You are on page 1of 4

Basics of Trademark

Preface Trade mark is an important form of Industrial Property Rights. It plays a key role in a consumer economy. As in the case of other forms of Intellectual Property Rights, trade marks also exhibit the dialectics between public and private interests. As a source identifier, a trade mark enables the consumers to identify the origin of the goods services. The consumer thus gets the goods services of his her choice. !n the other hand, the originator of the goods "for example the company that manufactures the goods# gets protection for the mark. $ost national laws on trade marks are designed to balance this duality of interests. %urther, the national laws define the legal rights of the owners of trade marks and prescribe the boundaries of such legal rights. &nregistered trade marks are protected under the principles of common law in many countries. What Marks are Registrable All marks are not registrable. %or a $ark to be registrable, it must conform to certain statutory prescriptions. !ne such fundamental prescription is that a mark to be registrable must be 'distinctive'. The (uality of distinctiveness, distinctive character, or capable of distinguishing is a basic principle that finds place in most national laws. A word having a direct reference to the character or (uality of goods is not registrable. )owever a word having direct reference to the character or (uality of goods is registrable if it has ac(uired distinctiveness through long and continuous use. There are several other principles, all tested by a number of *udicial decisions, elaborating the registrability of trade marks. Trade Marks Administration System The trade marks registration systems in most countries forms part of unified intellectual property administration system. An application for the registration of trade marks must be filed at the office designated for purposes of granting trade marks registration. !rdinarily this function is performed by the national IP !ffices. The trade marks office will conduct an examination of the application, conduct a search to identify if there exist prior registrations and advertise the trade marks before accepting the application. !nce the application is accepted, the mark will be registered in the national trade marks register and a certificate of registration will be issued. Typically one term of registration is +, years, which is extendible from time to time.
Trademark Prosecution in India

Registrable Marks The new law on trademarks that came into force on -eptember +., /,,0 permits the registration of -ervice $arks. Till then only trade marks used in respect of goods were registrable in India. 1ollective $arks and 2ell 3nown $arks are also now recogni4ed in India. The scope of registrable $arks has been expanded to include shape of goods, packaging or combination of colors. The Application Application for registration of an ordinary trademark "including a service mark# must be filed in %orm T$5+. The %orm must be filed in triplicate accompanied by . additional representations of the $ark. Apart from this, + representation must be affixed to the %orm itself. Application for registration of a trademark claiming 1onvention Priority must be filed in %orm T$5/. To register a 1ollective $ark the application must be filed in %orm T$50 and for 1ertification $arks the application must be filed in %orm T$56. All applications must be accompanied by the prescribed official fee and a Power of

%istincti eness &pinion 'rom The Registrar !ne of the important features of the Indian trademarks law is that the Registrar=s opinion can be sought as to the distinctiveness of a trademark. The fee for expedited search is . To claim priority.Attorney. An application for expedited search must be filed in %orm T$5<+ and a report will be issued within < days from the date of re(uest. "five# times the ordinary fee.6. It must be signed by the Applicant and duly stamped. Trade $arks Registries in India. +997. A Trade $arks search can be conducted by making a formal re(uest for search in %orm T$5. This has made trademark search easy and expeditious. The Registrar will give his advice ordinarily within < days of filing this re(uest. Prosecution &f Application &pon filing a trademark application. 1hennai. %orm T$567.ach such re(uest must confine to a given class. 1alcutta and Ahmedabad. Priority "laim India ratified the Paris 1onvention in 8ecember. The Registrar will advise on whether the $ark proposed to be registered is prima facie distinctive. . An application for registration of a trade $ark claiming convention priority can be filed within : "six# months from the date of filing of corresponding application in the respective *urisdiction. days from the date of re(uest. "and if the Applicant does not have a place of business in India# the appropriate Registry is the one in whose *urisdiction the principal place of business of the agent in India is located. %or applications originating from outside India. The Trade Marks Registry Ha ing !urisdiction There are . !rdinarily within 0. . An application must be filed at the Trade $arks registry within whose territorial *urisdiction the Applicant is located. Thus far it has been rather cumbersome to conduct trademark searches in India because it was to be done manually. These Registries are located in 8elhi. The digital database of registered and advertised trademarks is now available. #ser Intent to use applications can be filed in India. the Trade $arks Registry will issue cash receipt bearing the Indian trademark application number. The new law provides for expedited search. The -earch Report will be made available within 0. $umbai.. a certified copy of the convention application is re(uired. "ompany $ame Search As per the new law "Rule 0/# a re(uest can be made to the Registrar of trademarks "in %orm T$5++# to cause a search and issuance of a certificate to the effect that no trade mark identical to the name of a company has been registered or is pending for registration with the Registrar. The Power of Attorney can be filed subse(uent to the filing of the application but within a period of preferably 0 "three# months from the date of filing of the application. if filed through an agent. A re(uest to this effect can be made in %orm T$5. Trade Mark Search It is desirable to conduct a Trade $ark search to ascertain the existence of prior registrations of identical marks.. The Power of Attorney must be made in the prescribed form.

