Trademarks are marks that can range across a variety, crucial in distinguishing between the services and products of different businesses, individuals, and organizations. However, with a rise in the trend of people seeking to register for their marks, there is a lack of awareness regarding the procedure surrounding it. Due to such a lack of information, people are often dissuaded from registering their marks.
Here is a simplified overview of the online trademark registration process:
- Identify your mark: The first and foremost step in this process is to ensure that your trademark is unique. The mark should be attractive, have the ability to stand out, and not be similar to existing trademarks dealing in a similar class of goods and services.
- Conduct a Trademark Search: This process helps discover pre-existing trademarks that might be similar to the mark you seek to register. Trademark search is crucial in ensuring that you do not waste your resources in a process that ends up being futile due to the existence of an identical registered trademark.
- Register on the IP India website: The online procedure can be initiated after registration on the website. Such registration can be conducted by the applicant of the mark, the owner or proprietor of the mark, or an agent or attorney authorized to conduct the trademark registration procedure.
- Apply for the Trademark: Once registered, the user shall have to fill out a form provided on the website for “New Applications”. Such form shall contain spaces to receive important specifications about the relevant mark, such as its class, nature, priority, and the details of the applicant. Upon submitting the application, the user is provided with a receipt for the same.
- Process of Examination: The trademark application undergoes an examination by the Trademark Registry. The outcome of such examination can be unconditional acceptance, conditional acceptance, or an objection. Users are granted time to fulfill conditions and respond to objections after which, subject to the Registry’s approval, the mark is either published or the matter may be scheduled for hearings.
- Journal Publication, Objections, Acceptance: Once the mark is published in the Trademark Journal, anyone with objections may voice it. In such cases, there would be a hearing by the Registry. Otherwise, the Trademark Office issues a Certificate of Registration for the trademark.
Trademarks play a vital role in the present day for many reasons. However, in certain cases, there are some drawbacks that the proprietor may face. The advantages and disadvantages are as follows:
Advantages of Trademark Registration:
- Helps in establishing brand value.
- It helps to promote brand recognition.
- Protection against infringement and passing off.
- It increases the valuation of the company as an asset.
Disadvantages of Trademark Registration:
- It may be complicated and cumbersome if not done using professional help.
- It might be futile if the mark is not chosen wisely.
- It can prove to be time-consuming when the application is not satisfactory.