Filing a trademark has been increasingly becoming easier and the process is constantly evolving to get more transparent than it was. Obtaining a trademark involves several steps which are crucial and some may seem mere documentation but they are not.
Technically, a proprietor, a trademark agent or an constituted attorney can submit trademark applications. Although submitting a trademark application may seem simple, the impact this has on rest of the whole registration process is significant and decides the end result.
Process flow of trademark published in Official Indian Trademark Registry Website
Process Flow of Trademark Registration in India
As you can see, the first step involves submitting the application which often can be overlooked as a simple process involving mere paperwork. However, doing things right or perfect at this stage can save you from a lot of trouble in future, in terms of time, litigation costs, but how? Here are the things which you could miss if you or your trademark agent or attorney is not diligent:
1) Choosing or filing under wrong classification.
2) Lack of initial research and analysis on technical feasibility of registration of an intended trademark.
3) Allowing clients to choose a deceptive or similar trademark, which consequently leads to objection.
4) Lack of follow-up, absence, or unprepared appearance before the trademark registry for showcase hearing, leading to objection.
5) Ill-prepared and ill-presented defending of oppositions received.
The aforementioned points may seem silly but they are vital and can be crucial in obtaining or missing out on registration of your desired trademark.
Only a seasoned lawyer or IP attorney, who is diligent and well versed with Intellectual Property Laws in India and other countries, can handle opposition proceedings with ease. The case may not be the same when you handle your trademark matters yourself or hand it over to someone who treats it just as equivalent to any other statutory licence or certificate.
Trademark registration is not just another statutory mandate, but something that helps you exercise your exclusive rights on your “intellectual” property, which is your brainchild.
A knowledgeable trademark attorney will know exactly how to respond to a refusal or an opposition in a timely manner. Even the most astute entrepreneur would not likely be familiar enough with the trademark registration process to efficiently respond to a refusal or an opposition.
Even if the entrepreneur did know how to respond effectively, an entrepreneur’s time is better spent on developing his business, rather than dealing with the vagaries of the Indian Trademark Registry and its Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) rulings.
Does it matter anything to me if I already got my trademark registered?
Well, if you have your registration certificate already, you can take a deep breath and call yourself lucky that you did not have to go through all that deals with objections. However, this is not the end of it, there are always post-registration objections and proceedings, which you may have to face if genuine objections are presented before the Trademark Registry.
In cases of infringement, an IP or trademark attorney will know exactly which door needs to be knocked and what to be done when. If you have not heard about the famous case in which a popular online marriage portal instituted a suit against the Internet empire Google, please click here to read about the case. I am sure there is a seasoned and intellectually mature brain behind this.
IP attorneys are some of the very few who go through trademark journal diligently on a regular basis not only for publications of newly submitted applications, but to look for potential deceptive trademarks which may affect the rights of their clients.
So, winners do not do things differently, but they do right things at right times using right people. So, it is all about choosing someone who can value and protect your intellectual property.
Thank you for reading and wish you all the best!
About Author: S. Venkatesh, is a practicing lawyer and trademark attorney.