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PARLANCE LEGAL PROCESS

Company

PARLANCE LEGAL PROCESS, with a team of young and enthusiastic professionals consist of advocates, paralegal associates, is committed to provide punctilious, reliable, and economical intellectual property services and advice in a rather extensive area of intellectual property law to individuals, industries, companies, institutions, and organizations, for a long enriching time.

By dint of outstanding and impressive performances, PARLANCE LEGAL PROCESS hopes to become the most famous, popular, and top law firm in near future. At present, as one of the best IPR firm, Parlance Legal Process extends elegant practices include all IP matters, with wider specialty in filing, registering, and prosecuting Patents, Industrial Designs, Trade Marks, and Copyrights including renewals, licensing and enforcement.

Our every client deserves our every best effort to provide the best possible service in the speediest and most efficient manner. Our advice is delivered by well informed, accessible, partner-led teams who strive to provide the highest quality of service to our clients, by listening, understanding their needs, responding promptly and living up to the commitments that we make. We use plain English to communicate verbally and in our documentation.

Largely the firm lets its work speak for itself and consciously maintains a low profile while concentrating on being the frontrunner in the practice of intellectual property law.

TRADEMARK SERVICES

A trademark is a type of intellectual property, and typically a name, brand, phrase word, logo, symbol, design, signature, device, letter, numeral, heading, label, name written in a particular style, the shape of goods image and a combination of these elements. There is also a range of non-conventional trademarks containing marks, which do not fall into these normal categories.

How to register a trademark

Below are the following steps for registering a trademark:

1. Describe your mark.
2.State when it was first used.
3. Describe the services or products on which the mark will be used, and Suggest the classification under which the mark should be registered.

Registering the trademark is the first step in aggressively protecting ones intellectual property rights. Registering a mark not just guarantees that you would win in a legal proceeding concerning that mark but also gives you enforcement rights, such as statutory damages and attorney’s fees, against third parties who intentionally infringe your rights.

COPYRIGHT SERVICES

Registering your work with the registrar of Copyright Office is generally known as Copyright Registration. Copyright Registration helps in protecting the right of the individual, organization or original thought.

Creative and Original work is precious for every individual or organization and are of value to them therefore Copyright registration facilitates the protection of the original and genuine thoughts. It includes all kind of written, audio or visual materials but should be original and pure. By way of copyright Registration your original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, cinematograph films, and sound recordings were protected from unauthorized translation or reproduction.

The Register of Copyrights shall be prima facie evidence of the particulars entered therein and documents purporting to be copies of any entries therein, or extracts there from certified by the Registrar of Copyrights and sealed with the seal of the Copyright Office shall be admissible in evidence in all courts without further proof or production of the original.

PATENT SERVICES

A PATENT is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by the central government to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time, in exchange for the public disclosure of the invention.

An invention means any new and useful art, process, method or manner of manufacture; machine, apparatus or other article; or substance produced by manufacture, and includes any new and useful improvement of any of them, and an alleged invention.

Typically, a patent application must include one or more claims that define the invention. These claims must meet relevant patentability requirements, such as novelty and non-obviousness. A patent confers the exclusive right on the patentee to make, sell or distribute the invention in India. If any of three rights is violated, an infringement would be there. A patentee may assign some of these rights. The exercise of the rights so transferred in favor of the licensee by the licensor would not amount to infringement of the patents.

DESIGN PROTECTION SERVICES

Design refers to the features of shape, pattern, configuration, ornamentation or composition of lines or colors applied to any article, in two or three dimensional forms. The design registration confers upon the registered proprietor the exclusive right to apply a design to the article in the class in which the design has been registered. If his right is infringed by any person, he can sue for infringement. He can license his design as legal property for a consideration. Registration primarily confers this right for ten years from the date of registration. If the fee for extension is not paid for the additional period of registration within the period of initial registration, this right will cease. There is provision for the restoration is filed within one year from the date of termination in the prescribed manner.

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PARLANCE LEGAL PROCESS

SERVICES

Trademark Registrations


Copyright Registrations


Patent Registrations


Design


TM Application Status Check

TRADEMARKS IN INDIA - FAQ'S

1. What Is A Trademark

A ‘Mark` may consist of a word or invented word, signature, device, letter, numeral, brand, heading, label, name written in a particular style, the shape of goods other than those for which a mark is proposed to be used, or any combination thereof or a combination of colors and so forth. Subject to certain conditions, a trademark may also be symbolized by the name of a person, living or dead. For the purpose of registration, a mark chosen should be capable of distinguishing goods or services of one person from those of the others. Further it should not be deceptively similar to an existing mark of another person and not the one expressly prohibited under the Act.  The marks devoid of any distinctive character, or which are only indicative of the kind, quality, quantity, purpose, value or geographical origin of the goods, or which are marks already in vogue in the trade due to their customary use may not be registered. But these disqualifications do not apply to marks, which have already acquired distinction due to their popularity and consistent use. Internationally acclaimed brand names are freely available for use in India.

2. WHAT IS COVERED UNDER TRADEMARKS

A trademark is a mark used in relation to goods or services so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services and some person having the right as proprietor to use the mark.

3. HOW TO SELECT A TRADEMARK

  • - If it is a word it should be easy to speak, spell and remember.
  • - The best trade marks are invented words or coined words.
  • - Please avoid selection of a geographical name. No one can have monopoly right on it.
  • - Avoid adopting laudatory word or words that describe the quality of goods (such as best, perfect, super etc)
  • - It is advisable to conduct a market survey and a search at Trademark office to ascertain if same/similar mark is used in market.

4. WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF TRADEMARKS THAT CAN BE REGISTERED 

Under the Indian trademark law the following are the types of trademarks that can be registered:

- Product trademarks: are those that are affixed to identify goods.

- Service trademarks: are used to identify the services of an entity, such as the trademark for a broadcasting service, retails outlet, etc. They are used in advertising for services.

- Certification trademarks: are those that are capable of distinguishing the goods or services in connection with which it is used in the course of trade and which are certified by the proprietor with regard to their origin, material, the method of manufacture, the quality or other specific features

- Collective trademarks: are registered in the name of groups, associations or other organizations for the use of members of the group in their commercial activities to indicate their membership of the group.

