A trademark is a sign, symbol, word, or words registered or legalized for the use of representation of a company’s product or services. Hence, any tamper or illegal use of this trademark by any other company it does not belong to, gives the authorized company the right to legal action – making trademark of a company the most important feature of its existence.
Once a company is formed, to gain legal benefits it must register its trademark with the Registrar, which is valid for ten years only. It is a simple and important process and does not require much effort.
The following is the step-by-step procedure followed to register a trademark:
- Trademark search
- Application filing
- Registration Certificate
It is during the examination step that the Registrar checks the application for any discrepancies. The examination takes about 12-18 months.The examination may be passed absolutely, conditionally or objected.
- If accepted absolutely, the trademark gets published in the Trademark Journal.
- If not accepted, the objections mentioned in the examination report must be fulfilled in a months’ time for the trademark to be published in the Trademark Journal.
In addition, an opponent may raise the objection to the trademark application within four months during the Publication step.
It is in the case of an objection that the applicant has a chance to file evidence in support of its trademark application.
- The applicant may file an evidence application by way of an affidavit within two months of receiving the objection letter from the Registrar. If the time allotted is not enough, the applicant may request for an extension of time for not more than a month.
- If the evidence is not filed within the mentioned time, the Registrar may deduce that the applicant is not interested in providing evidence to its trademark application and may proceed to deem the application as ‘abandoned’.
- In case of opposition during Publication, the opponent is required to submit evidence by way of an affidavit or it may write to the Registrar stating that it does not desire to file evidence but depend on the facts stated in Notice of Opposition.
- The opponent is also given an extension of a month apart from the two months notice to provide evidence in case of change of mind to provide evidence supporting its opposition statement and as a response to the evidence application provided by the trademark applicant.
After the expiry of the allotted time for providing evidence and receiving evidence application from the trademark applicant and opponent, the Registrar calls for a fair hearing from both parties. Both parties are required to respond to the hearing notice within fourteen days of the date of receipt.
The trademark application may be approved or rejected after favoring the applicant or opponent respectively on hearing the case of both parties. The trademark application proceeds for trademark registration after the Registrar favors the applicant and a trademark registration certificate is issued to the applicant.