In 2016, the Indian Government launched “Startup India” that aimed to promote the awareness and adoption of intellectual property rights by entrepreneurs. Trademarks under startup India are put on the focal point for encouraging their knowledge and registration. The program aims to create a facilitative environment for fostering innovative startups. Moreover, this will protect and leverage the intellectual property and rights of startups in India as well as globally. Also, as the entrepreneurs have limited resources, the program aims to help them with the intellectual property domain and strengthen their branding.
How many trademarks were registered in 2021 under Startup India?
Due to huge concessions and reforms initiated by the government, the pace of trademark registration in India has gained movement. Around 6000 trademarks were filed in the year 2021.Relevant Read: Associated Trademarks in India
Government Steps to Promote Trademarks under Startup India
Many legislative and policy reforms are being implemented to encourage the Intellectual Property Rights regime and give a boost to startups. These reforms are initiated for trademarks either under startup India or other schemes.
· The statutory fee for trademark registration applications of startups was reduced to 50% compared to large companies. This step by the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade was to foster trademark awareness among startups and its registration.
· Moreover, a 10% prescribed fee is available for online application filing.
· In 2016, the government launched the Scheme for Facilitating Startups Intellectual Property Protection to aid startups in the process of application filing and its processing. Indian startups can avail of the benefits under this scheme till March 2023. Under the scheme, the government put up with the facilitator expenses. A facilitator is a person who assists entrepreneurs in filing their applications for the registration of patents, trademarks, or designs.
· Till 28, February 2021, around 900 facilitators registered themselves with the Office of Controller General of Patents, Design, and Trademarks. Out of these 900 registered facilitators, 392 provide assistance services in trademarks.
· A comprehensive list of facilitators is available at Trade Marks Offices’ website www.ipindia.nic.inRelevant Read: Can Two Companies Have Same Name?
How are trademarks granted under Startup India?
In India, the trademark applications for its registration are taken care of under the provisions of The Trade Marks Act, 1999 and The Trade Marks Rules, 2017. The various stages in getting a trademark in India are as follows:
1. You can apply for trademark registration either online through the e-filing module or offline at the trademarks office.
2. After submission of the application, you will receive a receipt and the application will be put in queue for further examination by the examiner.
3. After a comprehensive examination, you will get an examination report with or without objections according to law. Nowadays, the examination process takes around one month from the filing date.
4. If there are no objections in the examination report, the application moves to the next step, i.e., publication.
5. After the details of the application are published in Trade Mark Journal, the general public is allowed to file an opposition within 4 months.
6. If someone raises opposition, the trademark applicant should submit their response within a month of the receipt of the examination report.
7. After your response, the authorized officer will analyze it. Based on the analysis, the officer will accept or reject the application only after providing a chance of hearing to the applicant.
8. If the Trademarks office receives no opposition within 4 months of its publication, the office issues a registration certificate within 3 weeks from the examination of the statutory period of 4 months.
9. On the contrary, if someone opposes your application, a quasi-judicial proceeding takes place as per the due process of law.
10. In the normal scenario, the office provides the applicant with a registration certificate within 7 months from the filing date of application.
However, as the process for registering a trademark is quasi-judicial, there is no strict time limit.
Why every startup needs a trademark?
A trademark is an important type of intellectual property comprising of designs, signs, logos, and words. Besides, registering a trademark allows you to use it yourself as well as transfer its ownership to others. In addition, a trademark provides your brand a unique identity differentiating it from the market competitors. Thus, if you have an exceptional startup idea and planning to establish a startup, a trademark is a secret ingredient in your success journey.
For example, companies such as Starbucks, Samsung, Whirpool, Mercedes, Apple, and Microsoft; they have unique trademarks distinguishing them from others in the market.How a Trademark can be the Game Changer for Your Startup?
What are the benefits of trademark registration as a startup?
Exclusivity and Brand RecognitionA brand or startup with a different graphical trademark will definitely have a well-established identity than the one that does not own a mark. For example, people identify Microsoft by their four-color squares mark, Jaguar by their jumping jaguar, and Apple by their half-bitten apple.
BrandingTrademark is an exceptional tool that gives a unique and different identity to your brand. While startups and companies spend so much time and money on branding, they often neglect the need for a trademark to visually represent their startup to the target audience. Therefore, it is significant for startups to see a trademark as a way to create a unique identity and stand out in the crowd.
Easy to LocateAn appealing registered trademark enables your audience to find you easily. Also, as consumers use brand logo for retaining and remembering your products and services. Thus, a startup with a unique name or logo trademarked has a high potential to become popular in no time. This is because having a trademark allows the consumers to have no difficulty in locating and remembering it.
Protect your Startup from Infringements and LawsuitsStartups and even big names in the market infringe upon others’ trademark rights. Thus, the startups need to get their trademark registered so that they can proceed with the legal action without putting their business at risk.
What do we offer for startups and companies?
Are you an entrepreneur looking to begin your startup? Or you have already started the journey but are not sure about the intellectual property needs? Then, TMReady is the go-to option if you want any services related to trademarks. Be it trademark search or trademark monitoring, we provide it all in one place at reasonable prices. Our long-standing expertise and usage of conventional and non-conventional tools to provide the best services distinguish us from the others. To know more about our services and prices, visit us here