5. WHAT ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF TRADEMARKS AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION

- Any name (including personal or surname of the applicant or predecessor in business or the signature of the person), which is not unusual for trade to adopt as a mark.

An invented word or any arbitrary dictionary word or words, not being directly descriptive of the character or quality of the goods/service.

Letters or numerals or any combination thereof.

The right to proprietorship of a trade mark may be acquired by either registration under the Legislation or by use in relation to particular goods or service.

Devices, including fancy devices or symbols

Monograms

Combination of colors or even a single color in combination with a word or device

Shape of goods or their packaging

Marks constituting a 3- dimensional sign.

Sound marks when represented in conventional notation or described in words by being graphically represented.

6. WHO CAN APPLY FOR A TRADEMARK

A person who claims to be  the proprietor of the trademark can apply for the registration of its mark for goods as well services. A person may apply for registration of a trade mark to the Trademark office under whose jurisdiction the principal place of the business of the applicant in India falls.  In case, the principal place of business is outside India, then the application can be filed in the Trademark office under whose jurisdiction the office of the lawyer appointed by you is located.  In case of a company about to be formed, anyone may apply in his name for subsequent assignment of the registration in the company's favor. Before making an application for registration it is prudent to conduct a trademark search in the Trademark office in context of the already registered trademarks to ensure that registration may not be denied in view of resemblance of the proposed mark to an existing one or prohibited one.

7. WHO CAN USE A TRADEMARK

The right to use a mark can be exercised either by the registered proprietor or a registered user. 

8. WHAT ARE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION OF TRADEMARK IN INDIA

The legal requirements to register a trade mark under the Legislation are:

- The selected mark should be capable of being represented graphically (that is in the paper form).

- It should be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others.

- It should be used or proposed to be used mark in relation to goods or services for the purpose of indicating or so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services and some person have the right to use the mark with or without identity of that person.

9. WHAT IS THE DURATION OF A TRADEMARK IN INDIA?

Term of registration of a trademark is ten years, which may be renewed for a further period of ten years on payment of prescribed renewal fees. Non-user of a registered trademark for a continuous period of five years is a ground for cancellation of registration of such trademark at the behest of any aggrieved party.

10. CONVENTION APPLICATION AND INTERNATIONAL TREATIES

India has declared certain countries as convention countries, which afford to citizens of India similar privileges as granted to its own citizens. A person or company from a convention country, may within six months of making an application in the home country, apply for registration of the trademark in India. If such a trademark is accepted for registration, such foreign national will be deemed to have registered his or her trademark in India, from the same date on which he or she made application in the home country. Where the applications have been made for the registration of trademark in two or more convention countries, the period of six months would be reckoned from the date on which the earlier or earliest of those applications was made. Although the recovery of damages for infringement of a trademark is possible only if the infringement takes place after the date of filing application for registration with the concerned trademark office in India, yet the deemed seniority in making application in home country may entitle the applicant to initiate an action in India for injunction, delivery of impugned labels and so on.

11. WHAT ARE BENEFITS OF TRADEMARK REGISTRATION

The registration of a trade mark confers upon the owner the exclusive right to the use of the registered trade mark and indicate so by using the symbol (R) in relation to the goods or services in respect of which the mark is registered and seek the relief of infringement in appropriate courts in the country. The exclusive right is however subject to any conditions entered on the register such as limitation of area of use etc. Also, where two or more persons have registered identical or nearly similar mark due to special circumstances such exclusive right does not operate against each other.

12. REMEDIES FOR INFRINGEMENT OF TRADEMARK IN INDIA AND PASSING-OFF

Two types of remedies are available to the owner of a trademark for unauthorized use of his or her mark or its imitation by a third party. These remedies are:

- an action for infringement' in case of a registered trademark; and
- an action for passing off' in the case of an unregistered trademark

While former is a statutory remedy, the latter is a common law remedy. In an action involving infringement or passing off, a court may grant relief of injunction and/or monetary compensation for damages for loss of business and/or confiscation/destruction of infringing labels and tags etc.   Although registration of trademark is prima facie an evidence of validity of a trademark, yet the registration can not upstage a prior consistent user of trademark, for the rule is ‘priority in adoption prevails over priority in registration`.

13. HOW TO APPLY FOR REGISTRATION OF A TRADEMARK IN RESPECT OF PARTICULAR GOODS OR SERVICES

Goods and services are classified according to the International Classification of goods and services. Currently schedule IV of the Legislation provides a summary of list of such goods and services falling in different classes which is merely indicative. The Registrar is the final authority in the determination of the class in which particular goods or services fall. The Schedule IV of the Legislation is annexed at the end of this questionnaire on trade marks. 

14. WHAT PURPOSE THE TRADEMARK SYSTEM SERVES

- It identifies the actual physical origin of goods and services. The brand itself is the seal of authenticity.

- It guarantees the identity of the origin of goods and services.

- It stimulates further purchase.

- It serves as a badge of loyalty and affiliation.

- It may enable consumer to make a life style or fashion statement.

15. WHO BENEFITS FROM TRADEMARK REGISTRATION

The Registered Proprietor: The Registered Proprietor of a trade mark can stop other traders from unlawfully using his trade mark, sue for damages and secure destruction of infringing goods and or labels. The Purchaser and ultimately Consumers of trademarks goods and services. The Government: The Trademarks Registry is expected to earn a substantial annual revenue, which is perpetually on the rise.

16. WHAT DOES THE REGISTER OF TRADEMARK CONTAIN

The register of trade mark currently maintained in electronic form contains inter alia the trade mark the class and goods/ services in respect of which it is registered including particulars affecting the scope of registration of rights conferred or disclaimers, if any; the address of the proprietors; particulars of trade or other description of the proprietor; the convention application date (if applicable); where a trade mark has been registered with the consent of proprietor of an earlier mark or earlier rights, that fact.

17. CAN ANY CORRECTION BE MADE IN THE APPLICATION OR THE REGISTER OF TRADEMARKS

Yes. But the basic principle is that the trade mark applied for should not be substantially altered affecting its identity. Subject to this changes are permissible according to rules detailed in the subordinate legislation.

