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Why tech startups need their trademark registered

Indian Startup Chamber

  • July 20, 2020
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For a startup brand comes under one of the most important assets for the company and the company name and logo is connected with that brand. Startups generally invest a lot of time in thinking about the right creative name for the company and developing that name as a brand. A lot of marketing is done with the company name. But all these will go in vain if you have not registered your Trademark. This mistake can turn very costly for the any startup.

For brand’s uniqueness it is necessary to protect a brand legally and commercially. This is necessary to ensure that no new brand come up in the market which is similar to already existing brand. From a legal point of view in the long run it is necessary for a brand’s uniqueness, development and achievement. A trademark is generally a unique word, symbol, letter, name or logo which is used to differentiate one’s product from another’s. Prior to registration, a trademark search is done to ensure that there is no other organisation with a similar trademark, which may cause confusion in public.

Advantages of Trademark Registration:

1.      The owner of Registered Trademark will enjoy exclusive right over the trademark. The owner of the Trademark can use it for all the product falling under the applied class. The owner can stop anyone from unauthorised use of the trademark.

2.      The Trademark will make the quality of your product and services through the trademark, to reach everyone. This will help you create a permanent customer base and will establishes trust.

3.      It makes your product identity unique different from your competitor and thus customer could easily recognise your product.

4.      Registered trademark is an intangible asset which gives the Trademark right to be sold, assigned, franchised or commercially contracted.

5.      Once registered you could use the symbol ® with your Trademark which shows your Trademark is registered.

6.      Your unique image of the Trademark will be applicable for 10 years after which you could renew it.

7.      If you want to expand your business outside India then the Trademark registration in India can be used as basis of registration there.

How to Register a Trademark:


1.Choosing a Trademark:

Completion Time: 1 Day

The most important thing is to choose a unique and distinctive mark that could represent your company. You could check on trademark records registry to ensure that trademark does not resemble or is identical any previously registered mark. This can be done by going to online website of the Controller general of patents, designs and trademarks and there you have to choose the option to do a public search. There are 45 classes of goods and services under which the trademark can be registered and you have to choose which class do you belong to. Classes belonging to 1-34 are for goods and classes 35-45 are for service.

2. Filling of Form TM-1:

Completion Time: 2 Days

Cost: For Individuals and Companies registered under MSMEs - Rs. 4,500 (per application per class)

         Other than above Rs. 9,000/- (Rs. Nine Thousand Only)

Once you are sure that your Trademark is not already registered with Trademark Registry India, you can opt for registering the same. The next step is to file a trademark application form at the Trademark Office, India which are located at Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata. But applying offline is not preferable nowadays, filing is mostly done online.

While filing the application you have two options:

·         You could file for a trademark under “one” class which implies that your trademark is registered only for the specific class that you have chosen. In this case, you have to fill in form TM-1. The fee applicable for filing form TM-1 is rupees 3,500.

·         If you are filing for multiple classes or series trademark, or collective trademark then you need to fill in form TM-A. This form will allow you to register the trademark in more than one class. Two separate cost brackets are applicable for this form:

         a. You have to pay rupees 9,000 for e-filing of the from or rupees 10,000 if you file the form in person if you are not a start-up, small enterprise or an individual.

         b. If you are an individual, small enterprise or a start-up then you are applicable to pay Rupees 4,500 for e-filing of the form or rupees 5,000 for filing form physically.

Once you file the application, an official receipt is immediately issued for future reference. The trademark status of your application can be seen online.

Documents required during a trademark application:

i.      Business Registration Proof: This depend on the basis of your registered business which means whether your business is sole proprietorship and so on, company’s directors' identity proof and an address proof have to be submitted. In case the business is sole proprietorship business, id proof of the proprietor which include PAN card, Aadhar card can be submitted. If it is a company, the address proof of the company needs to be submitted.

ii.      Soft copy of the trademark.

iii.     The proof of claim of proposed trade mark.

iv.      Power of attorney which is signed by the applicant.

3. TM Examination:

Completion Time: 1-2 months

After the application for trademark is filed, the Registrar will examine the trademark for its uniqueness and for any discrepancies. This may take around 1-2 months. It is possible that the Registrar might accept the trademark absolutely, conditionally, or may raise objection on the trade mark.

The trademark will get published in the Trademark Journal, if the trade mark is accepted unconditionally. If it is not accepted then, the examination report will contain the conditions which need to be fulfilled or the objections raised would be mentioned in it. You would be given a months' time to fulfil the requirements or response to the objections.

If your response is finally accepted than the Trademark will get published in the Trademark Journal. But if due to some reason the response is not accepted, you can request for a hearing. If during the hearing, the Registrar feels that the trademark should be allowed for registration, then your Trademark will get published in the Trademark Journal.

4. TM Publication:

The step of publication comes within the trademark registration procedure this is because if there is anyone who objects to the registration of your trademark gets the opportunity to oppose publication of the Trademark. If for four months from publication, no objection is filed then the trademark proceeds for registration. In case of an opposition, there will be a hearing, and the Registrar will give decision regarding the Trade mark.

5. Registration Certificate:

Once the application is forwarded for trademark registration, and has been published in Trademark Journal. Finally, a registration certificate is issued by the Trademark Office with the seal of the Trademark Office, India.

6.  Trademark Renewal:

The trademark is valid for ten years and can be renewed perpetually after every ten years.

This blog is written by Mr. Saransh Pandey. Saransh is intern with Chamber of Startups. If you want to register your trademark contact our advisors at 9999500137 or 011-47557111.

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