If you have started a business and created your brand and logo you may want to know how to register a trademark in India.
What is a trademark?
A Trademark (TM) in India includes:
- Word or letter
- Label, ticket, name, signature
- Three dimensional shapes
- Numeral, shape of goods, packaging or
- Combination of colours
- Sound mark
When you register a trade mark in India you should:
- Avoid Selection of identical, similar and deceptively similar trade marks
- Avoid possible conflicts & infringement action
- Avoid unnecessary costs
- Avoid unnecessary opposition at the trade mark office
So how to register a trademark in India?
Before filing an application for registration of a mark in India, it is advisable to conduct searches to insure that the mark has not been used and registered by someone else in India. Such trademark searches can be made online, at he the Office of the Trademark Registry, by anyone who has an account with an Indian bank to enable payment to that trademark office (you will also need an Indian address and fill form TM-54). But it is faster and easier to appoint a trademark law firm in India to do the searches and submit application for your company.
Selecting your trademark section
Before registering a trademark in India you should however know for which category (and subcategory) you want to register your trademark. You can choose your product or service categories in which your business operates (or plans to operate) at the World Intellectual Property Organization. The site shows you all the 34 goods classes and 11 service classes. For each class you register a trademark in India, you will have to pay extra, the selection of several subcategories will however not attract any extra cost. It is therefore advisable to select all the relevant indications of goods or services in the selected section. The application can be submitted at one of the Trade Mark Registry offices in India in Mumbai (Head Office), Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad or Chennai. The cost for the registration of a trademark in India is 3,500 Rs (60 €) for each section (this is a Government fee and does not include any property consultant or law firm fee for preparing the application and eventual oppositions to be filed in case the application is rejected).
Foreign companies who want to register a trademark in India
If the applicant has already applied for Trademark protection in one of the countries belonging to the Paris Convention or signatories of the TRIPS Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), then an application for registration can be filed in India claiming the property of registration from earlier corresponding application in the convention country, provided that the application is filed in India six months of the priority date.
Duration and validity of a trademark registration in India
Usually, the Indian Trademark Registry grants the registration within a year, but sometimes in can take longer.
The registration is valid for a period of 10 years, and may be renewed for further periods of 10 years each with payment of the renewal fee of 5,000 Rupees (80 €). So, a brand, if renewed on time, can be protected in India indefinitely.
When considering the investments companies are making to create their brands when entering the Indian market or launching a new product or service, it is very advisable to register a trademark in India as soon as possible before other companies will use the same or a similar mark.