Are Foreigners Allowed To Apply For A Trademark In India?


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Foreigner individuals or companies are allowed to apply for a trademark in India. According to the Madrid Protocol, a trademark can be registered in various countries by its owners. If numerous applications are made to register in other countries, 6 months will be deducted from the earlier application. 

The foreign company or individual is allowed to apply for more than 1 service or product in India. India recognizes the scheme of multi-class applications. The goods and services are into 42 different classes in the country. The foreign citizen can opt for TM registration in India when his/her country is a member-state of the Madrid protocol.

Defining the Madrid protocol

A registered trademark can represent its sui generis status to the customers. But a trademark registered in a specific country can safeguard the interests of the concerned owner in the country only. If the owner wanted to safeguard his/her trademark internationally, then he/she is required to register his/her trademark earlier in every country where they intend to get such protection. This leads to inconvenience as the multiplicity of application and the cost it involves. The Madrid protocol system was brought into place as a ‘single-window solution to resolve all such problems.

The Madrid protocol is governed and regulated by the Geneva-based organization named international bureau of the world intellectual property organization (WIPO). This system permits the registration of trademarks in different member countries of the Madrid Protocol by submitting a single application. India became a member of the Madrid protocol on the 8th of July, 2013, which means any entity or individual from a member country can apply for trademark registration in the country.

Defining the trademark

To put it simply, a trademark can be a phrase, symbol, or word. They demonstrate either the particular product or a company. Trademarks also consist of fonts, acronyms, slogans and specific logo designs, colours, sounds, emblems, shapes, letters and so forth. Trademark helps to distinguish the product of a specific company from the rivals. The ™ symbol is usually only on logos, designs, words, and phrases by the specific association or the individual. While waiting for the finishing of the trademark registration. The ® symbol represents a registered trademark for a specific product or service. 

When the specific product has a trademark, that does not mean it is a registered trademark. The ™ symbol is used for unregistration of trademark, while the ® symbol is used for the unregistered trademarks. These symbols are only for trademark registration purposes. The ™ trademark symbol offers no safeguard, while the ® symbol does with legal rights. The ™ symbol displays services by a company or an individual but not on manual products. It is imperfect to use the ™ symbol if you want to sell services instead of the products and vice versa.

Advantages of trademark registration

The prerogative will be offered to the owner of the trademark for their product or services. No other person will be authorized to use the particular symbol, name, logo in any case without prior approval from the owner. Otherwise, the owner can sue the third-party for their unauthorized use for the infringement. Also, trademark registration promulgates the goods and services. 

Trademark makes an image and prestige of the services and products. A trademark distinguishes the product from other identical products. It also points out the birth of products or services or goods. It represents the commitment of the brand. Customers prefer to purchase a product or service with a trademark on it. 

As per the Indian trademark law, there are some categories of trademarks that can be registered. They are certificate trademarks, product trademarks, collective trademarks, and service trademarks. Product trademarks are for to identify the goods and services.

Certification trademarks are for certifying the origin of the product, material, or service. Service trademarks are for particular services like courier services, retail services and so forth.

Collective trademarks are for organizations, institutions and companies. It also specifies the organization’s membership.

Process for trademark registration

It is crucial to have all the needed documents for trademark registration online and offline. Some of the requirements are the applicant’s name, portrayal, address and indication of the trademark. The first step is to have the correct name of your service or product. Many people prefer to have a descriptive name as it described their products.
Selecting the name is surely time-consuming as you do not want to take an identical name. Otherwise, you might receive a letter mentioning to change your trademark name. To avoid this, it is vital to conduct a trademark search before applying. You should consult the experts as well. You are required to submit form TM-1 for trademark registration. This process might cost you some money, but it is worth doing as it would give you many benefits. After the registration, you can use the ® symbol.


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