18. CAN A REGISTERED TRADEMARK BE REMOVED FROM THE REGISTER

A trademark is a mark used in relation to goods or services so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services and some person having the right as proprietor to use the mark.

19. CAN I APPLY FOR A DESIGN/LOGO REGISTRATION FOR SAME GOODS AND SERVICES IN BLACK & WHITE AS WELL AS COLOR

Yes. You can do so in one application as India recognizes the system of series application.

20. WHAT RECOURSE I HAVE IF A COMPETITOR HAS ALREADY REGISTERED MY MARK IN INDIA

The Indian trademark law provides for invalidation proceedings and you have the right to initiate a cancellation action should a competitor have registered your trademark in India. You also have the right to initiate either a civil or a criminal action against any party that is violating your mark in India.

21. WHO CAN USE SYMBOL ® IN INDIA

Only the proprietor of a trademark whose trademark has been registered in India can use the symbol ® in India. Using the symbol ® unless your mark has been registered in India is unlawful.

22. WHEN CAN THE SYMBOL ™ BE USED IN INDIA

Using this symbol with your trademark simply implies that you claim to be the proprietor of the trademark. There is no prohibition on the use of the symbol ™ in India.

23. WHAT IS THE PENALTY PRESCRIBED UNDER CRIMINAL LAWS FOR INFRINGEMENT OF A TRADEMARK IN INDIA

The penalty for selling or providing services using a false trademark is a minimum of six months and maximum of three years and with fine not less than Rupees fifty thousand but which may extend to Rupees two lakh.

24. AS A FOREIGN INVESTOR HOW CAN I REGISTER MY TRADEMARK IN INDIA

Registration of trademarks is one of the important protections that businesses should avail in India. Many foreign and domestic Applicants have been able to successfully register their marks in India. Indian courts have upheld many of those registrations and granted favorable decisions to rights holders. In addition to the registering of their trademarks in India, businesses need to adopt other strategies for protecting their trademarks. Some of them are mentioned below:

- Get trademark searches conducted in the Indian Trade Marks Registry in the classes that are of interest to you including the ancillary classes.

- Get common law searches (this includes the internet, market surveys, yellow pages and directories) conducted to ascertain whether third parties are using your trademarks and if so, the extent of such use.

- Based on this information and after seeking the local counsel’s opinion decide if the trademark is available for use or not.

- Should the trademark be available for use, immediately apply for the registration.

- The rights holder should also consider hiring a watching service to monitor the trademark journals in order to alert them to any published, deceptively similar trademarks or descriptive trademarks that might be of concern.

- Should the rights holder own a trademark that has been used and has acquired goodwill and reputation, it is advisable that along with filing of the trademark application in India, they should also make press releases, publish cautionary notices and advertise the mark to ensure that the relevant section of the public is aware that they are entering the Indian market and are protecting their trademark from any kind of third party violation.

- The rights holder should also take immediate steps to register their domain names including country coded top level domain names in India, as there have been many instances of third parties registering domains for certain well known marks with the intention of extracting money by selling these domain names to the rights holders.

- Should the rights holder discover that their trademark is being infringed, they should take immediate steps to protect their trademark, either by the means of filing oppositions, cancellations, conducting investigations, sending cease and desist notices or initiating appropriate civil and criminal actions.

25. AS A FOREIGN CORPORATION CAN I FILE A SINGLE APPLICATION FOR USE OF MY MARK ON MORE THAN ONE GOOD OR IN ASSOCIATION WITH MORE THAN ONE SERVICE IN INDIA

Yes. India recognizes the system of multi-class applications and follows the International Classification. There are 42 classes in which the goods and services have been divided in India and you can file for multi-class applications both for goods and services.

26. BEING A FOREIGN CORPORATION, MUST I SELL MY PRODUCTS OR SERVICES IN INDIA BEFORE SEEKING TRADEMARK REGISTRATION

No, Indian trademark law allows filing of a trademark application in India on an ‘intent-to-use’ basis. However the registered proprietor of the trademark in India has to commence use of the mark within 5 years and 3 months of the date of registration. Otherwise the registered trademark is open to invalidation proceedings. 

27. WHAT ARE THE SOURCES OF TRADEMARK LEGISLATION?

(1) The national statute i.e., the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and rules made there under .
(2) International multilateral convention.
(3) National bilateral treaty.
(4) Regional treaty.
(5) Decision of the courts.
(6) Office practice and rulings.
(7) Decision of Intellectual Property Appellate Board.
(8) Text books written by academician and professional experts.

28. WHAT ARE THE FORMALITIES FOR MAJOR TRADEMARK TRANSACTIONS

For filing new applications there are prescribed forms depending on the nature of application such as Form TM-1, TM-2, TM-3, TM-8, TM-51 etc.
To file a Notice of Opposition to oppose an application published in the Trade Marks Journal (FormTM-5).
For Renewal of a Regd. trademark (Form TM-12).
Surcharge for belated renewal (Form -10)
Restoration of removed mark (Form TM-13)
Application for rectification of a registered trade mark (Form TM-26)
Legal Certificate (Form TM-46) 
(Providing details of entries in the Register)
Copyright search request and issuance of certificate (Form TM-60)

COPYRIGHTS - FAQ'S

1. What is copyright?

Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. In fact, it is a bundle of rights including, inter alia, rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work. There could be slight variations in the composition of the rights depending on the work. Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity. Creativity being the keystone of progress, no civilized society can afford to ignore the basic requirement of encouraging the same. Economic and social development of a society is dependent on creativity. The protection provided by copyright to the efforts of writers, artists, designers, dramatists, musicians, architects and producers of sound recordings, cinematograph films and computer software, creates an atmosphere conducive to creativity, which induces them to create more and motivates others to create.

2. What is the scope of protection in the Copyright Act, 1957?

The Copyright Act, 1957 protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and cinematograph films and sound recordings from unauthorized uses. Unlike the case with patents, copyright protects the expressions and not the ideas. There is no copyright protection for ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts as such (Please see Article 9.2. of TRIPS).

