Trademarks- Procedure and filing process (II)
When it comes to the whole procedure of trademark registration, it is a rather complex process which requires continued effort and time. Each step is essential and has to be followed by the applicant. There are certain specific steps that have to be taken for the same-
Prior Research – Primarily, the basic idea behind a trademark registration is to protect and promote the uniqueness of a particular form of graphical representation. Therefore, it would only be registered if it is unique and different.
In order to adhere to the standard of uniqueness of the trademark, it is important for the owner to conduct an extensive prior research in the trademark database as well as the market in general. You can find the trademark database on the www.ipindia.nic.in website. A proper search in the website database will give you access to already registered, objected, opposed or abandoned trademarks. This will make it easy to analyse if your trademark can be registered or not.
Further, if there are no matches with your trademark, you can easily get it registered and can file the trademark application.
Once you have selected your design and name of the trademark with the help of prior research, you can proceed to the filing status. The filing can be done physically or electronically. The first step would be to submit your TM-A form with the prescribed fee of Rs 5000 in case you are individual / Start-up /Small Enterprise, at one of the five offices of the Trade Marks Registry located at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Ahmedabad. Another way to do this is to file an online application and pay Rs 4500/-. Once the application is submitted successfully, an official receipt with a TM number will be issued.
Examination of the trademark
The process of examination of a trademark is the next step. Here once your application is filed , it is examine for determining its accuracy. The examination is done by the registrar which will comprise of checking whether the the trademark applied for is complying with the set rules and regulations and existing laws. Further, the registrar also looks in to the uniqueness of the mark and ensures it does not conflict with an existing one.
By the end of the examination, three things can happen either it will be processed for publication or objections will be raised or it might even get rejected.
Reply to objections
The objections raised by the registrar have to be replied. This step is followed by the applicant. Objection are usually raised on the grounds of Section 9 and 11. Usually, a trademark reply is filed by the applicant in response to the application. You are required to prove, through this application and establish your brand name and its unique identity.
If the registrar is satisfied with the reply, he will process it for publication in Trademark Journal which is released every week containing the details of all the applications made for trademark registration.
Any third person may oppose the trademark filed if he deems that the registration of the proposed trademark will infringe his rights. The trademark will be published in the journal for a total period of 3 months which can be extended by 1 month for inviting the opposition from the public at large.
If an opposition is received on the trademark filed, a hearing is scheduled wherein both the parties are given the opportunity of presenting their part and providing evidence in support of the claims made by them.
If no opposition is received on the application filed or the result of the hearing is in favor of the applicant the trademark will be preceded for registration. Finally, you will receive a Registration Certificate with the Trademark Registry seal.