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Trademark is, in general terms, a trademark can be a word, logo, symbol, label, shape, smell and combination of colors, etc and acts as a source indicator and refers to the origin of goods or services.
The process of registering a Trademark in India is required when a proprietor, joint owners, a private limited company or a partnership firm intends to possess exclusive rights of the mark and all the other rights associated with the mark, in order to protect it from being misused by any other person. The registration of the trademark enables the applicant to have the complete right on the use of the mark.
How to register a Trademark in India?
What is Trademark Application Status?
How to check trademark status?
Types of Trademark Status in India
When should one check the status?
What to do if the status inquiry shows something is wrong?
In order to register a trademark in India, the following procedure is followed:
STEP 1: Trademark Search
A Trademark Search is necessary to check if the proposed mark is similar to other marks which are already registered in the Trademark Registry. It is imperative to search the trademark registry in order to ensure that your mark is not similar to any other registered trademark, either visually or phonetically.
STEP 2: Filing the Application through Form TM-A
First of all, the application for registering a trademark can be made either through e-filing or physical filing. The few basic things which a complete application is required to contain are,
If the registrar accepts the application, the application enters into the stages of registration. The initial stage is the “FORMALITY CHECK”. If the application passes the general formalities that must be fulfilled by the applicant in check, the status of the application on the Trademark Registry Website will show “FORMALITY CHK PASS”, and if the formalities are not in accordance with the law, it will show “FORMALITY CHK FAIL.”
Thereafter, the similarity check begins. The Registrar searches for the uniqueness of name and checks the registered marks and pending applications to ascertain whether any such marks exist and to know the register-ability of the proposed mark as per the law. If there are any objections by the registrar in the process of acceptance of the application or if he proposes to accept the application with certain amendments, the same is communicated in writing to the applicant and the applicant has to communicate back regarding their rectification within a period of one month.
STEP 3: Examination Report
The status of “OBJECTED”. If an examination report has been issued raising objections, a reply has to be filed by the applicant with a period of one month from the date on which the examination report was received by the applicant, failing which the trademark application may be treated as abandoned by the Registry. If the Examiner is not convinced with the written response, a hearing is posted for allowing arguments to be put forth in person.
STEP 4: Advertisement in the Trademark Journal
The status is shown to be as "ADVERTISED BEFORE ACC" or "ADVERTISED" or "ACCEPTED & ADVERTISED" when the trademark application is advertised/published in the Trade Marks Journal. This is one of the final stages of the trademark registration process. Once the trademark is published in the Trade Marks Journal, 4 months’ time is given for any third party to oppose the registration of the trademark. If no oppositions are filed during the 4 month opposition period, then the trademark registration certificate is usually issued within 3 months thereafter. The trademark registration in India is for 10 years and can be further renewed.
The different stages of scrutinizing the trademark application for any similarities or discrepancies are called trademark status. The IP India updates every time the trademark application moves forwards.
To check the trademark status, one can go on the IP INDIA website.
STEP 1: Access/Go to IP INDIA Website
Any information related to the trademark application can be checked through the IP INDIA website
Once the user goes to the IPINDA website, he will be directed to the homepage with four options on the extreme left-hand side of the homepage. These four options are for different purposes, namely, ‘Registered Mark’, ‘Trademark Indexes’, ‘Receipt’, ‘Track legal certificate Requests’. In order to check the status of the trademark application, one needs to click one the option stating ‘Registered Mark’ on the left-hand side of the homepage.
STEP 2: Once you click on the ‘Trademark Application/Registered Mark’ option, you are directed to another page, with options stating, select ‘National/IRDI Number’. Choose the suitable option.
STEP 3: Once you select the type application number, you will be directed to another page asking for your trademark application number. Provide the trademark application number, and fill the CAPTCHA.
STEP 4: When you fill all the right details a window pops up, then click on ‘Trademark Variety’ to check the status of the application.
STEP 5: View Trademark Application Information
After you click on the number, all the small print regarding the standing of the trademark application are going to be displayed on the website.
1. Formality Check
This is the initial stage in the registration process and is reflected when the application details are entered into the database of the Trademarks Registry.
2. Send to Vienna Codification
When the application status shows to send to Vienna codification, it means the mark contains any figurative elements (logo) then it is assigned a numerical code as per the Vienna Codification. The Vienna Code Classification is an internationally accepted standard for logos and the different elements it contains.
3. Formalities Check Pass
When the application status shows Formalities Check Pass, it means that the application has passed the preliminary checks by the Trademarks Registry.
4. Formalities Check Fail
When the application status shows Formalities Check Fail, it means that the Registry has encountered issues within the application; therefore the status is shown as Formalities Check Fail.
5. Marked for Exam
Marked for Exam means that the application is pending with the Trademark Examiner, and is to be checked for any discrepancies
6. Objected When the application status shows as an object, it means that the examiner has raised objections regarding the registration of the mark. In such a situation, one needs to answer the examination report within 1 month from the date of its issuance.
7. Refused or Abandoned
If the trademark application is shown as refused or abandoned it means that the Examiner is not convinced with the examination report or even after a Show Cause Hearing. The application can also be abandoned if one does not reply to the examination report within a prescribed period.
8. Advertised before Accepted
If the trademark application status is shown as ‘Advertised before Accepted’ it means that the Trademark Registrar is not convinced with the nature of the mark.
9. Accepted and Advertised
When the Trademark Registry allows the application to be published in the Trademark Journal, the status shows as ‘Accepted and Advertised’
When the mark is published in the Trademark Journal, and if someone comes up with an opposition against the mark, the status will be displayed as Opposed.
11. Withdrawn There are times when the applicant voluntarily withdraws the application. In such an instance, the status is shown as Withdrawn.
12. Registered Once the application successfully clears all the stages, a certificate of registration is issued by the Trademarks Registry to the applicant.
13. Removed Once Trademark is issued, and is not used for five consecutive years or is not renewed then it can be removed from the trademark Journal.
The applicant should regularly keep a check the status of the trademark application since at some stages the applicant might be required to act in accordance with the status of the application. The applicant should check the status after filing any documents after the registration. The status should be checked for keeping a tab on the renewal of the registration.
If the status inquiry shows that something is wrong, in such a situation nothing can much be done by the applicant. At most, one can try contacting the assistance center and seek their help in order to solve the problem.
What is the trademark number?
A trademark number refers to the serial number, since all trademarks, including unregistered ones, will have that as soon as they are filed.
How do I find my trademark registration number?
The trademark registration number and the application number are the same. However, if one does not know the application number of the trademark, then go to ‘Find Details without Trade Mark Number/Application Number’. In the trademark column enter the Trademark; enter the name of the owner in the Proprietor Name column. Then enter the details of the class code. Further, in order to view the specific details of a Trademark, one needs to click on the corresponding trademark number under the list of Find Details without Trade Mark Number/Application Number’.
How do I check the status of my trademark application?
The status of the trademark application can be checked by going the IP INDIA website https://ipindiaonline.gov.in/eregister/eregister.aspx
What is trademark protection?
The Trademark Act, 1999 under section 29 of the act prohibits the use of the trademark by any third party who is not a registered proprietor of the trademark. If anyone uses the registered trademark then the proprietor of the mark can seek relief for infringement of the mark.
How to do Trademark Search?
The online trademark search database is available through the website of the Comptroller General of Patent Designs and Trademarks and is used to do a trademark search. This trademark database contains all the trademarks applications submitted to the Trademark registrar in India including registered, applied, objected and expired trademarks.