3. Does copyright apply to titles and names?

Copyright does not ordinarily protect titles by themselves or names, short word combinations, slogans, short phrases, methods, plots or factual information. Copyright does not protect ideas or concepts. To get the protection of copyright a work must be original.

4. Is it necessary to register a work to claim copyright? 

No. Acquisition of copyright is automatic and it does not require any formality. Copyright comes into existence as soon as a work is created and no formality is required to be completed for acquiring copyright. However, certificate of registration of copyright and the entries made therein serve as prima facie evidence in a court of law with reference to dispute relating to ownership of copyright.

5. Where I can file application for registration of copyright for a work?

The Copyright Office has been set up to provide registration facilities to all types of works and is headed by a Registrar of Copyrights and is located at 4th Floor, Jeevan Deep Building, Parliament Streeet, New Delhi- 110 001. The applications for registration of works can be filled at the counter provided at the Copyright Office from 2.30 P.M. to 4.30. P.M. from Monday to Friday. The applications are also accepted by post. On-line registration through “E-filing facility “ has been provided from 8th September 2009, which facilitates the applicants to file applications at the time and place chosen by them.

6. What is the procedure for registration of a work under the Copyright Act, 1957?

The procedure for registration is as follows: a) Application for registration is to be made on Form IV ( Including Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars) as prescribed in the first schedule to the Rules ; b) Separate applications should be made for registration of each work; c) Each application should be accompanied by the requisite fee prescribed in the second schedule to the Rules ; and d) The applications should be signed by the applicant or the advocate in whose favor a Vakalatnama or Power of Attorney has been executed. The Power of Attorney signed by the party and accepted by the advocate should also be enclosed. Each and every column of the Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars should be replied specifically.

7. What is the fee for registration of a work under the Copyright Act, 1957?

Please go to the link fee details on the Home Page for details. One can pay fee in favor of ‘Registrar of Copyrights’ payable at ‘new Delhi’. The fee is not reimbursable in case of rejection of the application.

8. Can I myself file an application for registration of copyright of a work directly?

Yes. Any individual who is an author or rights owner or assignee or legal heir can file application for copyright of a work directly

9. What are the guidelines regarding registration of a work under the Copyright Act?

Chapter VI of the Copyright Rules, 1958, as amended, sets out the procedure for the registration of a work. Copies of the Act and Rules can be obtained from the Manager of Publications, Publication Branch, Civil Lines, Delhi or his authorized dealers on payment

10. Whether unpublished works are registered?

Yes. Both published and unpublished works can be registered. Copyright in works published before 21st January, 1958, i.e., before the Copyright Act, 1957 came in force, can also be registered, provided the works still enjoy copyright. Three copies of published work may be sent along with the application. If the work to be registered is unpublished, a copy of the manuscript has to be sent along with the application for affixing the stamp of the Copyright Office in proof of the work having been registered. In case two copies of the manuscript are sent, one copy of the same duly stamped will be returned, while the other will be retained, as far as possible, in the Copyright Office for record and will be kept confidential. It would also be open to the applicant to send only extracts from the unpublished work instead of the whole manuscript and ask for the return of the extracts after being stamped with the seal of the Copyright Office.
When a work has been registered as unpublished and subsequently it is published, the applicant may apply for changes in particulars entered in the Register of Copyright in Form V with prescribed fee.
The process of registration and fee for registration of copyright is same.

11. Whether computer Software or Computer Programme can be registered?

Yes. Computer Software or programme can be registered as a ‘literary work’. As per Section 2 (o) of the Copyright Act, 1957 “literary work” includes computer programmes, tables and compilations, including computer databases. ‘Source Code’ has also to be supplied along with the application for registration of copyright for software products.

12. How can I get copyright registration for my Web-site?

A web-site contains several works such as literary works, artistic works (photographs etc.), sound recordings, video clips, cinematograph films and broadcastings and computer software too. Therefore, a separate application has to be filed for registration of all these works.

13. How long I have to wait to get my work to get registered by the Copyright office?

After you file your application and receive diary number you have to wait for a mandatory period of 30 days so that no objection is filed in the Copyright office against your claim that particular work is created by you. If such objection is filed it may take another one month time to decide as to whether the work could be registered by the Registrar of Copyrights after giving an opportunity of hearing the matter from both the parties.
If no objection is filed the application goes for scrutiny from the examiners. If any discrepancy is found the applicant is given 30 days time to remove the same. Therefore, it may take 2 to 3 months time for registration of any work in the normal course. The cooperation of the applicant in providing necessary information is the key for speedy disposal the matter.

14. Is an opportunity for hearing given in all the cases pertain to rejection of registration?

Yes. As per the Principles of Natural Justice' (i.e audi altram paltram) no one can be punished without being heard. As per the rule 27 of the Copyright Rules, 1958 no application is rejected without giving an opportunity to be heard. The applicant himself or his/her pleader may appear in the hearing. As per section 72 of the Copyright Act, 1957 any person aggrieved by the final decision or order of the Registrar of Copyrights may, within three months from the date of the order or decision, appeal to the Copyright Board.

PATENTS - FAQ'S

1. What is a Patent?

A Patent is a statutory right for an invention granted for a limited period of time to the patentee by the Government, in exchange of full disclosure of his invention for excluding others, from making, using, selling, importing the patented product or process for producing that product for those purposes without his consent.

2. Does Indian Patent give protection worldwide?

Patent protection is territorial right and therefore it is effective only within the territory of India. However, filing an application in India enables the applicant to file a corresponding application for same invention in convention countries, within or before expiry of twelve months from the filing date in India. Therefore, separate patents should be obtained in each country where the applicant requires protection of his invention in those countries. There is no patent valid worldwide.

3. Is it possible to file international application under Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in India?

It is possible to file an international application known as PCT application in India in the Patent Offices located at Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. All these offices act as Receiving Office (RO) for International application.

4. What can be patented? 

An invention relating either to a product or process that is new, involving inventive step and capable of industrial application can be patented. However, it must not fall into the categories of inventions that are non- patentable under section 3 and 4 of the Act.

5. Who can apply for a patent?

A patent application can be filed either by true and first inventor or his assignee, either alone or jointly with any other person. However, legal representative of any deceased person can also make an application for patent.

6. How can I apply for a patent?

A patent application can be filed with Indian Patent Office either with complete specification or with provisional specification along with fee as prescribed in schedule I. In case the application is filed with provisional specification, then one has to file complete specification within 12 months from the date of filing of the application. There is no extension of time to file complete specification after expiry of said period.

7. What are the criteria of patentability?

An invention to become patentable subject matter must meet the following criteria -

i) It should be novel.
ii) It should have inventive step or it must be non-obvious
iii) It should be capable of Industrial application.
iv) It should not fall within the provisions of section 3 and 4 of the Patents Act 1970.

8. Should application for patent be filed before or after, publication of the details of the invention?

The application for patent should be filed before the publication of the invention and till then it should not be disclosed or published. Disclosure of invention by publication before filing of the patent application may be detrimental to novelty of the invention as it may no longer be considered novel due to such publication. However, under certain conditions, there is grace period of 12 months for filing application even after publication.

9. Can any invention be patented after publication or display in the public exhibition?

Generally, a patent application for the invention which has been either published or publicly displayed cannot be filed. However the Patents Act provides a grace period of 12 months for filing of patent application from the date of its publication in a journal or its public display in a exhibition organised by the Government or disclosure before any learned society or published by applicant. The details conditions are provided under Chapter VI of the Act (Section 29-34).

10. How a Patent Specification is prepared?

A patent specification can be prepared by the applicant himself or his registered and authorized agent. The patent specification generally comprises of the title of the invention indicating its technical field, prior art, draw backs in the prior art, the solution provided by the inventor to obviate the drawbacks of the prior art, a concise but sufficient description of the invention and its usefulness, drawings (if Any) and details of best method of its working. The complete specification must contain at least one claim or statement of claims defining the scope of the invention for which protection is sought for.

11. What is a provisional specification?

Indian Patent Law follows first to file system. Provisional specification describes the nature of the invention to have the priority date of filing of the application in which the inventive idea has been disclosed. It must be followed by a complete specification describing the details of the invention along with a statement of claims within 12 months after filing of the provisional application. If the complete specification is not filed within the prescribed period, the application is treated as deemed to have been abandoned

12. Is it necessary to file a provisional application?

Generally, an application filed with provisional specification is known as provisional application which is useful in establishing a priority date for your invention. Moreover, filing of a provisional application is useful as it gives sufficient time to the applicant to assess and evaluate the market potential of his invention before filing complete specification. However, it is not necessary to file an application with provisional specification and one can file application directly with complete specification.

13. Does the Patent Office Keep information of the invention Secret?

Yes. All the patent applications are kept secret upto 18 months from the date of filing or priority date whichever is earlier and thereafter they are published in the Official Journal of the Patent Office which is published every week and also available on the IPO website. After its publication, public can inspect the documents and also may take the photocopy thereof on payment of the fee as prescribed.

14. When an application for patent is published?

Every application for patent is published after 18 months from the date of its filing or priority date whichever is earlier. However, following applications are not published.
A) Application in which secrecy direction is imposed
B) Application which has been abandoned u/s 9(1) and
C) Application which has been withdrawn 3 months prior to 18 months

15. Is there any provision in the law for early publication?

Yes, the applicant can make a request for early publication in Form 9 along with the prescribed fee. After receiving such request the Patent Office publishes such application within a period of one month provided the invention contained thereon does not relate to atomic energy or defence purpose.

16. Is patent application once filed is examined automatically?

The patent application is not examined automatically after its filing. The examination is done only after receipt of the request of examination either from the applicant or from third party.

17. When the request for examination can be filed?

The request for examination can be filed within a period of 48 months from the date of priority or date of filing of the application whichever is earlier. For more details kindly refer to rule 24B of the Patents Rules 2003 as amended upto 2006.

18. Is there any provision for early examination?

There is no provision for filing a request for early examination. The applications are examined in the order in which requests for examination are filed. However, an express request for examination before expiry of 31 months can be made in respect of the applications filed under Patent Cooperation Treaty known as National Phase applications by payment of the prescribed fee.

19. What happens to a patent application once it is examined?

After examination, the Patent office issues an examination report to the applicant which is generally known as First Examination Report (FER). Thereafter the applicant is required to comply with the requirements within a period of twelve months from the date of FER. In case, the application is found to be in order for grant, the patent is granted, provided there is no pre-grant opposition is filed or pending. A letter patent is issued to the applicant. However, in case a pre-grant opposition is pending, the further action is taken after disposition of the pre-grant opposition.

20. What happens when applicant is not able to meet the requirement within the prescribed time?

If the applicant is not able to comply with or meet the requirement within 12 months, or does not submit the documents which were sent to him for compliance within the said period, the application is deemed to have been abandoned.

21. Is there provision for extension beyond time limit of 12 months?

There is no provision for extension of time beyond the period of 12 months.

22. Does applicant get an opportunity of being heard before his application is refused?

If applicant has not complied with the requirements within the prescribed time, and no request for hearing has been made by the applicant, the controller may not provide the opportunity of being heard. However the Controller shall provide an opportunity of being heard to the applicant before refusing his application if a request for such hearing has been made by the applicant at least 10 days in advance before expiry of the statutory period.

23. What are the various stages involved in the grant of patent?

After filing the application for the grant of patent, a request for examination is required to be made by the applicant or by third party and thereafter it is taken up for examination by the Patent office. Usually, the First Examination Report is issued and the applicant is given an opportunity to correct the deficiencies in order to meet the objections raised in the said report. The applicant must comply with the requirements within the prescribed time otherwise his application would be treated as deemed to have been abandoned. When all the requirements are met, the patent is granted and notified in the Patent office Journal. However before the grant of patent and after the publication of application, any person can make a representation for pre-grant opposition.

24. What is time limit for filing the representation for pre-grant opposition?

A representation for pre-grant opposition can be filed within six months from the date of publication of the application u/s 11A or before the grant of patent. The grounds on which the representation can be filed are provided u/s 25(1) of the Patents Act 1970.

25. What are the grounds for filing representation for pre-grant opposition?

The grounds for filing post-grant opposition are contained in section 25(1) of the Patents Act 1970.

