Why and how to register a trademark in India

In India registration is not mandatory to obtain trademark rights, as prior use of a trademark can be recognized. However, registration is always recommended as it grants presumption of ownership and helps enforce the trademark.

Use prior to filing or registering is not compulsory; however, it may help demonstrate that the trademark has acquired distinctiveness in case an objection is received that the mark lacks distinctiveness.

It is recommended that a declaration of use be presented during the lifespan of the registered trademark. For further information regarding the use requirements in India please see the Q&A section below.

In India registration is done via the Trade Marks Registry of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks.

India is also a member state to the Madrid Protocol. Thus, the extension of an international registration of a trademark via the Madrid System is possible for this country. For further information regarding our services for trademark filing through the Madrid System click here.

If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in India, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended you register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you wish to use and protect separately.

Nevertheless, if a third party eventually intends to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of your trademark, you will have the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity. Probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.

In India it is possible for interested third parties to file opposition actions against a trademark during a 4-month (120 days) period after it has been published. The opposition can be based on prior rights or on absolute grounds.

Trademarks have an initial validity of ten (10) years from the application date. They can then be renewed for further successive periods of ten years. The renewal can be requested as early as six (6) months before the expiration date and as late as twelve (12) months after it. If the renewal is requested after the trademark has expired, a late renewal fee will apply.


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