LANDMARK JUDGEMENTS IN PATENT LAW

1. Bajaj Auto Limited Vs. TVS Motor Company Limited JT 2009 (12) SC 103:-

Speedy disposal of Intellectual property rights cases

This case involved the controversy regarding the unauthorized application of the patent of the DTSi technology. The case became very vital regarding not only the financial stakes of the parties but also regarding the application of the doctrine of pith and marrow also termed as Doctrine of Equivalents.

This case was filed before the Madras High Court in 2007. The plaintiffs (Bajaj Auto Ltd), along with the state of Maharashtra alleged the defendants (T.V.S. Motor Company Ltd.) of infringement of the patents of the plaintiffs, which apprehended the invention of the technology of advanced internal combustion engine. The case engaged the questions of patent infringement by the defendant and the damages for the same. Furthermore, the case threw light upon the argument regarding justification of the risks issued by the defendant of the same case.

The plaintiffs sought remedy of permanent injunction for obstructing the defendants from using the technology or invention prescribed in the patents of the plaintiffs; and for obstructing them from marketing, selling offering for sale or exporting 2/3 wheelers (including the proposed 125cc TVS FLAME motorcycle) that consisted of the disputed internal combustion engine or product that infringed the patent. Damages for infringement of the patent were also claimed by the Plaintiffs.

The Supreme Court of India by this landmark judgement directed all the courts in India for speedy trial and disposal of intellectual property related cases. In this two-year-old dispute involving two companies, which had been locked in a patent dispute over the use of a twin-spark plug engine technology, the Supreme Court observed that suits relating to the matters of patents, trademarks and copyrights are pending for years and years and litigation is mainly fought between the parties about the temporary injunction. The Supreme Court directed that hearing in the intellectual property matters should proceed on day to day basis and the final judgment should be given normally within four months from the date of the filing of the suit. The Supreme Court further directed to all the courts and tribunals in the country to punctually and faithfully carry out the aforesaid orders.

 

2. Novartis v. Union of India (2013) 6 SCC 1 :-

Rejection of a patent for a Drug which was not ‘inventive’ or had an superior ‘efficacy’-

Novartis filled an application to patent one of its drugs called ‘Gleevec’ by covering it under the word invention mentioned in Section 3 of the Patents Act,1970. The Supreme Court rejected their application after a 7 year long battle by giving the following reasons: Firstly there was no invention of a new drug, as a mere discovery of an existing drug would not amount to invention. Secondly Supreme Court upheld the view that under Indian Patent Act for grant of pharmaceutical patents apart from proving the traditional tests of novelty, inventive step and application, there is a new test of enhanced therapeutic efficacy for claims that cover incremental changes to existing drugs which also Novartis’s drug did not qualify. This became a landmark judgment because the court looked beyond the technicalities and into the fact that the attempt of such companies to ‘evergreen’ their patents and making them inaccessible at nominal rates.

 

3. F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd vs Cipla Ltd., Mumbai Central,:-

First Patent Litigation in India post India’s 2005 Product Patent Regime which included public interest and pricing issues.

Over the years India has seen many patent disputes between Foreign Multinational Pharmaceutical companies and Indian generic drug companies. But the suit between Roche and Cipla has surely set the standards when it comes to a patent infringement suit.

In this case, two plaintiffs, namely, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. and OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc., filed the suit for permanent injunction restraining infringement of patent, rendition of accounts, damages and delivery against Cipla Ltd. Mumbai. Indian Generic manufacturer Cipla won this landmark case in the Delhi High Court. The case is the first Patent Litigation in India post India’s 2005 Product Patent Regime which included public interest and pricing issues in addition to India’s Section 3d that prevents evergreening. The case was followed by Pharma Giants worldwide.

Roche sued Cipla in 2008 before Delhi High Court claiming that Cipla’s generic product Erlocip violates former’s Indian ‘774 patent claiming “Erlotinib Hydrocloride”. The trial Judge rejected Roche’s appeal to grant interim injunction restraining Cipla from selling generic version of Tarceva on the grounds of public interest and the fact that there was an ongoing patent revocation proceedings against ‘774 patent. Cipla’s generic version costs about 1/3rd of Roche’s patented drug. Roche’s subsequent appeal to Division Bench also failed when not only did the bench uphold the findings of Trial Judge but also imposed costs on Roche for suppression of material patent information about Roche’s later filed application in India (IN/PCT/2002/00507/DEL). This was the Patent Application which was actually on Polymorph Form B of Erlotinib Hydrocloride but was rejected in 2008 following the opposition filed by Cipla primarily on Section 3d. Cipla argued that Tarceva corresponds to Polymorphic Form B (which is not a product of ‘774 patent but a ‘507 rejected application) and that it is Form B which is more stable and suitable for solid oral dosage form than the compound disclosed in ‘774 patent comprising a mixture of Forms A and B. Roche’s subsequent appeal before the Supreme Court (SC) challenging the order passed by the division bench got dismissed due to the ongoing trial at the Delhi High Court.

