A trademark is a word, word category, symbol, or combination of these that distinguishes one competitor’s products from other competitors’ products on the marketplace. It must be unique, distinct, and graphically representable. Also, a brand may be licensed under trademark law should be able to differentiate one person’s products or services from others. Trademark registration is also a great way to secure brand owners from unfair rivals, such as copying counterfeiters, using identical names/logos to sell their inferior goods or services. Therefore, it encourages fair competition and makes it easier for customers to make informed choices when purchasing goods/services from a specific business or brand.
It protects and helps build a brand that is eminently essential to a company’s growth. The first aspect a customer notice is the brand’s distinct identity, i.e., its name. The best example of this is the apparel industry. It has opened up new avenues for marketing and serves as a vehicle to gain and make big profits. Hence, protecting the exclusivity and authenticity of the brand is a company’s primary target, which is precisely what trademark protection does.
An individual holds the registration of trademarks for the exclusive use of a name or logo. It is only valid for a specific time. When no extension request is made, the trademark right will be lost. The renewal of the trademark is, therefore, fundamental to the trademark proprietor.
Understanding Trademark Validity
The registration of the mark shall take place from the date of application and not with the date of registration. The record of trademarks is also valid for ten years after the date of application.
|Trademark valid up to||31/01/2020|
The trademark application is filed on 1 May 2010 and is licensed on 15 October 2012 following the resolution of objections and opposition. The validity of 10 years here begins with the submission date of 1 May 2010. The trademark is therefore valid until 31 April 2020.
Know the Renewal period
The renewal period for the trademark is within six months before the expiry of 10 years. The Trademark registrar must inform the owner about the renewal. It also displays a renewal warning when testing the status of the online trademark.
Process of Trademark Renewal in India:
• A proprietor has to provide his agent with the power to submit the renewal of the mark online.
• Online trademark renewal form TM-R filling the required information on the trademark portal.
• Application for filing with Rs. 9000/- fees. For all forms of companies, the mark renewal fee is equivalent. Therefore, in case of renewal of the trademark, a reduction in the trademark application fee applicable to startups and MSMEs is not eligible.
• The renewal application will be advertised and renewed for ten years in the trademark journal.
What if the trademark is not renewed within the time?
The Trademark Ministry requires six months if the label is not renewed. An applicant can renew his trademark up to 6 months after expiry with the necessary late filing fee.
If the mark is withdrawn due to the non-filing of the renewal application, the Ministry may restore the trademark. It does so if the claim is filed after six months and within one year after the expiry of validity.
Removal of a collective trademark
A collective trademark is an organization owned trademark. Association members use such a collective mark with the intent of identifying themselves with a degree of quality/accuracy; geographic origin, or other characteristics as defined by the organization.
How are collectively removed?
• A request to delete a collective mark from the register must be made in the specified format.
• The claim shall be followed by a declaration showing the existence of the applicant’s interest, the facts of the case, and the relief requested.
• If registered users exist, the document must be followed by as many copies as registered users.
• If the application is filed by an individual who is not a registered trademark owner, the form shall be left to the trademark registry.
Trade-mark correction encourages correction or rectification of mistake or omission in the trademark information. Every party affected by the trademark application may file a trademark rectification request by following the process below –
• The rectification request must be lodged with the registrar or IPAB (i.e., Intellectual Property Appellate Board).
• Applicants must apply Form TM-26 (Application to rectify the register or delete the registered trademark).
• The applicant must submit a case statement (i.e., statement of grounds) together with the application.
• Applicants must also provide all supporting documentation.
Trademarks are necessary to create the brand and to add value to a product. It is, therefore, an asset for any business entity. Each property has a lifetime, and this also applies to the trademark. It has been valid for ten years. The renewal application must be filed before the expiry date for the continuous use of the trademark. Nominal payments can be extended if the application is submitted within the specified period. However, if the request is filed after expiry, the Ministry can charge extra late filing fees.