A logo is not just a symbol; it’s your brand’s identity. Your brand needs a unique logo that can attract the target audience and help you connect with them. However, no matter how creatively you design a logo, some reprobates have the audacity to steal your creativity. Luckily, we have an option to safeguard them from getting stolen. Learn how to register a logo in India (copyright logo or trademark logo) to preserve your ownership.

Logos and designs are original artworks that provide an identity to a brand. It is an element of creativity that needs protection. Technically, copyright and trademark are two different intellectual property rights under different laws. Let us dig in and understand the importance of the two.

What is a copyright, and how does it help us?

A copyright is an exclusive legal right that is given to the owners of specific creative works. The authorities give this legal right to the originator for some years to publish, perform, print, or reproduce and distribute copies. 

You must have seen the symbol ‘©’ somewhere; it protects the ownership rights of the people who create content for the public interest. Suppose you create a unique design for your logo, and the other day you notice that somebody else has used it under their brand. How would you feel about it? We cannot express that feeling in words!

This is the reason we have copyright laws. We can protect our songs, software code, and pictures from getting copied by someone else. Although copyright has nothing to do with the goods and services you provide. Brands can copy the design of your product but cannot use your logo to sell them. That is the power of copyright. 

Fun Fact: In the US, due to the US Copyright Law, every original work is under protection automatically. You get the copyright for your logo the moment you draw it.

How to copyright a logo in India?

Copyright provides satisfaction and motivation to the owners to create more. If you want to know “How to copyright a logo”, then follow the steps below:

  1. First, you need to write an application in FORM IV (schedule 2 of the act) format. You need to include all the particulars and statements of the particulars in the application. After filling in all the requisite information in the application, please send it to the registrar along with the required fees. You can do all this online at https://copyright.gov.in/.

On opening the site, this page will appear.

On the left side, you will find an option to register copyright. Click on that and fill all the necessary details.

  1. The applicant and an advocate need to sign the application.
  2. After you have filled in all the details, the registrar analyses them. After the analysis, he will issue a diary number to the applicant. If there is any objection to your request from the third party, then you will receive it within 30 days. Therefore, the applicant needs to be patient and wait for his turn.
  3. If the applicant does not receive any objection within 30 days, then a scrutinizer will check if the application has disagreements. In case there are no disagreements, then the registration of the copyright of the logo will proceed, and the registrar will receive an extract for the entry in the register of copyright.
  4. In case the application receives any objection, it is the examiner’s duty to convince the authority to take back the objection. The authority will send their reply, and then the examiner will conduct a hearing between the two parties.
  5. After the hearing, most of the cases get resolved, and then the scrutinizer will scrutinize the application and forward it for registration.

I hope these steps find you a way to ‘how to copyright a logo in India?’ It is indeed a long procedure, but think about the benefits it is going to serve you. 

Also, we should note that your content must reach a requisite level of creativity to get copyright protection. Many times, simple logos doesn’t get copyright because they lack creativity. 

But once you register your logo with copyright, you can legally sue anyone who tries to copy your design. 

In case you want someone to design a unique logo for your business, connect with BrandLoom. We create the finest professional logos that will definitely leave an impact on the market.

What is a trademark, and how does it help us?

A trademark protects a word, phrase, or anything (apart from the creative work on your logo) that identifies the source of services or goods in the market. It works the same way copyright does, but the only difference is that it protects the words and not the design. The symbol of a trademark is ‘TM’.

The main purpose of a trademark is to protect the brand identity of your business. However, the trademark alone does not protect a company from another company using a similar name. In case this happens, the original company will have to prove that they have produced the name first. They cannot legally protect their own creation unless they have a registered trademark.

For instance, no other brand can use the ‘Just do it’ tagline for their brand, except Nike. This can only happen because Nike has trademark registration on its tagline.

What is a registration or registered trademark?

You may have seen ‘®’ this symbol on top of a logo. This symbol represents the Registered logo. Registration protects the trademark against another company’s use of the name. In the future, if a company wants to register its design, brand name, or image, then the company needs to check first if it matches with any of the registered trademarks. If such a thing happens, they will have to make changes, but if they decide to produce the plagiarised brand name/image/design, they will be charged with trademark infringement.