 

4. Dr Snehlata C. Gupte v. Union of India & Ors (W.P. (C) No 3516 and 3517 of 2007) Delhi HC) :-

What Shall Be The Actual Date Of Grant Of A Patent?

This case was instrumental in determining when a patent can said to be granted under the Patent Act 1970 (the Act). This lack of clarity led to a scrutiny of the relevant provisions the Act and also the existing process with a time gap between the grant and the issuance of the patent certificate. The Delhi High Court, while holding that the date of grant of a patent is the date on which the Controller passes an order to that effect on the file, noted that the language, “a patent shall be granted as expeditiously as possible” (u/s 43) does point out that a patent has to be granted once it is found that either the application is not refused in a pre-grant opposition or otherwise is not found in contravention of any provision of the Act.

At the core of the legal challenge was the existing process, which resulted in a time gap between the grant of a patent and the issue of the patent certificate. The court held that the date of the grant of a patent is the date on which the controller passes an order to that effect on the file i.e. on the day in which the Controller makes a decision to grant a patent. The issue of a certificate at a later date is then nothing more than a mere formality.

The court also came down strongly against the practice of filing serial pre-grant oppositions. through aliases, a practice now fairly common in most pharmaceutical patent cases.

Therefore, the decision taken by the Controller on the file is the determining event for ascertaining the date of grant of patent and the acts of sealing of the patent and entering the same in the Register are ministerial acts evidencing the grant of patent.

5. Bayer Corporation vs Union Of India :-

India’s First Compulsory License

 

On March 9, 2012, the Indian Patent Office granted its first Compulsory License to Natco Pharma Ltd. for producing generic version of Bayer Corporations’s patented medicine Nexavar (Sorafenib Tosylate), which is used in the treatment of Liver and Kidney cancer. While the multinational giant was selling the drug at INR 2.80 lakh for a month’s course, Natco promised to make available the same at a price of about 3 % (INR 8800) of what was charged by Bayer. Natco was directed to pay 6 percent of the net sales of the drug as royalty to Bayer. Among other important terms and condition of the non assignable, non exclusive license were directions to Natco to manufacture the patented drug only at their own manufacturing facility, selling the drug only within the Indian Territory and supplying the patented drug to at least 600 needy and deserving patients per year free of cost.

Aggrieved by the Controller’s decision, Bayer immediately moved to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) for stay on the orderalleging that the grant of compulsory license was illegal and unsustainable. The Board rejected Bayer’s appeal holding that if stay was granted, it would definitely jeopardize the interest of the public who need the drug at the later stage of the disease. It further held that the right of access to affordable medicine was as much a matter of right to dignity of the patients and to grant stay at this juncture would really affect them.

Bayer then filed an appeal challenging the compulsory licence granted to Natco by the Controller-General. The Board stated that the invention must be available to the public at a reasonably affordable price and if not, compulsory licence can be issued and observed that the Sub-sections (a), (b) and (c) of Section 84(1) are separated by the disjunctive ‘or’ and therefore, even if one conditionis satisfied, the Controller will be well within his rights to order compulsory licence.

The Board further noted that The R&D costs and the prices of other drugs do not assist in deciding what the public can afford reasonably. It stated that the reasonably affordable price necessarilyhas to be fixed from the view point of the public and the word ‘afford’ itself indicates whether the public can afford to buy the drug.

It also stated that even if it takes the appellant’s own number (i.e. the number of affected patients) it finds that the supply made by it cannot be said to be adequate and the price definitely is the factor that will determine whether the public will reach out for a particularinvention.

The Board held that the Controller was right in holding that the sales of the drug by the appellant at the price of about 280,000/- wasalone relevant for the determination of public requirement and he was also right in considering the purchasing capacity of the public and the evidence available to conclude that the invention was not reasonably affordable to the public.

On the percentage of royalty that was to be paid by the Respondent to the Appellant (6% that was fixed by the Controller), IPAB increased it by 1 percent but did not change any other terms and conditions of the licence.

