Frequently asked questions for Trademarks

Ques 1: What is a Trademark?

Ans: A Trademark is an Intellectual Property asset obtained for certain names, recognizable sign, symbols, designs, devices, or words or expression associated with the company’s corporate, product brand and identity. A trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from its competing enterprises. Trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks.

Ques 2: What are different types of trademarks that may be registered in India?

Ans: There are 7 different types of trademarks that are registered in India

  1. Product Mark
  2. Service Mark
  3. Collective Mark
  4. Certification Mark
  5. Shape Mark
  6. Pattern Mark
  7. Sound Mark

Ques 3: What are the benefits of registering a trademark?

Ans: Benefits of regestring a trademark:

*Grants Exclusive Rights;

*Protects others from using your trademark;

*Differentiates your Products from competitor’s Products;

*Recognition to product’s Quality;

*Creates image for the goods/ services;

*Advertises the goods/services;

*Protects against infringement.

Ques 4: Who can apply for Trademarks?

Ans: Any person who is an individual, a company, a proprietor or a legal entity claiming to be owner of the trademark can apply for trademark.

Ques 5: What does TM and R signify, when can we use them?

Ans: The symbol “TM” means “Trademark”  and signifies any mark filed with the Trademark Office.

The “R” means “registered trademark” and signifies the trademark is registered and validated by theTrademark Office for the product or service.

Ques 6: Where should trademark application be filed?

Ans: Trademark applications can be submitted filed physically at the Front Office Counter of the Indian Patent Office or filed on line through the e-filing gateway available at the official website

Ques 7: What is the validity of the trademark?

Ans: Validity of trademark is 10 years from the date of application. The trademark can renewed indefinitely by paying renewal fees  every 10 years. In India, a renewal request is filed in FORM TM-R within one year before the expiry of the last registration of trademark.

Ques 8: What is classification of goods adopted in India?

Ans:  Nice Classification is adopted for classification of goods and services. Accodring to Nice Classification:

Classes 1-34: For Goods

Classes 35-45: For Services

Ques 9:Are trademarks territorial?

Ans: Yes, Trademarks are territorial in nature and must be filed in the countries the aplicant seeks for protection.

Ques 10: Can a registered trademark be amended at later stage?

Ans: Yes, a registered trademark can be amended at a later stage as per the provision of Section 22  of the Trademark Act.

Section 22 in The Trade Marks Act, 1999

22. Correction and amendment.—The Registrar may, on such terms as he thinks just, at any time, whether before or after acceptance of an application for registration under section 18, permit the correction of any error in or in connection with the application or permit an amendment of the application: Provided that if an amendment is made to a single application referred to in sub-section (2) of section 18 involving division of such application into two or more applications, the date of making of the initial application shall be deemed to be the date of making of the divided applications so divided.

Ques 11: Can a trademark be removed on the ground of non-use?

Ans: Yes, a trademark can be removed on gounds of non- use as per the Section 47 of the Indian Trade Marks Act of 1999 if

  1. That the trade mark was registered without any bona fide intention and was not used till a date three months before the date of the application for removal; or
  2. Trademark is not used for a continuous period of five year from the date of registration of trademark and application was made after three months from the expiry of five years.

Ques 12: What are the different grounds for refusal of registration of a trademark under the trademarks Act?

Ans: Different grounds for refusal of registration of a trademark under the trademarks Act

Absolute Grounds – (Section 9 of the Act)

Relative Grounds (Section 11 of the Act)

Ques 13: How to file International Trademark Application?

Ans: An applicant can file an International trademark Applicantion:

Madrid Protocol: Using a single application to register the trademark in multiple countries by taking priority of one of the countries; or

Direct filing: Registering the trademark directly in the Trademark Office of jurisdiction of interest for soughting protection in that particular jurisdiction with or without taking priority in the domestic country.

Note: Under Madrid Protocol protection can only be obtained in member countries and these member countries listed below: