WHAT IS TRADEMARK
Trademark means a mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include the shape of goods, their packaging, and the combination of colours. In simple words, TM means a mark, can be a symbol, logo, sign, word, graphic, design or a combination of these to distinguish a producer and his/her goods and services from that of another producer.
A Trademark assures the consumer of the authenticity and quality of the goods and services of a particular producer having a particular TM. It protects the producer from the unauthorized use of its brand name by others. You can renew your Trademark after expiry for a lifetime. You cannot renew a lifetime Copyrights and patents.
The Trade Marks Act, 1999 classifies goods as well as services in 45 classes. The goods and services have also been classified into different classes. Class 1 to Class 34 deals with trademarks related to goods and Class 35 to Class 45 deals with service-related trademarks. One TM maybe (in some cases it is necessary) classified into several other sub-classes.
The fee is correlated with each category, whether for initial application or renewal. A separate registration fee has to be paid for each class of goods or services to be registered. You have to ensure that you choose the right class for registration otherwise you will again have to start the registration process from the beginning.
The applicant, before applying for registration should check for the existence of identical or similar trademarks. The documents required to be attached with trademark registration application are trademark logo. Name and address of the applicant, trademark class, date of use of the trademark (if it used before registration). Description of good or service to be trademarked and a power of attorney on Rs 100/- stamp paper. After collecting all required documents, an application for registration is drafted by the agent or attorney hired.
- Once it is found that no similar or identical trademarks are registered. The applicant can file the trademark registration application with the Registrar (in a prescribed manner).
- Within one or two days of registration, a trademark application allotment number is given to track the registration.
- Then the TM is verified with the Vienna Codification.
- After verification with the Vienna code. The trademark for which registration is sought is sent to a particular Trademark Officer, who will review the TM application. He has the power to allow or object the trademark application.
- TM has been objected by the officer. In this, the applicant has the right to appear before him and address his objection. If an applicant is not satisfied with his decision, then he can appeal to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.
- If the application is allowed by the officer. Then it is published in the TM Journal if no one objects within 90 days of publication. Then it will be registered within a few months.
- In case anyone objects the publication then he/she will be heard by the Trademark Hearing Officer. In the case of dissatisfaction, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board can be approached.
Once all the objections are resolved. Trademark Certificate is issued, and the TM is registered, granting the owner the exclusive use of the mark. Now, ® can be placed next to the TM logo.