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trademark registration in india

Trademark Registration in India

Trademark Registration in India (TM Registration in India)

The Trademark Registration in India are in compliance with the Indian Trademarks Rules which was passed in the year 2002, and the Indian Trademarks Act which was passed in the year 1999. These rules and act were designed to register services and or goods under the Trademark. There have been a few amendments ever since the act was formulated and passed. Companies can operate under the Trademark Act anywhere in India.


What is Trademark?

As the name suggests, a Trademark becomes the identity of a company, which distinguishes it from others. There may be many symbolisms related to this act, and they could be anything like graphical representation, a tagline, a registration number, a company logo, or even a few letters. A Trademark could also be a combination of any of those nomenclatures or symbolisms.


How do the companies get benefited with the registration of their trademark in India?  

A trademark is associated with goods and services that consumers buy. When they see a product with a unique trademark, they can identify it easily and know about whom they are buying from. The same goes for services as well. The person or entity that has a registered trademark represents a certain goodwill and quality and nature of the product. A trademark helps the producers or providers in differentiating their products from others. It also makes their goods more identifiable and marketable.

A trademark on goods and services is generally indicated with the symbol TM or ®. The owner of the trademark has the sole right to use it on products and services offered by him. Other traders cannot legally use the same trademark to sell their own products. If others are found doing so, they can be legally stopped form using it by lodging a case of trademark infringement. The trademark is a clear indication about who produces the goods or services, and therefore its use cannot be diluted. The trademark owner can sue the infringing party and recover profits, losses and costs that are a direct result of the infringement.

A trademark registered in India can also be registered in other countries by using the registration documents from India.

What kind of marks can be registered as trademarks in India?

Not all marks can be registered as trademarks in India. You can register a trademark only if the submitted mark meets certain strict requirements. Knowing about the requirements should help make the process of creating and registering of trademarks easier.

The law in India states the following requirements for trademark registration:

  1. The mark should be clearly different from other marks, so that goods and services can be distinguished in a more obvious manner
  2. The mark should have a connection to the goods and services sold by the entity, so that it indicates the ownership when the goods and services are being traded.
  3. There should be a unique graphical representation of the mark.

What are the kinds of marks that cannot undergo successful trademark registration India?

Just as there are rules for marks being registered, there are certain marks that are explicitly prohibited. When designing a trademark, these rules should be strictly applied.

Marks are not registrable if they fall under the following descriptions:

  1. They contain elements that may hurt religious sentiments of people from any section or class in India.
  2. They contain elements that are considered to be obscene or likely to create scandals
  3. They cause confusion among consumers as to the nature of products and ownership
  4. The mark is one of those that are prohibited under the Emblems and Name Act, 1950, that seeks to prevent improper use of trademarks.

What are some of the reasons for which the registration of trademark is refused to the registrant?

When a trademark is refused for registration, the grounds for the action are clearly stated. The reasons can be either absolute or relative.

Absolute grounds on which TM Registration can be refused:

  1. The marks are not clearly distinguishable and do not have a unique representation, so are likely to cause confusion among consumers of goods and services in question.
  2. The marks describe the quality of the product, which may or may not be true
  3. The marks are already used customarily in that particular trade or language, and therefore can be easily confused with other products.
  4. The marks contain generic terms such as the names of chemicals that are commonly used and those that are used internationally in a non-proprietary capacity.
  5. The marks are likely cause confusion among consumers by deceiving.
  6. The marks may hurt religious and personal sentiments of people from any section or class in India
  7. The marks are very similar or identical to the actual shape of the product and can cause confusion.
  8. The marks directly indicate the nature of the product, in which case they can cause confusion
  9. The marks that artificially increase the perceived and monetary value of goods.
  10. The marks contain matter considered to be obscene.

The following are the relative grounds on which the trade name registration can be refused:

  1. The marks are either identical or very similar to existing trademarks for products and services in the same or similar trade.
  2. The marks are either identical or very similar to existing trademarks, but which are registered in a different trade. In such a case, a trademark registration in India is rejected only if there is opposition from the existing owner of the said trademark.
  3. The registration of trademark in India is also refused if the marks infringe the copyright of another entity or person.
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