A trademark can be defined as a right granted to an individual to protect a certain name, symbol, device, or word that will be used with respect to a product or service. A trademark is mostly used in the context of both marks i.e. service or product. The purpose of obtaining a trademark is to provide a product owner the absolute right to produce a particular good/service preventing other manufacturers or companies from producing a similar product. A trademark, on the other hand, does not prevent other manufacturers from producing a similar good under a completely different brand name.

When a person gets entitled to make use of the mark, he gets permitted to use the abbreviation “™” standing for Trademark against his product or service. This shows that the product has been trademarked and holds certain rights to it.

Registration of a name as a trademark

The first step in the registration of a name as a trademark is gifting your product a quirky and inventive name. Look up for a name that has not been used earlier or is not similar to the name of any existing product. Conduct a research regarding brand names to know which names have been taken and which name suits your product the best. It should be a unique and innovative name altogether.

After zeroing in on a unique brand name, fill up the trademark application, FORM ™ 1. The applicants have to submit a onetime fee of Rs. 3500 to file for a trademark. Along with the trademark application form, other documents that have to be submitted are:

  1. Registered Business Proof: The applicants have to submit a proof of identity based on the nature of the business. The identity proof should clearly furnish the identity proof of the directors of the company along with the registered office address.
  2. Brand Logo: The applicants must produce an image of the brand logo in the standard size of 9×5 cms.
  3. Proof Of Claim: The candidates must also furnish a proof of claim if the proposed mark has been in practice in a different country.

The application for obtaining a trademark can be obtained in two ways:

  1. Manual Trademark Application
  2. E-Filing
  3. While manually filing a trademark application, one has to visit the office of the registrar located at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Ahmedabad. After filing the application, an acknowledgment slip will be published and sent to the applicant usually within 15-20 days of filing.

In case the applicant files for a trademark online, i.e. E-Filing, then the acknowledgment slip is issued immediately.

Once the acknowledgment slip has been received by the applicants, they can immediately start using the ™ symbol with their product.

After the application has been received by the registrar, he critically examines the application to check whether it is in compliance with the law and the brand name selected is unique. The next step is the publishing of the brand name in the Indian Trademark Journal. If any issue is not raised within 90 days or in some cases 120 days, from the date of publication, then the brand name stands approved.

The whole process of getting a trademark registered takes around 15-18 months. Once the certificate of registration has been issued, the applicant may start using ™ with his brand name. The trademark is applicable for a period of 10 years commencing from the date of issuance of the certificate of registration, after which it shall be renewed. Although the process of filing for a trademark is tedious and lengthy, it helps in legally protecting your brand from getting copying or duplicated.