Indian Trade Marks Registrar;
- the examination of the trademark followed by its publication in the Official Gazette;
- the issuance of the Certificate of Registration if the application was correctly filed.
If you want to file for trademark registration in India, our agents are at your service for guidance.
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Trademark verification before registration in India
As seen above, the first step to complete before trademark registration in India is the verification of the mark to register. This step is mandatory in order to make sure that the trademark one wants to register is not taken by a third-party. This procedure will also ensure no opposition will be filed during the examination stage of the registration process.
Trademark registration in India is not a complicated procedure, however, it must be handled with care in order to ensure it is completed correctly, especially because it is quite lengthy.
Our company registration consultants in India can assist with the registration of any type of trademark here.
What are the documents to be filed for trademark registration in India?
The list of documents to be filed with applying for the registration of an Indian trademark is not extensive, however, the applicant must make sure the requirements of the Registrar are respected.
The following documents must be prepared when filing for trademark registration in India:
- the application form which must contain the details of the applicant;
- graphic representation in original and copy of the trademark to be registered;
- a list of the goods and/or services to be represented by the trademark;
- a power of attorney if the application is filed by a proxy;
- the date of the first use of the trademark, if the applicant has used it before applying for registration.
Other aspects to consider when filing for trademark registration in India is that depending on whether the applicant is a natural person, Indian citizen or resident or not, or a company, the application form must contain different information. In the case of natural persons, the applicant must provide the full name, address, and nationality. In the case of companies, the registration status of the business must be provided.
It is possible for foreign citizens and companies to register trademarks in India without meeting specific requirements. Moreover, it is quite common for Indian companies to register their trading names as trademarks in order to ensure the protection of their brand.
Persons interested in more details on intellectual property rights can contact our team of agents in company formation in India for advice and legal assistance.