26. Is it possible to file pre-grant opposition even though there is no request for examination filed?

Yes, it is possible to file representation for pre-grant opposition even though there is no request for examination has been filed. However, the representation will be considered only when a request for examination is received within the prescribed period.

27. What is the time limit for filing post-grant opposition in the patent office?

The time for filing post-grant opposition is 12 months from the date of publication of the grant of patent in the official journal of the patent office.

28. What are the grounds for filing the post grant opposition?

The grounds for filing post-grant opposition are contained in section 25(2) of the Patents Act 1970.

29. Is it necessary to go to the Indian Patent Office to transact any business relating to patent application?

No, normally all the communications with the office are done through written correspondence. However, interviews relating to patent application can be had with examiners with prior appointment on any working day during prosecution stage.

30. Where the information relating to patent application is notified?

The information relating to the patent application is published in the Patent office Journal issued on every Friday. This is also available in electronic form on the website of the Patent Office

31. What are the contents of the Patent office Journal?

The Patent office Journal contains information relating to patent applications which are published u/s 11A, post grant publication, restoration of patent, notifications , indexes, list of non-working patents and notices Issued by the Patent Office relating to Patents, etc..

32. Can one subscribe a copy of the Patent office Journal?

The Patent office Journal can be subscribed by making payment of Rs 400/- in cash or by DD/cheque in favour of the Controller of Patents. This is also available in CD form.

33. Can one use the words "Patent Pending" or "Patent Applied For"?

These words are normally used by the patent applicant to their products after filing his application for patent so that the public is made aware that a patent application has been filed in respect of that invention. Use of these words where no application has been made is prohibited under the Patent law. However, use of such words by the patent applicant does not prohibit the third party to plead as innocent unless the patent number is indicated.

34. How useful is the marking of a product with "patent pending" or "patent applied for" before the grant?

Marking of a product with the words “patent pending” or “Patent applied for” after filing of the application for patent serve as a notice to the public that an application for patent is pending with the Patent Office but there is no legal significance of these words. The infringement action can be initiated only after the patent is granted.

35. How useful is the marking of a product with "patent pending" or "patent applied for" before the grant?

Marking of a product with the words “patent pending” or “Patent applied for” after filing of the application for patent serve as a notice to the public that an application for patent is pending with the Patent Office but there is no legal significance of these words. The infringement action can be initiated only after the patent is granted.

36. Does patent office help in finding users for patent?

The Patent Office has no role in the commercialization of patent. However, the information relating to patent is published in the Patent Office journal and also published on the Patent Office website which is accessible to the public worldwide. This certainly helps the applicant to attract potential user or licensee. The patent office also compiles a list of patents which are not commercially worked in India.

37. How can one find out that an invention is already patented?

The person concerned can perform a preliminary search in the Indian patent data base of granted patent or Patent Office journal published every week or by making search in the documents kept in the Patent Office Search and Reference Room, which contains Indian patents arranged according to international patent classification system as well in serial number. The person concerned can also make a request for such information under section 153 of the Act.

38. What is the term of patent?

Term of every patent in India is 20 years from the date of filing of patent application, irrespective of whether it is filed with provisional or complete specification. However, in case of applications filed under PCT the term of 20 years begins from International filing date.

39. Is there any difference in the amount of fees to be paid by an individual or a legal entity for filing a patent application?

Yes, the application filing fees for for a legal entity other than individual (natural person) is 4 times to the natural person

40. What are obligations of the patentee after the grant of patent?

After the grant of patent, every patentee has to maintain the patent by paying renewal fee every year as prescribed in the schedule I. For first two years, there is no renewal fee. The renewal fee is payable from 3rd year onwards. In case the renewal fee is not paid the patent will be ceased.

41. Can the patentee pay renewal fee at a time or has to pay every year?

The patentee has choice to pay the renewal fees every year or he can pay in lump sum as well.

42. When a patent can be restored after its cessation ?

A request for restoration of patent can be filed within 18 months from the date of cessation of patent along with the prescribed fee. After receipt of the request the matter is notified in the official journal for further processing of the request.

43. Is it necessary to engage a registered patent agent for filing an application for patent?

No, it is not necessary under the patent law to engage a registered patent agent for filing an application for patent. The applicant is free to file an application by himself or through the patent agent. However, an applicant who is not a resident of India is required to file either through the registered patent agent or must give an address for service in India.

44. Does the patent office ascertain fees charged by the patent agents for their services?

No. This is a matter between the applicant and the patent agent. The Patent Office has no role in ascertaining or assisting the fee charged by a patent agent.

45. Is it mandatory to obtain prior permission from the Patent Office to file application for patent outside India or abroad!

Generally speaking, it is not necessary to obtain prior permission from the Patent Office to file patent application abroad under following circumstances.
(a) Applicant is not Indian resident and invention is originated abroad about.
(b) If the applicant is Indian resident, a patent application has been filed in India and six weeks period is over from that date.
(c) The invention does not belong to Atomic Energy or defence purpose.
In other circumstances, the prior permission is required. For further details kindly refer to section 39 of the Patents Act, 1970.

46. Does the patent office ascertain fees charged by the patent agents for their services?

The person is required to take prior permission from the Patent Office under following circumstances.
(a) The applicant is Indian resident and invention is originated in India,
(b) Applicant does not wish to file patent application in India prior to filing abroad.
(c) If the applicant is Indian resident, a patent application has been filed in India and six weeks period is not yet over from that date
(d) The invention relates to atomic energy or defense purpose.

47. Is it essential to deposit biological material in the international depository authority!

If the invention uses a biological material which is new, it is essential to deposit the same in the International Depository Authority (IDA) prior to the filing of the application in India in order to supplement the description. The description in the specification should contain the name and address of the International Depository Authority and, date and number of deposition of Biological material. If such biological material is already known, in such case it is not essential to deposit the same.

48. Is there any International Depository Authority in India!

Yes, there is an International Depository Authority in India located at Chandigarh which is known as Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH).

