Registration of trademarks in India

Filing of Application: Once the application is filed, it is then numbered, a filing receipt is issued and then subsequently an endorsed representation sheet is also issued.

First Examination Report & reply thereto: (actual time taken: 4 to 7 months) In due course of time, the application is examined and an examination report is issued in which the examiner may cite conflicting marks along with his objections. We are then required to reply to the examination report within one month of the date of receipt.

Hearing: (actual time taken: 2 to 4 months) As a general practice, a hearing is appointed for all applications filed, as the Examiner may have further questions in mind. This also gives the Applicant a chance to further convince the Examiner by way of oral submissions and clear the Examiner’s objections to accept the mark for Advertisement in the Trademarks Journal.

In case, written submissions are not filed and the Application is put up for hearing, the Examiner is likely to insist for written submissions to the Examination report.

Hence, it is recommended to file the written submissions before a hearing is appointed in the matter. There is an added advantage that the Registrar may accept our written submissions and not appoint a hearing. This is rare but not unheard of.

User Affidavit: The Trademarks Office may require / direct us to file an affidavit of use in case the application is claiming use. ‘USE’ in India has a wider meaning. International use including usage on the Internet qualifies as use in India. It is recommended that the applicant claim use in their applications, specially if the mark is weak in nature

Advertisement: (actual time taken: 2 to 4 months) The application, if accepted for advertisement, will be then advertised in the Trademarks Journal and will be open for opposition for a period of 3 + 1 month.

Registration: (actual time taken: 4 to 6 months) Upon the expiry of the opposition period of 4 months, the application will proceed for Registration and a Registration Certificate is issued in due course of time. The Registration is valid for a period of 10 yrs from the date of application.

Though the Trade Mark Office in India does function erratically, some action and effective results can be found on diligent pursuing.

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