The IPAB dismissed the appeal and confirmed the grant of Compulsory license stating that it has dealt with each of the issue indetail in view of the significance of the order of compulsory licence made in India for the first time.

START-UPS IN JAPAN

Keeping up its reputation as the land of true opportunities, Japan has always attracted potential entrepreneurs looking to expand their horizons in the field of technology and business. Japan has managed to turn themselves into a huge industrial and commercial hub. Japan is the centre of many companies like Honda, Sony, and Panasonic to jump-start their business and over the decades, turn into global giants.

The Japanese Government has continuously endeavored to relax business regulations in order to encourage citizens as well as non-residents to start-up their businesses in Japan. Foreign residents wanting to set-up a business in Japan are required to hold a manager visa, which serves as a legal permit for operating and starting commercial activities in the country.

Before 2013, foreign entrepreneurs were required to comply with various stringent norms, such as either employing minimum two full-time employees, or investing a minimum capital of ¥5 million in their business, and also, they had to secure office space in Japan. But, now, Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) has started providing a six-month preliminary business visa, enabling foreign entrepreneurs to visit, explore and set up a base for starting up their businesses in Japan. This short-term permit provides sufficient time to complete the required paper work, get settled and grow businesses without any undue pressure while participants are in Japan. This visa is renewed at the end of the six months, provided the project is progressing smoothly and that all conditions have been successfully met.

Japanese government has established Special Business Zones in its metropolitan cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. There are numerous benefits of starting up a business in Japan. Japan offers an exciting yet stable business market which is open to trade and foreign investment. Moreover, Japanese market is globally very competitive, especially in the fields of environment, healthcare, IT and automotives. Furthermore, Japan has a highly educated and affluent population which makes them discerning consumers. Loyalty and cooperation are valued by Japanese people over aggressiveness and competitiveness. Being a predominantly collective society, each individual often feels a strong sense of belonging and responsibility towards their work place.

Foreign companies wishing to set up a business in Japan have three choices regarding the modes of business operation; they can either open a representative office, a branch office or a subsidiary office.
Representative office doesn’t require any registration and is established for carrying out supplemental work only. A representative office, however, cannot ordinarily open bank accounts or lease real estate in its own name, so agreements for such purposes must instead be signed by the head office of the foreign company or the representative at the representative office in an individual capacity.

The branch office can begin its business operations as soon as an office location is secured. A branch office does not have its own legal corporate status. The foreign company is ultimately responsible for all debts and credits generated by the activities of its Japanese branch office. A Japanese branch office, however, may open bank accounts and lease real estate in its own name.

A foreign company establishing a subsidiary company in Japan has to establish such subsidiary company either as a joint-stock corporation, a limited liability company, or a similar entity stipulated by Japan’s Companies Act. But, owing to its unlimited liability, it is not a common preference of foreign entrepreneurs.

According to Japanese Market, foreign entrepreneurs are usually advised to set up a limited liability company, because it ensures equity participation.

Opening a local bank account is also a pre-requisite, for depositing the funds in Japan. Earlier, it used to be necessary to have a Japanese resident as a representative director of the company, but now, after the amendments made by the government, it is no longer required to have a representative director. Thus, it has become easier for the non-residents to start-up their business in Japan.

The Japanese Government has also been actively promoting foreign investment since the past few decades. Various treaties and deals have been signed by the Japanese government with other countries in order to provide subsidies and favorable work conditions to foreign start-ups. The government has also established “Tokyo One-Stop Business Establishment Centre” to provide one-stop services to start ups for complying with necessary procedures for starting up businesses in Tokyo.

To sum up, Japan has come a long way in recent years in order to ease the business of setting-up and to promote entrepreneurship.

Got Your Trademark Registered – Now What?

Applying for trademark registration is a simple but lengthy process. The real work behind brand protection actually begins when the trademark registration process ends and the owner receives the trademark Registration Certificate from the Trade Marks Registry. It is of utmost importance to ensure that once the trademark is registered, it retains all values and efforts that the owner has put into establishing it. Trademark protection requires sufficient planning and constant vigilance.

