A trademark is one of the most exclusive and fastest evolving Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in India. Consisting of a recognizable sign, design, or expression, it identifies and differentiates the products or services of a source from those of others. Besides, it helps the brands in generating goodwill that attracts consumers towards them. Another remarkable fact why a trademark is the most preferred Intellectual Property is that the owner can transfer it.
Here, we will dive into the complete process of transferring the trademark rights in India.
As per the Indian Trademarks Act, 1999 that deals with all legal issues, terms, etc., around trademark, people who desire to transfer their trademark cando so by opting any of the two agreements: Trademark Assignment or Trademark Licensing.
(A) Trademark Assignment Agreement
It focuses on the legal way of transferring rights from the owner (assignor) to the willing third-party (assignee), which could be a company or an individual. Assignment of a trademark can be possible in the following two ways:
- Complete Assignment:
Trademark rights refer to a bundle of several rights emphasizing ownership, use, process, share, etc., and a complete assignment of a trademark allows the transfer of all these rights from the assignor to the assignee. Once signed this assignment, the assignee can use, sell, and even distribute the mark without any fear of Trademark Infringement as the assignor no longer retains any right over the logo, brand, or anything else associated with it.
- Partial Assignment:
Partial assignment of trademark permits the transfer of rights over particular products or services. It empowers the assignor to provide the willing party with his/ her rights while adding clauses that the assignee is entitled to use the rights related to only a few products. In other words, the assignee cannot use the trademark for any other products or services apart from those allowed by the assignor.
Step-wise Procedure for Trademark Assignment
- First of all, there is a need to make an application requesting the transfer of rights. The trademark assignment application can be made either by the assignor or assignee or jointly and should entail the terms and policies of transfer, details of both proprietor and assignee. Moreover, it must be in the format of FORM TM-P.
- After preparing the application, it’s the time to file it before the registrar. Emphasize doing so within six months of acquisition of proprietorship as delaying in filing can cost you payment of an additional fee.
- Obtain the permission of the Registrar. The case of transfer varies according to conditions, for example – is it the transfer with goodwill or of a Registered Trademark. In every case, it is mandatory to focus on the directions of the registrar before the expiry of the assignment. However, this period is of six months in India but extendable if the registrar allows.
- Advertise the assignment as per the registrar’s direction and submit copies of both advertisements and directions to the registrar.
- The registrar (if satisfied) with the application, all documents, and advertisement will transfer the said Trademark Protection from the original owner to the new proprietor. Once the name of the assignee gets registered with the registrar, the assignee can use the said trademark rightfully.
(B) Trademark Licensing Agreement
It emphasizes transferring a trademark in a restricted manner. In other words, trademark licensing doesn’t allow the transfer of full ownership over the trademark rights from the licensor (original owner) to the licensee (new owner). Though a little bit restrictive yet licensing agreements benefit the licensor by broadening his market and increasing consumers, while the licensee with royalties accessible with the trademark.
Although the registration of a licensing agreement isn’t mandatory, it is advisable to do so. Why? Registering will enable the licensee to exercise the trademark without any fear of legal issues.
Procedure for Trademark Licensing
The process of registering the license agreement is quite similar to that of assignment agreement. Like the assignment agreement, the application for Trademark Registration and transfer under the license agreement should also be filed before the registrar within six months of the agreement made. Licensor, licensee or both can make the application in the format of TM-28 form. Once the registrar is satisfied with the application, documents, etc., he/ she will make an entry into his/her record register, including the date of filing the Trademark Application and other details. The entry states that both the licensor and licensee can use the desired trademark rights as per the terms of the license agreement.
With the consistent evolution and growth in the technologies and several industries, the concepts of IPRs like trademark are continuously changing. Trademark transferring is the correct approach that attracts profits for both the original right holder and the party willing to get the rights. Hopefully, this article will help you in having the benefits of such trademark transferring. So, understand your needs as well as the procedures and thus, go for the method of transferring the trademark rights that suits you. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com
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