Trademark Search in India

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Frequently Asked Questions
Should I file my trademark in local characters?

Yes, for a broader and stronger protection in India, we recommend registering your trademark in local characters.

If the trademark is registered only in its original version (Latin characters), the protection does not always properly protect its equivalent in the local language. This means that a third party could use or register the same trademark (or a similar one) in local characters.

In additional to the legal benefits, the registration and use of the trademark in local characters can also have commercial benefits. The public in India will recognize your brand more easily if they are able to read and correctly pronounce the mark.

Registering your trademark in its original version, as well as local transliteration/translation, will provide a greater protection from any possible infringements.

Is there a time frame for filing for a trademark registration?

For a regular application without opposing parties, it will take from 18 to 24 months. More time is needed for applications with opposition.

If I register my trademark in India, do I have protection in other territories?

No. The registered mark is protected only in India.

Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a required to complete the application procedure.

Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?

It may demonstrate the acquired distinctiveness of the mark and help overcome an opposition to the application on the grounds of non-distinctiveness.

Pre-filing use of the mark is advantageous. The first person to use a mark obtains the ownership to such mark, even if other parties subsequently register it.

Will there be problems in case I don’t use my trademark after registration?

Yes, attack on the ground of non-use is available.

What are the types of trademark that can be registered in India?
  • words
  • names (note: personal names are not allowed)
  • devices
  • certain three-dimensional shapes
  • colours (acquired distinctiveness must be proved)
  • slogans
  • sounds
  • trade dress/get-up
  • holograms
  • collective marks
  • certification marks
  • well-known marks
  • service marks
What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in India?

The order of the application process is as follows

 

  1. Examination – The trademark is examined in respect of:
    • Formalities
    • Classification
    • Clarity
    • Descriptiveness
    • Distinctiveness
    • Deceptiveness
    • Conflict with prior registration
    • Religious susceptibilities
  2. Publication – Details about the application are posted online:
    • Mark
    • Name of applicant
    • Address of applicant
    • State or country of incorporation of applicant
    • Application number
    • Application date
    • Goods/services
    • Priority claim information
    • Dates of first use
    • Representation of trademark
  3. Registration – Official registration is granted once the application is able to pass the first and second phases and once all oppositions are overcome.
What type of trademark is not registrable?
  • marks contrary to moral standards or public order
  • generic terms
  • names, flags or symbols of states, nations, regions, or of international organizations
  • marks without acquired distinctiveness
  • marks that function principally as surnames
  • marks that function principally as geographic location names
Does India use the "Nice Classification" system?

Yes, the Nice Classification System is effective in India.

Does the Community Trademark apply for India?

The European Union Trade Mark registration (formerly the Community Trade Mark registration) is not effective in India.

Is there any possibility to claim priority in India?

Yes, if the following conditions are satisfied:

 

  • If an applicant's home country is a signatory to the Paris Convention
  • If the applicant’s home application was filed within the fixed period of six months preceding the application in this jurisdiction
  • Registration based on the Madrid Protocol also enables an applicant to claim priority
What do I need to do to satisfy the use requirement?

A trademark must be used within five years and three months from the "sealing date."

Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will be valid?

The initial term of a registration is 10 years which is calculated from the application date.

What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal date of a registration is 10 years from the application filing date.

Is it legal to use my trademark even if it is not yet registered?

Yes, it is legal. You may use an unregistered mark for any goods or services.

How many applications should I file?

The answer to this question depends on the characteristics of your mark, your budget and the scope of protection that you would like to have in India.

If your trademark contains distinctive verbal elements (text) as well as design elements (graphics or logos) and you wish both to be protected, our recommendation is to file two trademark applications; one to protect just the verbal elements (the application will be filed as “Word Mark”) and another to protect just the design elements (the application will be filed as “Combined Mark”).

In this case, proceeding with two trademark applications has the following advantages:

  1. Broader and stronger protection. If a third party files a “Combined Mark” with very similar text to yours but different design, their “Combined Mark” could be accepted for registration if you only filed a “Combined Mark” and not a “Word Mark,” because in its entirety the third party’s mark is still considered different from yours.
  2. You will be protected if your logo evolves. It is common for companies to change the design of their logo with time. If you file a “Combined Mark” and not a “Word Mark,” your new logo will not be protected. You must use your trademark exactly as registered; if you don’t, your trademark may be subject to cancellation.
  3. Effective verbal and graphics protection. Filing a “Word Mark” application provides greater flexibility to use your mark in different ways, whether it is presenting it in stylized text or presenting it with different designs (as long as they are not too similar to registered trademarks that belong to third parties). At the same time, filing a “Combined Mark” allows you to protect the design elements of your mark.

If your trademark also contains a slogan or a distinctive design symbol, we suggest you file a specific application for each, as this will give you additional protection.

Does having a registered trademark in India give me any right?

Registration is not a requirement to obtain rights to a trademark. Prior use is enough to establish ownership to a trademark. India observes the "first to use" rule.

What is the web address of the trademark national office?

The national trademark office of India is accessible online at the following URL: www.ipindia.nic.in.

Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?

Yes. Applicants are required to prove either actual use or intent to use for the application to be accepted.

Can a Trademark Application be opposed?

Opposition is available on the basis of the following:

 

  • proprietary rights
  • the mark is descriptive
  • the mark is not distinctive
  • the mark is misleading, deceptive or disparaging
  • breach of copyright
  • rights of notorious or well-known mark
  • registration in the name of the agent or other representative of the proprietor of the mark
  • rights of trade names
  • registered design rights
  • rights in a personal
  • the mark is generic
  • the mark is against public policy or principles of morality
Who can contest my trademark application?

Anyone may oppose an application.

Is it possible to cancel a registration?

The following can be grounds for cancellation:

  • the mark is descriptive
  • the mark is not distinctive
  • the mark is misleading, deceptive or disparaging
  • the mark is functional
  • rights of protected armorial bearings, flags and other State emblems
  • the mark is generic
  • the mark consists of a geographical indication
  • the mark is against public policy or principles of morality
  • the mark includes a badge or an emblem of particular public interest
  • the mark is used in a misleading manner
  • the mark is prohibited in this jurisdiction
  • the application for or registration of the mark was made in bad faith
Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?

The following rights are established by registration:

  • the exclusive right to use the registered trademark
  • the right to sue for infringement against confusingly similar third-party trademark use
  • the right to license other third parties to use the trademark
  • the right to apply for seizure by customs authorities for importation of counterfeit goods
How long is the opposition period?

The opposition period begins on the date on which the Trade Marks Journal is made accessible to the public.

 

The opposition period ends 120 days (4 months) from the date the Journal was made available to public. This deadline is final and non-extendable.

Is India a member of the Madrid System?

Yes, India is a party to the Madrid Protocol. However, the Madrid Agreement is not effective in this jurisdiction.

Do I need to present periodic statement of use?

Periodic statements of use are not required.

When should I renew my trademark?

Subsequent renewals last 10 years from the renewal date of the registration.

What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal date of a registration is 10 years from the application filing date.

Is there any documentation that should be presented when renewing a trademark?

The following documentation is required for renewal:

  • a power of attorney
  • a requisition may be raised by the Registry to furnish
  • an original certificate of registration
  • proof of the previous renewal by way of a copy of the renewal certificate
  • or a journal notification regarding the previous renewal
If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?

The grace period after the renewal date has expired is 12 months.

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