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Guide: How to Register Trademark for Your Brand in India

Satat Mishra
Vote by Bhanu Pratap.

How many cups of coffee and scribbles on a paper did it take for you to zero-in on
your brand name? A dozen, right? Would you let some Tom, Dick or Harry walk away
with that name and identity? Hell no! So to your rescue is trademark registration!

As an e-commerce platform helping small as well as big brands start their own
online stores, we at Zepo, frequently come across entrepreneurs asking us about
how to register their brands as trademarks. Which is why, today, within the course of
this blog post, well take you through on how to protect your brands reputation, by
way of registering your brand as a trade-mark.

Before we start, what exactly does trade-marking a brand name mean?

Trademark registration of a brand name means nothing but brand name
registration. It basically means, This brand name is ours! And if you dare to use it to
sell your products, we can sue you!

In India, you can trademark any of the following or even a combination of these
Letter, Number, Word, Phrase, Logo, Graphic, Smell, Sound Mark or a Combination of

So, what is the procedure of registering a trademark?

Step 1: Search for a crazy-enough brand name
You get the point, dont you? Come up with a whacky and quirky brand name,
because all the generic ones are any which way taken. Before zeroing in on one
name, you might want to do a quick search to make sure that no one else is already
using the name. And your best bet would be to use invented or coined words, in a
combination with generic words.

Step 2: Making the trademark application

Now that your name is finalized upon, fill in the trademark application i.e. Form- TM
1. The application costs INR 3500 and is a one time fee.
Along with the application, you will need to submit a couple of supporting

1. A Business registration concern: Depending on what type of a registered

business you have, say sole proprietorship, etc. you will need to submit an
identity proof of the directors of the company and an address proof.

2. An image of your brand logo in a standard size of 9 x 5 cms

3. If applicable, proof of claim of the proposed mark being used before in
another country.

Step 3: Filling the brand name registration application

There are 2 ways to file the registration manual filing or e-filling.
In case of manual filing, you will need to personally walk down and submit
the application for registration to any one of the offices of the Registrar of
Trade Marks located in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Ahmedabad.
After which you receive the acknowledgement of the application and the
receipt, usually within 15-20 days of the filing. But in e-filing system, the
acknowledgement of the application is issued immediately.
And after you receive the acknowledgement, you can start using the (TM)
symbol next to the brand name!

Step 4: Examining the brand name registration application

After receiving the application, the Registrar checks whether the brand
name complies with the law and does not conflict or dispute with other
existing registered or pending brands. Thats why we said, quirky brand
name, people!

Step 5: Publication in the Indian Trade Mark Journals

After examination, the logo or brand name is published in the Indian Trade
Mark Journal. If no one raises an opposition within 3 months i.e. 90 days or
in some cases 120 days, from the date of publication, the brand name
proceeds to acceptance.

Step 6: Issuance of the trademark registration certificate

If no one raises any opposition, within the stipulated 90 days period, the
Registrar accepts the trademark application! Woohoo! And issues a
Certificate of Registration under the seal of Trademark Registry.
You may now be allowed to use the registered trademark symbol () next
to your brand name, once the certificate has been issued.
Trademark The whole process of registration of a brand name usually
takes anything between 15-18 months. The trademark once accepted, is
valid for a period of 10 years from the date of issuance of the Certificate of
Registration. After the end of 10 years, the trademark will need to be
There! We can understand if this sounds a little too over-whelming. In
which case, just call up a lawyer.

The lawyer will be able to help you wade through all this legal jargon.
Although the process of registering a trademark is lengthy and a little
heavy on the pocket, it is definitely worth the investment of legally
protecting your brand.

However, if you are just starting out, investing in a trademark may not be
absolutely essential. What matters most is creating awesome products and
putting in all the time and effort into building your brand, from ground up.
But, there still is another cheaper alternative to lend you lawful protection
against being copied an unregistered trademark. Do ask your lawyer
about it!

Have any questions about trademark registration? Please feel free to

drop in a line in the comments below, and well have a discussion.