India is becoming increasingly popular as a trade and economic expansion destination. As a result, the demand for trademark registration is increasing at an exponential rate. Businesses can use intellectual property rights to safeguard their brand identification and name from being tarnished. Trademarks assist companies in ensuring that their products are distinct from those of their competitors. In addition, firms charge premium charges to licence their trademarks to other businesses, providing an additional source of revenue.
Renewal of a Trademark in India
Trademark registration protects intellectual property by securing a term or a visual sign that a company uses to distinguish its goods or services. Because trademark renewal is required every ten years, the sector will experience an even more significant increase in the overall number of trademarks registered in the coming years.
The renewal application must be submitted to the Trademark Office at least six months before the mark’s expiration date. Before the deadline, businesses must prepare and submit the application form. This will not only ensure that their trademark is protected indefinitely but will also eliminate the possibility of litigation. Companies can prolong their security for another decade thanks to the timely renewal. To apply for trademark renewal, businesses must complete and submit a request for renewal under section 25 of trademark registration at the expiration in Form TM-12 and pay a cost of INR 5000. Suppose a person or company fails to renew their TM. In that case, the mark is held responsible for its removal. The holders must restore their TM for more extended protection.
Procedure for Registering a Trademark
Companies have six months to file trademark renewal requests before their current registration or renewal expires. The Registrar will issue a message to the TM owner before the registration expires as a reminder. The message will include information about the expiration date and the terms and conditions for paying the requisite money. The Registrar has the authority to delete a trademark from the trademark register if the stipulated requirements do not obtain the registration. If you miss the deadline for filing the request, you can file a renewal application with a late fee within six months of the mark’s expiration.
In India, there are two main procedures to renew a trademark, which are as follows:
- Renewal with a change to any sign or words in an existing trademark; and
- Renewal with no change.
Journal of Trademarks
The Trademark Journal is the Trademark Registry’s official publication, and your trademark is published in the Journal of the Trademark Examiner accepts your application. Third parties have the opportunity to object to the mark’s registration during this time. On the other hand, businesses do not have to undergo this process while renewing an existing trademark.
India has a rule that encourages businesses to give up their trademark rights for a 5% tax break! The GST Council announced in 2017 that the central GST rate on the supply of certain items, such as rice, grains, and pulses, will be zero. However, suppose those products are packaged in a unit container and labelled with a registered brand name. In that case, they will be subject to a 5% GST rate!!
As a result, significant businesses in this industry hurried to the Trade Mark Office to withdraw their trademark registrations to receive a 5% tax exemption!! The government understood that the decision meant to equalise the playing field for MSMEs producing unbranded food goods had backfired.
As a result, in September 2017, the Finance Ministry clarified that simply cancelling a trademark is not enough to qualify for an exemption; businesses must agree to forego any enforceable claim on their brand name by filing an affidavit!!
As a result, large corporations are handing up all rights (registered and unregistered) to their precious trademarks in exchange for GST exemption.
Trademark rights are preventing them from doing business!! Without question, this Rule is a step backwards, and it goes against the Indian government’s stated aim of encouraging the protection of intellectual property rights.
The present Rule, indeed, has not served its objective. This Rule has been in effect for almost five years, and we are hopeful that the GST Council will review and remove it soon.
Disclaimer: The present article intends to provide general guidance on the subject, and you can also consult us in your specific case.