Here are a few tips that help in the proper use, maintenance and protection of a registered trademark –

  1. Renewal Date

    – A trademark will only be considered registered and active until it is timely renewed. It is important to notify the Registrar of Trade Marks that a trademark is valid and still in use. A trademark, once registered, is valid for a term of 10 years from the date of filing the trademark application. A request for trademark renewal can be filed within 6 months before the expiry of the said period of 10 years, and within 6 months after the expiry of the registration term of 10 years.  If the request to renew the trademark is not filed within this stipulated time period along with the requisite fee, then the trademark is removed by the authorities and is said to be abandoned due to non-renewal. Hence, on should keep a constant watch on the trademarks renewal dates as only timely renewal ensures trademark existence and brand protection.

  2. Using Correct Trademark Symbols­­

    As per the rules laid down by the Trade Marks Registry, a trademark owner is legally bound to use “TM” symbol with his mark till the time such mark is not registered. Once the trademark is successfully registered, the owner can use the small circled “R” symbol. This “R” is not just a symbol, but it is a public notice of registration and is certified as proper use of the trademark by the Registrar of Trademarks.

    Thus, after registration, the trademark owner, to ensure proper use of “R” symbol, must use this on his product packaging or label, marketing or advertising logo, website, etc.

  3. New Trademark Filings – A registered trademark owner has the complete authority to file opposition proceedings against any new trademark application which he may feels can, or is infringing his mark. To ensure non-infringement, a trademark owner must conduct a regular trademark check on the trademark journals published every week. This could also be done with the help of a Trademark Attorney.

    Undertaking regular trademark watch also ensures that the Trade Marks Registry does not        weaken or tarnish the value of a registered trademark by registering marks that could be too similar to existing trademarks.

  4. Monitor the Market – To ensure proper use and protection of the trademark, the owner should go beyond the Trade Marks Registry database and also be watchful of any suspicious entity operating in the market that may be illicitly using a mark which may be similar to his or her trademark.

    If the owner of a trademark does not oppose a similar infringing mark in a timely and prompt manner, it gives the infringing party an alibi to claim such a mark on the grounds that the latter mark has been strengthened enough to be legitimate or the infringer could challenge the earlier trademark on grounds of non-enforcement.

    So, to ensure proper protection of a registered trademark, one must act within the rights of enforcement and take proper legal advice before taking any action against an opposing party as professional consultation goes a long way in generating best practices for brand protection and efficient resolution of legal impediments.

     

Backing Up the Start-Up: Benefits of a Sound IPR Strategy

With the Indian horizon set ablaze with start-ups, the opportunity of building a full-fledged business out of a mere idea is much closer to reality now than it was a couple of decades ago. The rule of thumb in the entrepreneur industry is that two things are precious – time and money.

This is the reason why most start-ups leave it for later to develop an IPR strategy, thinking it to be the last step of setting-up shop. But, not only is it dangerous to float unprotected intellectual property in the market but it could also invite a lawsuit right at your doorstep. Start-Ups must solidify their Intellectual Property Rights Strategy in place while at a nascent stage, even if it takes a week of just reading up and educating the core team on IP.
Lately, majority of Start-Ups turn out to be innovation based ventures, their core idea being commercial exploitation of an innovative product or service, i.e., some form of intellectual property. Keeping this as the base, it then becomes mandatory for an idea based start-up to have a defined IP strategy in order to grow and reach out to the public without compromising their trade secrets.
Most Start-Ups struggle to define an IP Strategy because they do not understand it correctly. Put in simple words, an IP Strategy is coming up with a set course of action that enables a start-up to maximize the potential of their product/service, by the three-fold approach of:
  • maintaining lower costs than their competition by generating original cutting edge technology;
  • achieve higher selling prices due to uniqueness of the technology;
  • in turn, augment their market share.
An effective IP strategy ensures that the start-up maintains low cost prices as it is self-reliant in terms of technology and product creation. This leads to the conception of a unique product which will assure higher selling price as well as garner greater market share by cutting down competing products present in the market.
Taken the other way around, when a start-up holds an original product/service but does not adequately safeguard their respective IP; then markets such a potent product without developing a strong IPR strategy to monitor and back up sales, not only does it expose the product to plagiarism but also loses out on precious market share and boosted sales due to loss of originality.
Taken the other way around, when a start-up holds an original product/service but does not adequately safeguard their respective IP; then markets such a potent product without developing a strong IPR strategy to monitor and back up sales, not only does it expose the product to plagiarism but also loses out on precious market share and boosted sales due to loss of originality.
Securing Intellectual Property gives a Start-Up the freedom to operate in showcasing their unique products or technology. Google patented their Page Rank patent way back in 1998 when they didn’t even have a sustainable development plan to commercialize the patent. [Source: http://www.google.co.in/patents/US6285999].Had Google not thought of patenting this core idea of ranking pages as per their document citations, it would have been hit by copycats across the World diluting the service and capitalizing on Google’s ὰ la mode system.
Another significant pre-production aspect that is directly linked to intellectual property strategy is venture capital. Generally, Start-Ups are found bootstrapping their way into setting up and are on a constant look-out for capital investment. Here, a neat IP Strategy goes a long way in attracting sound investments, as investors tend to rely on patents and other IP in evaluating the potential of a start-up.
Investors mostly see patents and other intellectual property as valuable assets that can fetch future gains. To them, protected intellectual property equals the faith of a start-up founder in their product or service. This does not mean that a start-up must have granted patents under its sleeve to fare well at a VC funding, but must have made patent applications before looking for funding.
In the same breath, where a start-up has not taken any steps to secure Intellectual Property or have not formalized an IP strategy, the investor can be put off in pouring capital into such an unguarded product. Further, venture capitalists are known to pull out funding at the last moment as a result of unsecure IP, which can prove lethal for a start-up.
The brief history of Start-Ups has amply demonstrated that it is as valuable to develop an effective IP strategy for start-ups as it is to generate new and exciting technologies. Start-Ups have changed the face of corporate set-ups on an international level, but only with the help of safeguarding and protective measures that are no more just vague notions but solid and well-defined concepts.
Article By: Sonia Chauhan – Senior Attorney (Originally published in : Spicy IP)