DESIGNS - FAQ'S

1. What is meant by ‘Design’ under the Designs Act, 2000 ?

‘Design’ means only the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament or composition of lines or colour or combination thereof applied to any article whether two dimensional or three dimensional or in both forms, by any industrial process or means, whether manual, mechanical or chemical, separate or combined, which in the finished article appeal to and are judged solely by the eye, but does not include any mode or principle or construction or any thing which is in substance a mere mechanical device, and does not include any trade mark, as define in clause (v) of sub-section of Section 2 of the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958, property mark or artistic works as defined under Section 2(c) of the Copyright Act, 1957.

2. What is meant by an article under the Designs Act, 2000 ?

Under the Designs Act, 2000 the "article" means any article of manufacture and any substance, artificial, or partly artificial and partly natural; and includes any part of an article capable of being made and sold separately

3. What is the object of registration of Designs?

Object of the Designs Act to protect new or original designs so created to be applied or applicable to particular article to be manufactured by Industrial Process or means. Sometimes purchase of articles for use is influenced not only by their practical efficiency but also by their appearance. The important purpose of design Registration is to see that the artisan, creator, originator of a design having aesthetic look is not deprived of his bonafide reward by others applying it to their goods.

4. What are the essential requirements for the registration of ‘design’ under the Designs Act, 2000? 

(1) The design should be new or original, not previously published or used in any country before the date of application for registration. The novelty may reside in the application of a known shape or pattern to new subject matter. Practical example:
The known shape of "Kutub Minar" when applied to a cigarette holder the same is registrable. However, if the design for which application is made does not involve any real mental activity for conception, then registration may not be considered.
(2) The design should relate to features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation applied or applicable to an article. Thus, designs of industrial plans, layouts and installations are not registrable under the Act.
(3) The design should be applied or applicable to any article by any industrial process. Normally, designs of artistic nature like painting, sculptures and the like which are not produced in bulk by any industrial process are excluded from registration under the Act.
(4) The features of the design in the finished article should appeal to and are judged solely by the eye. This implies that the design must appear and should be visible on the finished article, for which it is meant. Thus, any design in the inside arrangement of a box, money purse or almirah may not be considered for showing such articles in the open state, as those articles are generally put in the market in the closed state.
(5) Any mode or principle of construction or operation or any thing which is in substance a mere mechanical device, would not be registrable design. For instance a key having its novelty only in the shape of its corrugation or bend at the portion intended to engage with levers inside the lock associated with, cannot be registered as a design under the Act. However, when any design suggests any mode or principle of construction or mechanical or other action of a mechanism, a suitable disclaimer in respect there of is required to be inserted on its representation, provided there are other registrable features in the design.
(6) The design should not include any Trade Mark or property mark or artistic works as define under the Copyright Act, 1957.

5. Can stamps. Labels, tokens, cards, be considered an article for the purpose of registration of Design?

No. Because once the alleged Design i.e., ornamentation is removed only a piece of paper, metal or like material remains and the article referred ceases to exist. Article must have its existence independent of the Designs applied to it. [Design with respect to label was held not registrable, by an Order on civil original case No. 9-D of 1963, Punjab, High Court]. So, the Design as applied to an article should be integral with the article itself.

6. When does the Applicant for Registration of Design get the registration certificate?

When an application for registration of a Design is in order, it is accepted and registered and then a certificate of registration is issued to the applicant.
However, a separate request should be made to the Controller for obtaining a certified copy of the certificate for legal proceeding with requisite fee.

7. What is a Register of Designs?

The Register of Designs is a document maintained by The Patent Office, Kolkata as a statutory requirement. It contains the design number, class number, date of filing (in this country) and reciprocity date (if any), name and address of Proprietor and such other matters as would affect the validity of proprietorship of the design and it is open for public inspection on payment of prescribed fee & extract from register may also be obtained on request with the prescribed fee.

8. What is the effect of registration of design?

The registration of a design confers upon the registered proprietor ‘Copyright’ in the design for the period of registration. ‘Copyright’ means the exclusive right to apply a design to the article belonging to the class in which it is registered.

9. What is the duration of the registration of a design? Can it be extended?

The duration of the registration of a design is initially ten years from the date of registration, but in cases where claim to priority has been allowed the duration is ten years from the priority date.
This initial period of registration may be extended by further period of 5 years on an application made in Form-3 accompanied by a prescribed fee to the Controller before the expiry of the said initial period of Copyright.
The proprietor of a design may make application for such extension even as soon as the design is registered.

10. What is the date of registration?

The date of registration except in case of priority is the actual date of filing of the application. In case of registration of design with priority, the date of registration is the date of making an application in the reciprocal country.

11. Is it possible to re-register a design in respect of which Copyright has expired?

No. A registered design, the copyright of which has expired cannot be re-registered.

12. How one can ascertain whether registration subsists in respect of any design?

For ascertaining whether registration subsists in respect of a design, a request should be made to the Patent Office, Kolkata. If the serial number of the registered design is known, the request should be made on Form 6, otherwise on Form 7, together with prescribed fee. Each such request should be confined to information in respect of a single design.

13. What is piracy of a Design?

Piracy of a design means the application of a design or its imitation to any article belonging to class of articles in which the design has been registered for the purpose of sale or importation of such articles without the written consent of the registered proprietor. Publishing such articles or exposing terms for sale with knowledge of the unauthorized application of the design to them also involves piracy of the design.

14. What is the penalty for the piracy of a registered Design?

If anyone contravenes the copyright in a design he is liable for every offence to pay a sum not exceeding Rs. 25,000/- to the registered proprietor subject to a maximum of Rs. 50,000/- recoverable as contract debt in respect of any one design. The registered proprietor may bring a suit for the recovery of the damages for any such contravention and for injunction against repetition of the same. Total sum recoverable shall not exceed Rs. 50,000/-as contract debt as stated in Section 22(2)(a). The suit for infringement, recovery of damage etc should not be filed in any court below the court of District Judge.

15. Is marking of an article compulsory in the cases of article to which a registered design has been applied?

Yes, it would be always advantageous to the registered proprietors to mark the article so as to indicate the number of the registered design except in the case of Textile designs. Otherwise, the registered proprietor would not be entitled to claim damages from any infringer unless the registered proprietor establishes that the registered proprietor took all proper steps to ensure the marking of the article, or unless the registered proprietor show that the infringement took place after the person guilty thereof knew or had received notice of the existence of the copyright in the design.

