Trademark Registration


What Is a Trademark?

The term trademark refers to a recognizable insignia, phrase, word, or symbol that denotes a specific product and legally differentiates it from all other products of its kind. A trademark exclusively identifies a product as belonging to a specific company and recognizes the company's ownership of the brand. Trademarks are generally considered a form of intellectual property and may or may not be registered.

  • • A trademark is an easily recognizable symbol, phrase, or word that denotes a specific product.
  • • It legally differentiates a product or service from all others of its kind and recognizes the source company's ownership of the brand.
  • • Trademarks may or may not be registered and are denoted by the ® and ™ symbols respectively.
  • • Although trademarks do not expire, the owner must make regular use of it in order to receive the protections associated with them.

Documents required for Trademark Registration

Trademark registration is an essential mechanism through which a brand can be protected from unwanted use and infringement. The Indian Government has simplified the trademark registration process. The Entrepreneurs can now easily obtain trademark registration for their brands within a few months. In this article, we look at the documents required for obtaining trademark registration in India.

Note: During the trademark application process, there is no requirement for submitting original documents. Scan copy of the original document would suffice the requirement.

Individuals & Sole Proprietorship

Any individual – Indian National or Foreign National can easily register a trademark in India. There is no requirement for forming a legal entity or business entity to register a trademark. Further, the documents required to register a trademark in the name of a proprietorship are the same as that of an individual as under:

  • • Copy of the logo, preferably in black & white (Optional). In case the logo is not provided, the trademark application can be filed for the word.
  • • Signed Form-48. Form-48 is an authorisation from the applicant to a Trademark Attorney for filing the trademark application on his/her behalf.
  • • Identity Proof of the individual or Proprietor.
  • • Address Proof of the individual or Proprietor.

Partnership / LLP / Company – Small Enterprise or Startup

The trademark registration fee varies from Rs.4500 to Rs.9500. For small enterprises, startups, proprietorships and individuals, the lower trademark fee of Rs.4500 is applicable. For all other entities, the trademark government fee applicable is Rs.9500. To be classified as a small enterprise, the applicant would have to provide Udyog Aadhar registration certificate. Further, in addition to the Udyog Aadhar registration, the following details would be required.

Partnership / LLP / Company

In the case of a partnership firm or LLP, the entrepreneur would have to submit the following:

  • • Copy of Logo (Optional)
  • • Signed Form-48.
  • • Udyog Aadhar Registration Certificate.
  • • Incorporation Certificate or Partnership Deed.
  • • Identity Proof of Signatory.
  • • Address Proof of Signatory.

Other Applicants

All other applicants, including companies that do not have Udyog Aadhar registration, will have to submit the following documents to obtain trademark registration in India.

  • • Copy of Logo (Optional)
  • • Signed Form-48.
  • • Incorporation Certificate or Partnership Deed.
  • • Identity Proof of Signatory.
  • • Address Proof of Signatory.

Advantages of Trademark Registration:

1. Exclusive Rights: The owner of Registered Trademark enjoys exclusive right over the trademark. The owner can use the same for all the products falling under the class(es) applied. Further, the owner can enjoy the sole ownership of the Trademark and can stop other from the unauthorised use of the Trademark under the same class where it is registered. It gives the right to sue the unauthorized user of the Trademark Registered.

2. Builds trust and Goodwill: The established quality of your product and services are known by everyone through the trademark and which establishes trust and goodwill among the customers in market. It helps in creating permanent customers who are loyal and always opt for the same brand.

3. Differentiates Product: It makes easy for customers to find your products. It makes your product and identity of products different from that of the existing and foreseen competitors and acts as efficient commercial tool. The logo can communicate your vision, quality or unique characteristic of your company and any organisation.

4. Recognition to product’s Quality: It gives recognition to the quality of the product. Customers attach the product’s quality with the brand name and this image is created in the market about the quality of a particular brand which helps in attracting new customers as they can differentiate the quality of a product by the logo/brand name.

5. Creation of Asset: Registration of Trademark creates an intangible asset i.e. Intellectual Property for an organisation. Registered trademark is a right created which can be sold, assigned, franchised or commercially contracted. Also, the Trademark is an intangible asset which gives the advantage to the organisation.

6. Use of ® symbol: Once the trademark is registered you can use the ® symbol on your logo stating that it is a registered trademark and no one can use the same trademark. It is exclusive of all types of usages as well as rights. If someone else use the trademark then you can also sue the party if the trademark is registered.

7. Protection against infringement: No competitor or other person can use the wordmark or logo registered by you under trademark. However, if in any case one uses it without the approval of the owner of trademark or make any deceptive use of same, the owner can get the legal protection under the Act and stop the person doing so.

8. Protection for 10 Years at low cost: Online Trademark registration is done on a very low maintainability cost. Once you register the trademark you have to just pay the maintenance cost and renewal cost which is after 10 years of registering the trademark. It is cost efficient and helps your company create an unique image.

9. Global Trademark Registration: If one wants to register the trademark in countries other than India, the trademark registered in India can be used as basis of registration there. For any person willing to expand outside India, the trademark registered in India can provide a good base along with the Established Goodwill in the Country.

10. Attract Human Resources: Young minds aspire to join big Brands as it acts as a magnate. It inspires the positive image of the organisation and thus candidates are attracted towards them easily. This reduces the cost towards hiring and related activities

Trademark vs. Patent vs. Copyright

Trademarks are distinctly different from patents and copyrights. A patent grants the design, process, and invention rights to a piece of property to its inventor. In order to be registered, the inventor must make full disclosure of the invention—the design and the process—itself through the USPTO. This gives the inventor full protection over the product or service in question for a certain period of time—usually 20 years. Anyone can make use of the invention by producing, marketing, and selling it after the patent expires. This is common in the pharmaceutical industry. A drug company that patents a drug has exclusive rights over it for a certain period of time before other companies can market and sell generic brands to the public.

Copyrights, on the other hand, give protection to the owners of intellectual property to legally copy it. Copyright owners and those who have the authority can exclusively reproduce the associated work for monetary gain for a specific period of time—usually until 70 years after their death. Software, art, film, music, and designs are just some of the examples of work that are covered by copyrights. Brand names, slogans, and logos, however, are not covered. In order to get a copyright and prevent copyright infringement, the filer must make an application with the U.S. Copyright Office.