 

Investing in Start-ups- Things to Look Out For

“I see startups, technology and innovation as exciting and effective instruments for India’s transformation.” ~ Shri Narendra Modi
Since the announcement of “Start-up India” scheme by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his 2015 Independence Day Speech, there has been a lot of buzz among the small entrepreneurs, investors, VC’s, and management groups leading to a new era of startup evolution in India. To begin with, India is the world’s youngest start-up nation with 72% young founders who are less than 35 years old. The “Start-up India” campaign further shows the Indian government’s intent in understanding the value of startups and boosting innovation culture in a youthful and emerging economy. This thrust in the Indian startup systems holds great promise for every sector, especially for the crucial areas of education, healthcare, employment, and agriculture.
The action plan for start-up India promises an abundance of benefits to innovation driven ventures including funding support through corpus of INR 10,000 crore; credit guarantee fund for Startups by the govt.; tax exemption on capital gains of Start-Ups; complete tax exemption to Startups for their first 3 years; and further tax exemption on investments above fair market value. Besides the financial support “Start-up India” provides for the development of several Incubators and other support systems needed for start-ups to flourish.
India has come a long way from the initial days of bootstrapping when the major chunk of the initial investment for businesses came from the initiator’s personal saving, and support from friends and family. But with the advent of government initiatives promising incentives for start-ups to lay the company foundation, the role of the investors would also be extremely valuable. The actual impetus that propels a young enterprise forward is the infusion of necessary funds into its system either by the Angel Investors, venture capital funding, ultimately leading to generation of funds by private equity means and finally launching IPOs. Keeping the above in mind, the total funding in Indian startups was estimated to be close to $5 billion by the end of 2015.
Investing in startups is quite uncertain and can prove to be a risky affair, especially when the idea doesn’t take off as planned leaving the investor stranded and penniless. Having said that, there is absolutely no doubt that investing in a start-up can also be very incentivizing as well. The reason why an investor needs to be extra vigilant while pouring in his bit into a start-up is because such companies are saplings playing with ideas looking at a prospective product, which in most cases don’t have a commercially tested product or solid customer foundation. Therefore, the start-up investor must critically evaluate the business plan and the model for generating profits and growth in the future.
  • Broadly the essential things that must be pondered upon while looking to invest in start-ups should be: evaluation of suitable risk
  • likelihood of profitability
  • equity stake available in exchange for capital
  • market evaluation especially checking the viability of competitors
  • legal and regulatory compliances
Before investing in a start-up one must ascertain the domain of startups that they might be interested in and then zero down on the company that deserves the investor’s money.
Three aspects of a Start-Up must resound the philosophy of a start-up investor:
  • Idea;
  • Intellectual potential; and
  • Individuals contributing to the Start-up.
After deciding on what company to invest into, one must ascertain the timing and type of entry into the system. Depending on the equity share and willingness to be a part of the decision-making, types of participation can be grouped as angel investment, venture capitalist or crowd-funding. It is also important to evaluate the potential return on investment (ROI) and time frame needed to maximize the profits.
Taken the other way around, when a start-up holds an original product/service but does not adequately safeguard their respective IP; then markets such a potent product without developing a strong IPR strategy to monitor and back up sales, not only does it expose the product to plagiarism but also loses out on precious market share and boosted sales due to loss of originality.
Besides the above listed “diving in” investment considerations, an investor should also chalk out an exit plan. A healthy exit strategy is very important for an investor since it is imperative for them to known the time frame when one would be able to withdraw the initial investment and its related profits.
In the end, an investor must remember that investment demands patience and one should be more oriented on the long term prospects rather than short term gains in order to maximize output. Also, as they say, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, the sound investor always focuses on having a diversified investment portfolio. The more the diversification of your startup investment, the greater are the chances of hitting gold in a relatively short time-frame.
~ Happy Investing!
Article By: Vineet Sharma – Vice President (Patent Analysis)

