The minute you hear about IPR, the first thing you would think about is the trademark registration cost and lengthy and tedious procedure involved. The process of trademark registration holds an important position in company establishment. A trademark is more than just a visual symbol for your company. It is your brand image and helps in distinguishing your products and services from your competitor’s offerings.
If you own a business and are wondering what will be trademark registration cost or how trademark registration will help in your business let us help you understand the basics.
Starting your own business and establishing it in the market is a very strenuous process. Harder is the process of building trust and brand value among your customers.Will you be fine if some company misuses your brand name to promote their products or if you find that -some competitor has already registered your business name?
Your entire marketing and branding strategy would go waste in such cases. Also, if the brand name were already registered, you would end up being penalized for infringement. This is where registering your trademark helps. It would help you in actually protecting your business and brand image from misuse and can prove to be a valuable asset for your company. Is the process actually worth the trademark registration cost involved and is it worth all the strain? If so, how does one go about the process?
How does one actually go about the trademark registration process to protect your investment on your company’s brand image and logo? Read on.
Things you need to know to trademark your business
In India, you can do trademark registration online for any or a combination of the following things:
- Graphic design
- Colour scheming
So what do you need to be wary about in the trademark registration cost and process? Let’s walk you through the entire process one step at a time.
#Step 1. Zeroing on a name/logo/image for your business
This is the first and the most difficult step in the entire process. You have to come up with a unique brand name/image/logo which is not already in use and which really represents your business. The pointer that you need to keep in mind is not to try the usual names, as they would be already taken! Try using generic names couples with invented words to make it unique and check to see if it already exists. It won’t hurt to have back-ups.
#Step 2. Procedure and knowing trademark registration cost
After you choose the name, you have to apply for trademark registration process. Either fill in the TM1 form manually or you can also opt for online registration.
Trademark registration fees is around INR 3500 and is a one-time fee. You would also be required to submit supporting documents validating the type of business you hold (sole proprietorship, partnership, LLP etc.). You also have to provide identity and address proofs of the director(s) of the company, logo image of the size 3.5”X 1.96”. If you choose to do the trademark registration manually, you have to submit the application form along with the supporting documents at the office of Registrar of Trade Marks.
Trademark registration offices are located in Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, and Delhi. You would ideally get a receipt of acknowledgment within 15-20 days of submission. However, in case you do it online, you would get the acknowledgment immediately on submission and post which you can start using the trademark symbol next to your brand name.
#3. Examination and publication
Once you submit the application, the Registrar examines it. They would ideally check if the name complies with all the laws and is not conflicting with any other brand name already registered or in the process of registration.
Post this; it gets published in the journal of Indian Trade Mark. In case the brand name does not receive any objection within 90 days of publication, it gets accepted.
As soon as the name gets approved, the Registrar would issue a certificate of registration under trademark registry, and you can then start using the registered trademark symbol ®next to the brand name. The process is long and tedious and usually takes anywhere between 18-24 months to get completed.
This trademark symbol is valid for 10years post which it needs to be renewed. You can also hire a legal expert to help you wade through the process easily.
Points to note before starting your trademark registration process
Here are few pointers that will help you complete the process without any glitches.
- Ensure that you conduct a thorough trademark search to prevent future expenses for rebranding and renaming. Using the services of a good trademark registration agency can simplify the entire process.
- While handing over the trademark registration process over to an agency, ensure that you provide them exact and accurate information about the trademark which is to be searched and the class of goods or services under which the trademark has to be searched. It is worth noting that there are 45 different classes of goods and services (11 services and 34 goods) according to NICE classification and so it is important to identify the class(es) under which you require protection for your trademark.
- While applying for trademark provide translations for any non-English words used in your brand name. Provide a list of goods and services for which the registration is intended.
- If you or someone else have used the trademark before in India, provide the date and tenure of its usage.
- In the case of filing through a trademark registration agency or an attorney, you do not require any legalization or notarization, and only a signature of the applicant will suffice. It is not essential at the time of submission of application and can be added later without any extra cost.
- You can go for multi-class applications in India, and separate trademark registration cost is applicable for each application.
- The trademark registration ceases to exist and is automatically removed if left unused continuously for
Since registering of company names, domain names and business names alone does not give ownership of a name; it is important that you opt for a more definite form of protection of your brand image. These trademarks are not to be confused with trade names, and you require an in-depth knowledge of the advantages and the procedure to understand the various benefits it provides to your business.