Finding a proper guide to help you register a logo? Do not worry; we have the solution! Find the steps to register a logo below.

How to register logo in India?

According to the United States law, your logo gets trademarked automatically, once you have advertised the logo. But these laws are geographically limited. So, how can you get your logo registered in India? Let’s learn about it in detail.

  • Find a unique name and logo for your brand: 

Take your time, do your homework, and develop a unique name for your brand. The truth is finding an English word that describes your brand is not enough. It would help if you came up with something unusual and interesting.

  • Research! Research! Research!

Before coming up with a new name or logo design for your brand, do an online search and make sure the name and logo you are willing to use are not used by some other brand already. Trademark Infringement can lead to serious obligations. Therefore, it is imperative to do an online search. 

  • Fill the application:

Once you have established that your brand name and logo are original and unique, it is time to fill up the application form. You can download Form-TM A from Controller General Website. On opening the site, this screen will appear:

After registering on the site, it will ask you to fill some important details, such as:

After filling all the required information, you will have to fill the Form- TM.

That form will cost you around INR 3500. In that application form, you need to fill in your details, including an identity proof, a description of your goods and services, and a standard image of your logo.

  • Brand name registration application:

Once you have filled in all the requisite information, you need to fill the trademark registration application. You can do that either manually or by e-filling.

After e-filling the details, you will get a message stating:

If you go for manual filing, then you need to go in person to submit the form in one of the five Trademark Registry offices. These offices are in 5 cities, namely Ahmedabad, Delhi, Chennai, and Mumbai. On completion of this procedure, you will get the acknowledgement within 15-20 days.

  • Scrutinizing:

The concerning officer will scrutinize your brand name. He will check the uniqueness of your brand’s name. The registrar will check if someone has already used the same brand name or not, and he will make sure if the legal formalities are fulfilled. If you pass in his investigation, things will be easier for you.

  • Featuring your brand’s name in the Indian Trademark Journal:

After crossing all the hurdles, your trademark and logo will be published in the Indian Trademark Journal. If you don’t receive any obligation within 90 days, then you can celebrate having your brand’s name trademarked.

  • The trademark registration certificate:

After successfully passing all the steps, you will get a confirmation stating that your logo and trademark name is officially protected. Your trademark name and logo will be officially valid for 10 years. You can even renew it after 10 years, but you need to pay some renewal fees for that.

Difference between copyright and trademark:

Copyright and trademark are two different laws in intellectual property rights. They both offer different kinds of protection because they protect different types of assets.

  • Copyright protects the creative works of expression. It helps us to protect our creation against unlicensed copying that is done illegally. 
  • Trademark protects the text. It covers the business names, slogans, and other things used to identify a market brand.

Sometimes people get confused between the two. They cannot understand if they should copyright their logo or trademark it!

To clear this confusion, we need to understand that- if you go for copyright, then your logo will be considered an original piece of artwork. It will prevent unauthorized copying. But to protect the uniqueness of your brand’s identity, you need to trademark your logo. The trademark includes symbols, slogans, and phrases.

There are some slogans used by brands to mark their identity. For instance, ‘I’m loving it’ belongs to McDonald’s. No other brand can use their slogan under their name, and if they do, they will be charged with trademark infringement.

Enforcing your trademark and copyright rights:

Once your logo is trademark and copyright registered, you can enforce your rights to protect your logo against unauthorized adoption. If you find someone using your creation, you can take legal actions against them. You can either opt for a trademark infringement lawsuit, or else you can cease and desist letter.    

Many renowned brands have already sued other brands under trademark infringement, including Gucci.

Back in 2012, Gucci sued Guess for using a diamond-patterned ‘G’ logo on clothing. Gucci won the case in 2012, and the New York court ordered Guess to pay 4.7 million dollars to Gucci. But Guess counterclaimed in Italy court and won. The Italy court granted Guess’s request to have three of Gucci’s registered trademark nullified, including the – G logo, a floral pattern and diamond-pattern.

Conclusion

After considering all the factors and covering the important points, we can conclude that copyrighting or trademarking a logo is tough. They have several benefits, and each one of them is worthy of your time, patience, and money. So do not let anyone copy your art. Art is meant to be original and unique. Follow the aforementioned steps and own your creation.