How To Trademark Your Logo

Imagine a person who have invested a huge amount of time, money and effort to build a brand, goodwill in an individual’s or a customer’s mind. One day, he finds out that his brand name or logo is already registered by another person and he no longer can use it. To avoid this situation and to protect the brand name or logo, its identity and goodwill one should get their logo registered as soon as they start using it. Well, the good news is – Getting a logo trademarked in India is a very simple process.
A registered trademark or logo is not restricted to just a brand name, but if used properly it can become the most valuable asset of a business. Any company, individual or a legal entity can apply for the Trademark Registration of his/her logo. The Trademark Registration process generally takes around 8 to 24 months. However, for the time being, an person who has made such application can use the symbol “TM” with his logo mark and later on when the logo is registered and the Registration certificate is issued, the symbol “R” may be used with the logo mark. As per the Trademark Act, a trademark once registered is valid for a period of 10 years, which can be renewed from time to time.
What is a Logo?
Before getting a logo registered, one should know what a logo actually is. In simple terms, a logo can be any signature, name, label, device, numerals or combination of colors and fonts used to represent his business, primarily to distinguish their brand from other similar goods or services operating in the same market domain.
In India, the process of getting a logo or Trademark Registered is governed by the Controller General of Patents Design and Trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. A logo once registered gives the owner an exclusive right to sue for damages in case of any trademark infringement under the Trademarks Act, 1999. The Trademark Registry also have the power to refuse Trademark Registration if the mark or logo to be registered is deceptively similar with an existing registered mark or logo or is offensive or is likely to cause deception or confusion.
Getting the Logo Trademarked
      • 1st Step – Trademark Search: This search is conducted by a Trademark Attorney to check whether the logo is similar to an earlier registered logo. This search can be done by both ways, online and also offline. One should proceed to the next step only after the Trademark Attorney is satisfied that the logo is unique.
      • 2nd Step – Drafting a Trademark Application: Once the logo mark or brand name is found to be unique, the Trademark Attorney shall draft a Trademark Application, i.e. Form TM- 1. The Government Cost of the Application form is INR 4000 and is a one time fee for each class.
        Along with Form TM – 1, the following supporting documents are also needed:-
        I. An identity proof of the Director of the company along with address proof.
        II. A picture of a brand logo.
      • 3rd Step – Filing the Trademark Application: The Trademark Application can be filed by 2 ways, manual filling and e- filling. The Manual filling is done by personally going to any office of the Registrar of Trademarks located in Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai. The acknowledgement of the application and the receipt in this process is received generally after 15-20 days from filling. The e filing process is more convenient and quicker, because here the acknowledgment receipt is received immediately. After the owner of the logo mark receives the acknowledgement, he is eligible to use the symbol “TM” along with his logo.
      • 4th Step – Examination of the Registration Application by the Registrar: After the Application is received by the Registry, the Registrar checks whether the logo is similar or deceptively similar to any registered logos or mark or any pending logos or marks.
      • 5th Step – Publication in the Indian Trademarks Journal: Once the logo mark is examined by the Registrar of Trademarks and no objection is found, the logo mark is then published in the Trademark Journal. A stipulated time period of three months is provided by the Trademark Registry if any third party wish to oppose the registration of the proposed logo mark.
      • 6th Step – Trademark Registration Certificate: If no objection is raised within a stipulated period of three months, a Registration Certificate is issued by the Trademark Registry. Now the owner of the logo mark can use the registered trademark symbol “R” along with his logo.

Getting the logo trademarked can be a lengthy process, but it is absolutely essential to get it registered to gain legal protection for one’s brand.

Article By: Sunchet Thareja – Legal Associate