Trademark FAQ

Find FAQs related to applying for trademarks and trademark registration.

1What is a trademark?

A trademark is generally referred to as a “brand” or “logo”.A trademark can be a word, symbol, logo, brand name, wrapper, packaging labels, tagline or a combination of these and are used by manufacturers or merchants or service providers to identify their own goods and/or services. It is used to distinguish the owners’ goods or services from those of its competitors.

2 What are the advantages of obtaining trademark registration?

Exclusive Rights

A creator of the brand would wish to enjoy the exclusive right over it disallowing usage by third parties without his consent. The owner can enjoy the sole title of the Trademark and can stop other from the unauthorised use of the Trademark under the same class where it is registered. It gives the right to sue the unauthorised user of the Trademark Registered.

Products Distinct From the Competitors

It makes easy for customers to find your products using ® mark beside the brand name or logo. Trademark makes your product and identity of products distinct from that of the existing and foreseen competitors acting as efficient commercial tool to market the product.

Recognition of product’s Quality

A registered brand name or company logo gives recognition to the quality of the product. Customers attach the product’s quality with the brand name and this image is created in the market about the quality of a particular brand which helps in attracting new customers as they can differentiate the quality of a product by the logo/brand name.

Use of ® symbol with brand name

Once the trademark is registered you can use the ® symbol along with your brand name or logo intimating that it is a registered trademark and no one can use the same trademark. It is exclusive of all types of usages as well as rights. If someone else use the trademark then you can also sue the party if the trademark is registered.

Creation of Asset:

Registration of Trademark creates an intangible asset i.e. Intellectual Property for an organisation. Registered trademark is a right created which can be sold, assigned, franchised or commercially contracted.

Attract Human Resources:

Registered trademark inspires the positive image of the organisation and thus candidates are attracted towards them easily. This reduces the cost towards hiring and related activities.

Protection for 10 Years at negligible cost

Trademark registration is done on a very low maintainability cost. Once you register the trademark you have to just pay the maintenance cost and renewal cost which is after 10 years of registering the trademark. It is cost efficient and helps your organisation to create a unique image with legal protection of 10 long years at nominal cost.

Creation of Goodwill and Trust

The established quality of your product and services are known by everyone through the trademark which establishes trust and goodwill among the customers in market. As the brand name is legally registered it creates a positive image among consumers.

3 My Company Name is already registered under the Companies Act. Why should I go for trademark registration of my company name/trade name?

Registrations of Company Names, Business Names or Domain Names do not provide ownership or a monopoly right in a name as do trademark registrations.

4How do I find out whether a trademark / brand name is already registered in India?

A search of the Indian Trademark Registry database will indicate whether there are any marks identical or deceptively similar to your trademark in India. The trademark search can be conducted in the official Trade Mark Registry website in India in the link copied below:

5 How long does it take to register a trademark?

Trademark Registration takes around 4-8 months to obtain registration in a straight-forward case, without any objections or oppositions. However, the trademark application number is usually issued within one day after filing.

6 Can I use the ® symbol?

You may use the ® (Registered symbol) once your trademark is registered and registration certificate is issued.

7 The status of my trademark application is “Send To Vienna Codification”. What does it mean?

It is one of the initial stages of the trademark registration process where the status in the Trade Mark Registry website shows as “Send To Vienna Codification”.  As a part of the trademark registration process, any trademarks comprising figurative elements/logo is assigned a Vienna Code by the Indian Trade Mark Registry. The Vienna code is assigned based on the nature of the figurative element/logo. Once the Vienna codification is done, the status of trademark application is usually changed to Fomalities Chk Pass or Formalities Chk Fail.

8 The status of my trademark application is “Formalities Chk Pass”. What does it mean?

It is one of the initial stages of the trademark registration process where the status in the Trade Mark Registry website shows as Formalities Chk Pass. The Trade Mark Registry usually checks if the basic requirements are met such as:  whether the POA has been uploaded (when filed through an agent) and whether appropriate translation/transliteration has been filed when the trademark is not in English/Hindi. When such basic requirements are not met, the status could be reflected as “Formalities Chk Fail”.

9 The status of my trademark application is “Formalities Chk Fail”. What does it mean?

It is one of the initial stages of the trademark registration process where the status in the Trade Mark Registry website is shown as Formalities Chk Fail. This could happen in instances such as non-filing of POA, non-filing of translation/transliteration when the trademark is not in English/Hindi, filing in wrong class, etc. The reason for the Formalities objection should be ascertained and appropriate action should be taken for the application to move forward for registration.

10 The status of my trademark application is “Marked for Exam”. What does it mean?

The status shows as “Marked for Exam” when the trademark application has been assigned to an Examiner. The trademark would be examined as to its registrability under the various Sections of the Trade Marks Act. An examination report is then issued either accepting the trademark for publication or raising objections as to its registrability.

11 The status of my trademark application is “Exam Report Issued” / “Accepted”. What does it mean?

The status “Exam Report Issued” or “Accepted” is used by the Trade Mark Registry to indicate that the trademark application has been ordered for publication in the Trade Marks Journal prior to registration. This status is used by the Registry when no objections are raised by the Examiner as to the registrability of the trademark or when the objections are overcome by way of written submissions or hearing.

12 The status of my trademark application is “Objected”. What does it mean?

The status is shown to be as “Objected” when the Examiner raises some objections regarding the registrability of the trademark. The examination report citing the objections can be viewed in the Trade Mark Registry website. In order to overcome the objections, a written response needs to be filed with the Trade Mark Registry within one month from the date of receipt of examination report, failing which the trademark application may be treated as abandoned by the Registry. If the Examiner is not convinced with the written response, a hearing is posted for allowing arguments to be put forth in person.

13 The status of my trademark application is “Advertised before acc” or “Advertised” or “Accepted & Advertised”. What does it mean?

The status is shown to be as “Advertised before acc” or “Advertised” or “Accepted & Advertised” when the trademark application is advertised/published in the Trade Marks Journal. This is one of the final stages in the trademark registration process. Once the trademark is published in the Trade Marks Journal, 4 month time is given for any third party to oppose the registration of the trademark. If no oppositions are filed during the 4 month opposition period, then the trademark registration certificate is usually issued within 3 months thereafter.

14 The status of my trademark application is “Opposed”. What does it mean?

The status is reflected as “Opposed” when a third party has filed an opposition to the registration of your trademark. The notice of opposition is sent by the Registry to the applicant or its agent. In order to contest the opposition, a counter statement should be filed within 2 months from the date of receipt of notice of opposition, failing which the trademark application will be abandoned and cannot be revived. No extension of time is granted for filing the counter statement.

15 The status of my trademark application is “Send Back to EDP”. What does it mean?

When there are errors regarding data entry of applications which needs to be rectified, the application is sent to EDP Section and the status is shown as “Send Back to EDP”. This could also happen in cases where the documents are not digitized properly. The status would remain as “Send back to EDP” till these issued are rectified by the EDP Section.

16 The status of my trademark application is “Send to PRAS”. What does it mean?

PRAS refers to Pre-Registration Amendment Section. Any amendments which have been filed prior to registration such as amendment of proprietor details, address, specification of goods, etc. are dealt by PRAS Section.

17 What is the validity of a trademark registration?

Once the trademark is registered, it is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of application. The registration can then be renewed indefinitely as long as the renewal fees are paid every 10 years.

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