16. Can the Registration of a Design be cancelled?

The registration of a design may be cancelled at any time after the registration of design on a petition for cancellation in form 8 with prescribed fee to the Controller of Designs on the following grounds:

That the design has been previously registered in India or
That it has been published in India or elsewhere prior to date of registration or
The design is not new or original or
Design is not registrable or
It is not a design under Clause (d) of Section 2.

17. Is it mandatory to make the article by industrial process or means before making an application for registration of design ?

No, design means a conception or suggestion or idea of a shape or pattern which can be applied to an article or intended to be applied by industrial process or means. Example- a new shape which can be applied to a pen thus capable of producing a new appearance of a pen on the visual appearance. It is not mandatory to produce the pen first and then make an application.

18. Why is it important for filing the application for registration of design at the earliest possible ?

First-to-file rule is applicable for registrability of design. If two or more applications relating to an identical or a similar design are filed on different dates only first application will be considered for registration of design.

19. Can the same applicant make an application for the same design again, if the prior application has been abandoned ?

Yes, the same applicant can apply again since no publication of the abandoned application is made by the Patent Office, provided the applicant does not publish the said design in the meanwhile.

20. How to get information on registration of design?

After registration of designs the most relevant view(s) of the article alongwith other bibliographic data will be available in the official gazette, which is being published on every Saturday. However, such provision cannot be implemented at this stage due to insufficient infrastructure.

21. Whether it is possible to transfer the right of ownership?

Yes, it is possible to transfer the right through assignment, agreement, transmission with terms and condition in writing or by operation of law. However, certain restrictive conditions not being the subject matter of protection relating to registration of design should not be included in the terms and condition of the contract/agreement etc. An application in form-10, with prescribed fee for registration of the transfer documents is required to be made by the beneficiary to the Controller within six months from the date of execution of the instruments or within further period not exceeding six months in aggregate. An original/notarized copy of the instrument to be registered is required to be enclosed with the application.

22. What is meant by priority claim ?

India is one of the countries party to the Paris Convention so the provisions for the right of priority are applicable. On the basis of a regular first application filed in one of the contracting state, the applicant may within the six months apply for protection in other contracting states, latter application will be regarded as if it had been filed on the same day as the first application.

23. How it is possible to restore the lapse design due to non-payment of extension fee within prescribed time ?

a registration of design will cease to be effective on non-payment of extension fee for further term of five years if the same is not paid before the expiry of original period of 10 years. However, new provision has been incorporated in the Act so that lapsed designs may be restored provided the following conditions are satisfied:
Application for restoration in Form-4 is filed within one year from the date of lapsed stating the ground for such non-payment of extension fee with sufficient reasons.
If the application for restoration is allowed the proprietor is required to pay the extension fee of and an additional fee finally the lapsed registration is restored.

24. Can the name, address of proprietor or address for service be altered in the register of design ?

Name of the registered proprietor, address or address for service can be altered in the register of designs provided this alteration is not made by way of change of ownership through conveyance i.e. deed of assignment, transmission, licence agreement or by any operation of law, for which reference may be made to the answer against Q. 21. Application in form-22 should be filed to the Controller of Designs with all necessary documents in support of the application as required.

25. Are the registered designs open for public inspection ?

Yes, registered designs are open for public inspection only after publication in the official gazette on payment of prescribed fee on a request in Form-5.

26. Can the application for registration of design be filed by the applicant himself only or through a professional person ?

The application for registration of design can be filed by the applicant himself or through a professional person (i.e. patent agent, legal practitioner). However, for the applicants not resident of India an agent residing in India has to be employed.

27. How does a registration of design stop other people from exploiting ?

Once a design is registered, it gives the legal right to bring an action against those persons (natural/legal entity) who infringe the design right, in the Court not lower than District Court in order to stop such exploitation and to claim any damage to which the registered proprietor is legally entitled. However, it may please be noted that if the design is not registered under the Designs Act, 2000 there will be no legal right to take any action against the infringer under the provisions of the Designs Act, 2000.

The Patent Office does not become involved with any issue relating to enforcement of right accured by registration, similarly The Patent Office does not involve itself with any issue relating to exploitation or commercialization of the registered design.

28. What are the important criteria for determining a "set of article" ?

If a group of articles meets the following requirements then that group of articles may be regarded as a set of articles under the Designs Act, 2000:
Ordinarily on sale or intended to be used together.
All having common design even though articles are different (same class).
Same general character.
Generally, an article having the same design and sold in different sizes is not considered as a set of articles. Practical example: "Tea set", "Pen set", "Knife set" etc.

29. What is an artistic work which are not subject matter of registration ?

An artistic work as defined under Section 2(c) of the Copyright Act, 1957 is not a subject matter for registration which reads as follows:

"Artistic works" means: -
A painting, a sculpture, a drawing (including a diagram, map, chart or plan) on engraving or a photograph, whether or not such work possesses artistic quality.
An work of architecture and Any other work of artistic craftsmanship.

30. What is meant by classification of goods mentioned in the Third Schedule ?

In the third Schedule of Design Rules, 2001 the classification of goods has been mentioned. The classification is based on Locarno Agreement. Only one class number is to be mentioned in one particular application. It is mandatory under the Rules. This classification has been made on the basis of Articles on which the design is applied.

Practical Example: If the design is applied to a toothbrush it will be classified under class 04-02. Similarly if the design is applied to a calculator, it will be classified in class 18-01. Subsequent application by the same proprietor for registration of same or similar design applied to any article of the same class is possible, but period of registration will be valid only upto period of previous registration of same design.

31. What is meant by Property mark as per the Indian Penal Code (Sec. 479) ?

A mark used for denoting that movable property belongs to a particular person is called a property mark. It means that marking any movable property or goods, or any case, package or receptacle containing goods; or using any case, package or receptacle, with any mark thereon.

Practical example: The mark used by the Indian Railway on their goods may be termed as a Property Mark for the purpose of easy identification of the owner.

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