Want to apply for trademark online? Here is the process in a nut shell.

Market has stiff competition and in order to stand out, companies need to protect their identity. Company name, brand name and the logo of an entity are three most important elements that help customers recognize the source of a product or service.  As soon as a company starts using a mark or a name for commercial purposes, it is known as a trademark However, it is important to get the trademark registered in order to enjoy exclusive rights on your brand name or logo.

Over the years, as awareness on trademark registration has increased, there has been a surge in the number of registered trademark applications as well. Keeping in view the convenience of people, Government has provided a portal to apply for trademark registration online. In case you are new to the concept of trade names, logos or trademark, you can try Logobar for hassle-free business name selection and trademark registration. However, if you are comfortable with applying for trademark on your own, just scroll through the following points to get a gist of the process. 

Step 1: Put on your creative hat and start your search for catchy name:

Your company or brand names should be original trendy, quirky and easy to remember. For example- OPPO, OYO or Swiggy. It may take a lot of time to finalize your brand name and you must do it patiently. Afterall, your customers are going to know your company by this name. The reason behind going for a quirky name is because most of the common or meaningful names would have probably been taken. Hence, in case you go for protecting a brand name that already exists, it is going to be a futile exercise.  

Step 2: Getting your application ready for trademark registration online:

You need to gather a few documents such business registration proof,  identity proof of company directors, address proof of the company, PAN card, Adhaar card etc. The details of documents needed for online trademark registration can be found on the Trademark Registry website. Once you have the documents ready, it time to hit the ground running- file the trademark application. 

Step 3: Time for the real action-Filing application for online trademark registration. 

Since you have opted for online mode for filing the TM application, you won’t have to go to the Trademark office to get it submitted. Hence, effort saved! You will get the receipt of acknowledgment instantly on the website businesses. Now since it is confirmed that you intend to use your brand name or logo as a registered trademark, you can use the symbol ‘TM’ along with your mark. You may encounter rejection due to non-approval of the name at this point. If you do, don’t worry. You will get a second chance for refilling the same SPICe form (Simplified Proforma for Incorporating a Company Electronically) without any extra charges in this case. It will take around 2-3 days for the whole process of name approval and incorporation to take place.

Step 4: The critical part- Examination of the application.

Here the Registrar will check your application where in actually don’t have a significant role to play. So you just wait and watch. 

Step 5: Time to announce your brand name or logo- Publication of your trademark in the Indian Trademark Journals.

After examining your mark, the registrar will publish your brand name in the Indian Trademark Journal. So you have to now wait for about 90 days (or 120 days in some cases) and pray that there is no opposition from any third party. If you have managed to sail through these days without getting any opposition, your application for online trademark registration has inched towards acceptance.  

Step 6: Trademark registration certificate issuance.

This is it! You have finally arrived at the much awaited step i.e. getting a trademark registration certificate. Once this certificate has been issued by the Registrar, you can start using the ® symbol and let the world know that your trademark has officially arrived and is ready to compete.  

Applying for trademark online is not as complicated as you may think it is. However, certain legal intricacies with regard to selection of the right name and logo needs to be given proper attention. Hence, it is recommended that you seek professional guidance from a qualified trademark attorney to minimize wastage of time and money in the trademark registration online process. 

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