Trademark registration in India - The ultimate guide

Find out everything about the application process, costs and time required to register your trademark in India.

In which country do you want to register your trademark?


Why register a trademark in India?

One of the critical advantages of starting a business in India is its vast population and large market without boundaries with well-established logistics. India also remains one of the essential countries for trademark registration for international businesses due to continuing proliferation of copycat brand names. While Indian law does provide protection to unregistered trademarks, registration is always advised, as enforcement of registered trademarks and dispute resolution is considerably easier and cheaper.

Which body registers trademarks in India?

The Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks (CGPDTM), India’s IP Office, is the government agency administrating the issuance and management of all IP rights in India. It is located in Mumbai and oversees the work of all its branches located across different cities in India, and each specialised in a specific IP right.

How is trademark priority in India determined?

India is a so-called ‘First-to-Use’ country, meaning India’s IP Office grants trademark rights to the first entity to use the trademark in association with the sale of goods or services on the market.

How long does it take to register a trademark in India?

The trademark registration process can be completed within 6 to 24 months, depending on whether there are objections or oppositions by a third party after filing the application or not.

What is the cost of trademark registration in India?

The fees for trademark registration in India are:

For Individual / Start-up/ Small Enterprise

  • For E-filing: ₹4,500 (approximately $55) 

  • For Physical filing: ₹5,000 (approx. $61) 

For the other applicants per each class and each trademark

  • For E-filing: ₹9,000 (approx. $110) 

  • For Physical filing: ₹10,000 (approx. $123) 

Who can register a trademark in India?

Applications for the registration of IP rights such as patents, trademarks or design rights can be filed by the applicant directly. It is, however, always recommended to go through a specialised IP agent to ensure the greatest probability of success of the application. Foreign applicants which do not have an address or place of business in India must be represented by a local agent.

What does the trademark registration process in India look like?

1. Create a distinctive sign

For a trademark to be eligible for registration, it has to meet specific criteria, one of them being distinctiveness. As the purpose of a trademark is to distinguish a recognisable source of goods or services to the consumer, only a sign with at least a minimum level of a distinctive character can achieve this purpose without consumer confusion. The more descriptive or customary a name, logo, or any other brand elements are, the less likely they will be registered by India's IP Office. You can learn more about registration requirements and the distinctiveness of trademarks by visiting our Trademark Academy.

2. Conduct prior search

Another important step in applying for a trademark is ensuring that it is not confusingly similar to already registered marks. Many starting businesses that tried to register their trademarks without prior research have either suffered rejection directly from India’s IP Office or received opposition from their competitors who registered their marks prior to them. In trademark law, those owners who filed their trademarks earlier have way stronger positions over all the similar marks applied for later (as the owners of prior rights can, for example, attack the new applications in the opposition proceedings), even if the registration process was not yet completed. As a result, India’s IP Office, in general, recommends searching their trademark database before submitting an application.

3. Submit an application

After conducting a search, the process of filing the application for registration follows. The application must be filed in Form TM-A either online on India’s IP Office official website or physically at the Trademark Registry Office according to one's jurisdiction. In your application, you must provide details of your trademark and the list of goods or services you want to protect under your trademark. Therefore, all the Nice classes and their respective individual terms you wish to register must be included. 

After filing your application with the India’s IP Office, it will go through several stages:

  1. Examination (2-3 months)

  2. Publication for oppositions (4 months)

  3. Registration (up to a month)


The application is assigned to the examiner in the Trademark Registrar Office, who assesses the whole application and provides a trademark examination report. The application can be accepted or may be sent to resubmission, for more clarification. However, if the applicant is dissatisfied with the decision of the Trademark authority, he can appeal against the decision of the trademark examiner before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.

Publication for oppositions

If the examiner has accepted the application, it will be published in the Trademark Journal which will remain there for 4 months. Publication of such an application is done so that within the time period stated above, any third party can see it and if they want they can file an opposition against this new application.


When there is no opposition to the new application, a trademark registration certificate will be prepared and sent to the applicant. Once the India’s IP Office releases the certificate, the trademark is considered to be registered.

What does the trademark opposition process look like in India?

1. Opposition Notice

Within four months of the first date of publication in the Trademark Journal , any third party which owns a similar mark may file a notice of opposition to a new trademark application.

2. Counter-Statement

The trademark registrar would issue a copy of the trademark opposition notice to the applicant after the opposition notice was filed with the registrar. The applicant has a possibility to file a counter statement within two months of receiving the opposition notice. The trademark application will be "abandoned" if the trademark applicant fails to file the counter statement within the specified time frame.

3. Hearing

After the evidence filing stage, the registrar will send notices to both parties stating the date of hearing, which shall be at least one month after the date of the first notice. The hearing is based on the opposition notice, counter-statement filing, and evidence submitted. The registrar hears the case, and if any of the parties fails to appear for the hearing, the registrar will rule against them.

4. Appeals

The registrar decides whether the opposition was successful based on a review of the evidence submitted and a hearing of both parties, and thus whether the trademark should be registered or not. However, a party who is dissatisfied with the registrar's decision may appeal it to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.

Time: Opposition proceedings can take as long as two to four years or even longer.

Cost: The fee for application for a notice of opposition: for E-filing: ₹2,700 (approx. $33); 

for Physical filing: ₹3,000 (approx. $37). You may be liable for additional legal fees if you have an attorney acting on your behalf. If your opposition is unsuccessful, you may also be liable for a part of the other party's costs, depending on the circumstances of the case, which can drive the final cost of the opposition procedure to tens of thousands of dollars. 

How long does a trademark last in India? How can I renew my Indian trademark?

Trademarks are valid and enforceable in India for 10 years from the date of filing of the application. Trademark rights can be renewed every 10 years. Renewal fees are ₹9,000 (approx. $111) per each class and each trademark. 

An application for renewal can still be filed within 6 months (known as the grace period) from the expiration of the date of registration by payment of an additional surcharge fee of ₹4500 (approx. $55) per class. If an application for renewal is not filed within the 6 months grace period from the expiration of the date of registration, the trademark registration is deemed to have expired and the trademark shall be removed from the register of trademarks.

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