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Legal Validity of Trademark Registration

In India, a trademark is an important instrument for preserving a business's identity. A trademark is a sign or symbol that distinguishes a business's goods or services from those of its competitors. In India, the Trademark Act of 1999, which specifies the procedures for registering a trademark, determines its validity. The Act also specifies how long the Trademark will be valid, which can range from seven years to indefinitely. The Act also specifies the grounds for trademark opposition and cancellation, as well as the method for trademark renewal.

Trademark terms and validity are restricted to ten years. After that, it must be renewed if you want to maintain legal protection for your assets.

Trademark renewal requests must be submitted no later than 6 months before the registration expires. The registrar of trademarks will send you a reminder notice regarding the expiration of your trademark registration. The letter will include the terms of expiration and the payment of the costs required for trademark renewal. If the registration or renewal is not achieved as specified in the conditions, the Registrar will delete your trademark from the official Trademark Register, also known as the Trademark Journal.

Global Validity of Trademarks Registered in India

Because trademarks are given on a geographical basis, a trademark registered in India is not recognized worldwide.

Essentially, one would have to file a separate trademark application in each nation where he wants his trademark to be registered. International accords, such as the Madrid Protocol, establish a centralized registration mechanism for trademark grants among all member countries.

Renewal Process:
  • A trademark can be renewed for ten years, with or without changes to the existing trademark. The renewal application can be filed both online and physically, using the Form TM-R.
  • The renewal fee varies according to the type of applicant and form of filing. For example, an individual or small business submitting online must pay Rs. 4,500 per class, whereas a physical filing requires Rs. 10,000.
  • The renewal application can be made one year before the registration expires, or six months later with a premium.
  • If the renewal application is not filed within the specified time frame, the trademark will be taken from the register. It can only be restored by applying for restoration and renewal, along with the required fees, within one year of the removal date.
  • The Registrar will send a notice to the trademark owner before the registration expires, reminding them to renew the trademark.
  • Renewal of a trademark ensures the continuation of the exclusive rights and benefits of the trademark owner.

Documents required for Trademark Renewal:

  • Filled TM-R form
  • ID and address proof of the applicant
  • Trademark registration certificate
  • A power of attorney if the applicant is a dealer or an authorized agency.

How to renew a Trademark online?

  • In the dashboard, select 'New application tab' and then 'TM-R'.
  • Now, you can select any of the requests for application forms.
  • Enter all the required credentials and click the 'Save' button.
  • Enter all the essential details in the appropriate fields.
  • Upload the documents by pressing the 'Uploads' icon and then clicking the 'Proceed' button.
  • A pop-up message will show on the screen stating that the 'Application with form number XXXX has been drafted successfully'. Click the 'Submit' button.
  • The request will now be listed in the 'payments' section.
  • On the left side of the dashboard, click the 'Payment' icon and then select 'Make a payment'.
  • Now, select your form from the list and click the 'Make payment' button below the page.
  • After finishing the payment an acknowledgment slip will be shown.
  • Select the 'Payment' menu and choose 'Payment history', then click the 'Receipt' option.
  • We can now download the receipt.

Removal of an Inactive Registered Trademark:

  • No bona fide intention to use the trademark.
    A third party may make an application with the Registrar to have a trademark removed from the Registry because the holder got the registration without intending to use it. However, before applying to remove a trademark from the Register, the third party must ensure that the trademark proprietor has not used it in the previous three months.
  • No use of the trademark for five years after registration.
    The Registrar may withdraw a trademark from the Registry if the owner has not used it to identify products or services for at least five years. The Registrar will deduct five years from the date when the trademark was initially filed into the Register. As a result, if a person or company does not use a registered trademark within five years of its registration date, they lose ownership of the mark.

Grounds where Trademark cannot be removed for Non-Usage

The Trademarks Act, 1999 allows exceptions to the regulation of removing a trademark due to non-use. The Registrar will not remove a trademark from the Register even if it is not used in the following three scenarios:
  1. The proprietor has secured trademark registration but intends to use it after incorporating a business under the Companies Act of 2013. Thus, non-use of the trademark while awaiting company registration and intending to use the trademark for that company will not result in its removal based on non-use.
  2. The trademark owner wishes that it be used by another individual. As a result, while the proprietor waits for the trademark to be registered in the name of another person, the trademark will not be revoked due to non-use.
  3. When a trademark is not used owing to a specific circumstance and not due to the proprietors' error, the Registrar will not withdraw the trademark for lack of use.

Trademark registration is a legal process that allows the trademark owner the exclusive right to use the trademark in connection with the products or services for which it is registered. Trademark registration offers various advantages to the trademark owner, including legal protection, brand recognition, and global protection. However, trademark registration has various difficulties, such as cost and time, maintenance, and enforcement. As a result, trademark registration should be done with care and effort, following a trademark search and consultation with a skilled trademark agency or attorney. Trademark registration is an excellent investment for any business since it helps to establish a distinct brand and a competitive advantage in the marketplace.


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