Thursday, August 11, 2011

Trade Mark Registration in India

A trade mark is a form of industrial property that may be defined as a symbol in the form of a word, letter, numeral, signature, name label, ticket, sound etc. capable of being represented graphically and which are applied to articles of commerce in order to distinguish the goods and services of one business entity from those of another.
Before selecting a trade mark the registrability of a trade mark is to be determined in order to ensure that the trade mark is good for registration. Generic marks describing the goods or service are not registrable. Invented words or coined words are considered good for registration.
A search is to be conducted in order to determine whether there are any similar or deceptively similar trade marks on record.
For Trade Mark Registration the owner of the proposed trade mark needs to file a trade mark application at the Trade Marks Registry along with the prescribed fee. Subsequently, a document containing the trade mark number is issued by the Trade Marks Registry.
The Trade Marks Registry then examines the application and raises its objections, if any. The applicant must meet the objections vide a suitable reply. An affidavit may also be required to be filed, evidencing the use of the trade mark. In case the Trade Mark Registry requires any further clarifications a hearing may be fixed. Finally, after all the objections are waived, the trade mark is accepted for advertisement and advertised in the Trade Marks Journal.

Any aggrieved third party may initiate an opposition, vide a notice of opposition within the prescribed period, after the trade mark is advertised, contesting the registration of the trade mark .The applicant must then file a counter statement within two months of receipt of the notice of opposition. Thereafter the opponent may file his evidence vide an affidavit of evidence in support of opposition. Subsequently, the applicant will have to file their evidence vide an affidavit and the opponent must file an evidence in reply. Finally, the matter is heard and adjudicated.

In case no opposition is filed or the opposition is heard and decided against the opponent, the trade mark is registered and entered in the register of trade marks.

The proprietor of a trade mark may also transfer his trade mark to any third party by virtue of an assignment deed. A registered trade mark is to be renewed every ten years by paying the prescribed renewal fee.