Trademarks are registrable in India under the Trademark Act, 1999. The formal application process is lengthy and expensive. In order to register a trademark in India, an applicant must satisfy certain conditions set forth in the act. In order to obtain registration of a brand’s trademark, the applicant has to meet specific criteria as defined by the act.
If you are interested in trademarking your business name in India, you must proceed with your application carefully and meet all requirements set forth by the Indian authorities. It can be a complex process if you do not know what you are doing beforehand. To make it easier for you, we’ve provided information on some of the most important conditions that must be fulfilled for the registration of a trademark in India.
What Is a Trademark?
A trademark is a distinctive name, design, or combination of names that defines, identifies, and distinguishes your products or services from those of your competitors. Trademarks can be registered with the Intellectual Property Office of the Government of India or with a World Intellectual Property Organization member country. The basic requirement for a trademark to be recognised and registered in India is that it is not identical or similar to a registered trademark in the country in which it is used. In order for a mark to be registered, it must be approved by the intellectual property authorities.
The Trade Marks Act of 1999, Section 18(1), specifies who is eligible to file a trademark application. To begin, anyone who claims to be the owner of a trade mark in relation to goods or services may apply for Trade Mark registration. A person who claims to be a proprietor must be able to prove it. When we talk about a ‘person,’ we mean the following:
- A Natural Person,
- A Body Incorporate,
- A Partnership Firm,
- Association of Persons (in case of collective Trademarks),
- Joint Proprietor
- A Trust,
- A Society.
- A Government Authority/Undertaking
What Are the Requirements for Registration of a Trademark in India?
The registration of a trademark is one of the most important steps that a business must take in order to obtain protection in India. The right to use the distinctive symbol that distinguishes one’s products or services from those of a competitor is granted by trademark registration. Apart from the specific rules for trademark registration, there are some basic and fundamental stepping stones that must be followed in order to register a trademark. The following is a list of those requirements :
- To begin, an application for trademark registration must be submitted to the appropriate national authority, both national and regional.
- The application must include a clear reproduction of the registration sign, including colour, design, and any other three-dimensional features.
- This application must also include a list of goods or services to which this sign will apply.
- The application must include the date of first use of the trademark in India, if at all used
- If the mark contains or consists of non-English words, a translation of those words into English is required.
- To be protected under trademark law, the sign must meet the requirements. It should stand out from other signs so that customers can recognise the products.
- It must be ensured that the signs do not mislead or deceive the customers in any way.
- Finally, the rights sought cannot be the same as those granted to another trademark owner. Officials at the national level will ensure this.
Conditions for Registration of Trademark in India
- Trademarks must not lack any distinctive characteristics.
- Trademarks must not only contain indications that are used in commerce to identify the quality, type, quantity, purpose, and values, or the geographical source of the products or services offered.
- Also, Trademarks must not exclusively include marks or indications that are accepted as a standard in the current language or accepted practices of the trade.
- Trademarks must not have an appearance that deceives or confuses the general public.
- The Trademark must not include or contain things that are likely to harm the religious sentiments of any section or class of the population of India.
- Trademarks must not include or contain the most scandalous or sexually explicit material.
- The trademark must not be prohibited by the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.
- Trademarks must not be made up of marks of the shape of the goods that originate from the characteristics of the products themselves.
- Trademarks must not consist of goods that are necessary for obtaining the desired technical outcome.
- Trademarks must not provide an unfair competitive advantage over another popular brand in India that is identical or very similar.