If you need further guidance, then you have us! We are here to clear all your doubts. In case you need an expert’s hands to create a logo, connect with us. Our team of graphic designers and logo designers can give your company a unique identity. So, what are you waiting for? Make your logo stand out in the market!

FAQ’s

  1. Should I trade mark my logo or name, or both?

    The answer to this question is quite simple and obvious- “BOTH”. As a business owner, you must protect your brand's name and the logo because people can use your brand name on their logo or vice versa. So, it would help if you were very cautious about your actions and your creativity. Art is not for stealing. Originality and uniqueness make art an art! Keep that in mind and protect your creation by all means.

  2. What does R mean in the logo?

    If you find a symbol of R in a logo, you must understand that it means the logo is a registered trademark. Elaborating more means that the owner has registered his logo, and no one can use it for the next 10 years. After 10 years, the owner may either choose to sell his logo to someone or get the registration renewed by paying the renewal fees.

  3. What does TM mean in a logo?

    TM stands for Trademark. This symbol is to indicate that a logo has trademark rights. A trademark is used to protect the text. It covers the business names, slogans, and other things used to identify a market brand.

  4. Should I trademark my logo or name?

    It is always recommended to go for both because the brand name and brand logo- both are a brand's identity. For example- the name 'Apple' and Apple's logo both represents the company's sale. Therefore, it is equally important to protect both from getting misused and copied.

  5. Why do we need to copyright our logo?

    Copyright is an exclusive legal right that is given to the owners of specific creative works. They give this legal right to the originator for some years to publish, perform, print, or reproduce and distribute copies. It protects the ownership rights of the people who create content for the public interest. We can protect our songs, software code, and pictures from the reprobates. I cannot find a single reason that supports- “why we shouldn't copyright our logo”!

  6. Is the trademark necessary?

    Trademark is a crucial step to protect your brand identity. A trademark distinguishes your services from the competitors. They help you to build goodwill and consumer recognition. It works the same way copyright does, but the only difference is that it protects the words or symbols and not the design.

  7. How to check a registered logo in India?

    Follow these steps to check if a logo is already taken or is registered:
    Go to https://ipindia.gov.in/
    Click on the trademark tab, and You will find it on the top and then click on publications.
    In publications, you will find an option called 'list of well-known trademarks'
    Go to that tab, and you will get a long list of a registered trademark along with the name of the proprietor.

  8. How to register a logo in India online?

    To register a logo in India, follow the steps mentioned below:
    Research a good brand name and check if it's already in use. If it is, then change the name.
    Go to the controller general website and fill the Form-TM. It will cost you INR 3500. 
    Fill the trademark application form. 
    Fill in the brand name registration.
    Get your brand name registration application scrutinized
    Get your brand name published in Trademark Journals.
    After the confirmation, you will receive the trademark registration certificate.

  9. How to copyright a logo in India for free?

    You need to pay fees to copyright or trademark your logo. The fees charged by the Indian trademark office is INR 4500. There is no way you can copyright a logo for free because it includes legal procedures. Everything has a fee!

  10. How to trademark a logo and slogan?

    If you want to trademark a logo or slogan, then follow these steps:
    1. Create a logo. 
    2. Conduct the trademark search. Make sure what you have created is not already in use.
    3. Make necessary adjustments in your creation.
    4. Fill the application and apply for logo trademark registration.
    And wait for the approval.
    5. Once your request is approved, and the third party doesn't find any obligation, you will receive the certificate.

  11. What is the difference between trademark and logo?

    A logo is a symbol or design that represents a brand. A trademark is an intellectual property right that protects a word, phrase, slogans, company name and a logo. Many brands get their logos trademarked to prevent unauthorized stealing.

Branding, Integrated & Digital Marketing Wizard and Founder of BrandLoom Consulting (A $1m startup). I help companies generate more revenue through digital marketing. I have successfully led Business and Marketing operations of several Large & Small; American, European, Chinese & Indian Brands and Startups. In totality, I have worked with over 100 Brands during my 21 years of professional career with a proven track record of Building Sustainable & Profitable Businesses.

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