must be filed along with a declaration stating the reason for such re(uest. It must be renewed every Ten "+.xpedited . the Registrar will issue the examination report within 0 months from the date of re(uest.xaminer will append a search report mentioning the particulars of the prior registrations. the evidence by opponent. the further evidence by the Applicant. If a >otice of !pposition is filed within this period. by a person interested to enter opposition..# printed specimen of the $ark. Typically the office action will set out various ob*ections concerning the registrability of the $ark. to be filed in %orm T$5 :0.. which is extendible for a further + month upon re(uest. Term &f Registration ) Rene*al The $ark upon registration will be in force for a term of Ten "+.. the application enters the opposition proceedings which involves serving a copy of the >otice of !pposition by Registrar on the Applicant. In the event an applicant files a re(uest for expedited examination.# years thereafter. (rant If there is no opposition against the proposed registration or the opposition proceedings have been decided in favor of the Applicant. the prescribed fee must be paid for each additional character. The official fee for an expedited examination is . The applicant is re(uired to reply to the %irst !ffice Action within three "0# months from its date of communication. the $ark will be accepted in due course. the . if the $ark is in 1olor Three to %ive different views "/ 8imensional views or photographs of the . if complies with the re(uirements of the Trade $arks law. If citation ob*ections are raised.. and hearing.# years. the Trade $arks Registry will issue a copy of the Additional Representation bearing the Application >umber and 8ate of %iling. an Applicant for registration of a trademark is entitled to make a Re(uest for . As per the new law. The specification of goods or services if exceeds more than . Also an Application in %orm T$5:+ must be filed along with the application for registration of the mark. times the application fee. if any and the Registrar=s 8ecision allowing or re*ecting the opposition. the Trade $arks Registry will proceed to grant the Registration. The applicant.days from the date of filing. Trademark 'iling Re+uirements . in the prescribed form. This re(uest.# printed specimen of the $ark. &pposition The $ark remains open to opposition for three "0# months. The Trade $arks Registry thereafter advertises the $ark in the Trade $arks ?ournal.xamination. if the $ark is in Clack D 2hite. characters.. the Applicant=s counter statement within @/ months from the date of receipt of >otice of !ppositionA. India The %etails of the Applicant • • • • >ame Address 1iti4enship Begal status and country of incorporation "if the applicant is a company# Specimen of the Mark • • • %ive ". if the number of characters in the goods service specification exceeds . Ten "+.

.$ark. It is also possible to file the Power of Attorney subse(uent to the filing of the Application. additional fee must be paid. five ". . A Power of Attorney needs to be stamped appropriately... if the $ark is a 0 8 $ark • In the case of shape of goods or packaging. If in use.# different views "/ 8imensional views or photographs# Specification of (oods or Ser ices The total number of characters in the specification of goods or services if exceeds . if it is being filed through an Agent. Priority details Priority can be claimed if the Indian application is filed within : months from the date of filing of the basic application. #ser The law re(uires the applicant to specify whether the $ark is in use in India. then the date of user is re(uired to be specified. 2e re(uire the following to claim priorityE • • • • Priority application number Priority country Priority date 1ertified priority document "may be submitted later# Po*er of Attorney A Power of Attorney is re(uired to be filed with the application for registration.