With the increasing number of startups in India, the offline registration process was not facilitating enough. As a result of which e-filing of trademarks was introduced to make the process easy and cost-effective. Online Trademark Registration in India is a concept incorporated since 2015. The transition of the whole TM registration process online has made logo registration in India accessible to all.
WHO CAN APPLY FOR A TRADEMARK?
Ideally, any Individual can file for a trademark. However, as the name suggests the mark should be used or proposed to be used in the course of some trade. As per the Trademarks Act, 1999 (the Act), any of the following can apply for online trademark registration in India.
- An Individual;
- Micro, Small, and Medium Entity (MSME);
- Sole Proprietorship;
- Partnership firm;
- Limited Liability Partnership;
- Private Limited Company;
- Hindu Undivided Family; or
- Non-Profit Organisation;
Anyone carrying on business/trade can apply for the protection of their brand name.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR REGISTERING A TRADEMARK ONLINE
All different types of applicants as mentioned above, need to file certain different documents on the trademark e-filing portal. The requirement of documents are ideally categorised in the following:
- Mandatory for all; and
- Specific entity-based documents
1. Mandatory Documents for Online Trademark Registration in India
Whether you apply as an Individual, a Startup, or a Trust, you have to submit the following documents with your Form TM – A:
i) A Representation of the mark:
All Trademarks are defined as marks capable of geographical representation. Hence, all applicants must submit a geographical representation of their mark which includes the details such as the name of the proprietor, their trading style, a copy of the mark, and the goods and services description.
ii) Power of Attorney:
The majority of people apply for trademark registration with the help of expert trademark attorneys. This makes the process 100 times simpler for them. In such a case, the applicant has to submit a duly executed power of attorney authorising them to do so.
iii) User Affidavit:
An applicant can consider this document to be one of the most important documents required for Trademark Registration. When you have been using your trademark even before applying for registration, you can claim a date of prior usage to claim your right over your mark. This affidavit is usually supported by documents such as sales and purchase invoices, marketing materials, and any other document that can help in proving the extensive usage of a trademark.
2. Specific entity-based documents
These submissions differ from entity to entity. A detailed guide on the list of documents required is provided below:
i) An Individual
When applying as an Individual, you only need to provide one Identification proof. Hence the final list of documents for individuals is:
- A Copy of Aadhar/PAN Card;
- A representation of the mark; and
- Power of Attorney- applicable only when you have hired an Attorney to file your application.
A Startup here denotes an entity registered under the Startup India Scheme of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). It is a government recognition for new and innovative businesses and provides many benefits to them.
One important benefit that Startups get is a 50% rebate on the government fee for filing a trademark application. Hence, all Startups are required to submit the following, to claim a rebate from the govt. fee:
- Startup Recognition Certificate; and
- Other Documents based on the type of entity.
iii) Micro, Small, and Medium Entity (MSME)
The Government of India has always been trying to promote small businesses. MSME and or Udyam Registration is one such initiative that provides several benefits and exemptions to micro, small, and medium enterprises in India. All MSMEs, too, are eligible to claim the 50% rebate in government fees for filing a trademark application. The document that they need to provide is:
- Udyam Registration Certificate; and
- Other Documents are based on the entity type.
iv) Sole Proprietorship Firm
As a sole proprietor of any firm, you need to submit the following documents while applying for online trademark registration:
- GST registration certificate
v) Partnership Firm
You can either be a part of a registered or an unregistered partnership firm. The Document requirement for both remain the same:
- Partnership Deed (if any); and
- Additionally, all partnership firms can submit their MSME certificates, to claim a rebate for the fee.
vi) Limited Liability Partnership
As an LLP, you need to file the following documents:
- Certificate of Incorporation;
- Deed of LLP; and
- Any Startup or MSME certificate, if applicable; and
- Board Resolution – authorising one member of the LLP to be the Authorised signatory for the purpose of TM Registration.
vii) Private Limited Company
As a Director of a PLC, you need to submit:
- Certificate of Incorporation; and
- Board Resolution – authorising you to file a trademark on behalf of the company;
viii) as an NGO, Trust, HUF, or registered society
If you belong to any of these entities, you need to submit the proof of incorporation of your entity, and a letter authorising any one of the members to act for the purpose of logo registration.
From the Article, it becomes clear that online trademark registration in India has increased the ease of doing business for small business owners. Now, people can easily file their own trademark applications. Especially since this article gives a comprehensive list of documents that you need to submit with your trademark application.