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Any natural person or a Legal entity can file a trademark application in selected specification of goods or services. The Applicant for trademark under Indian Trademark law can also foreign national and/or Legal entity as well. India is compliant to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and provides for protection of well-known trademarks and recognizes trans-border reputation. In order to file an application in India in the name of a foreign entity who does not have a principal place of business in India, an application can be filed through an Indian attorney. The jurisdiction and address of service under such a scenario is automatically fixed from the address of the attorney.
While selecting a trademark, the two factors to be kept in mind are the mark itself and the specification of goods and services the marks intends to cover. An ideal mark should be distinctive and unique in nature, and should be not similar to an already registered mark. For selecting goods and services, it is important to understand the class under which the trademark would fall; At the moment, under NICE classification goods and services can be classified as 45 different types of goods and services. Classifications 1–34 are for products, and 35–45 are for services. It is to be noted that in India, Multiclass Applications are allowed. Once you have successfully chosen a suitable mark for your company, a trademark search should be conducted to assess the feasibility of the selected mark being registered. A Trademark search is not mandatory, but is highly advised.
Once a trademark has been finally selected, an application for trademark can be filed online. Following are the particulars to be kept in mind:
Once the Application has been filed, it will be examined at the Trademark office, to see if it complies with all rules and regulations. The examination is conducted within 1 – 2 months to ensure the distinctiveness with prior and similar marks.
Since the date of issuance of examination report, a response has to be filed within 1 month from a receipt of an examination report failing which an application shall be abandoned. If Trade Marks Office is not convinced with the response filed, the application is further listed for a one-on-one Show cause Hearing with the Examiner. Alternatively, in case the Examiner is convinced, the mark is advertised in the Trademarks Journal.
The applicant will be issued a trademark certificate if the following conditions are met:
The Trade Mark Registry will then issue a soft copy of the Registration certificate. The mark is registered for a period of 10 years from the date of filing of the application and can be renewed from time to time on payment of renewal fees. Each renewal term is for a period of 10 years.