As a part of our effort to make the common public more familiar with a local perspective of general business terms and procedures, we have covered registration procedures of companies, partnership firms and patents in the recent past. Moving in the same direction, we’d like to introduce another unit of Intellectual Property (IP) to our readers with this post, viz. Trademarks. (For an understanding of Intellectual Property, you may visit our previous post on Patents or Pakistan’s IP Organization’s official website).
A trademark, as defined by Wikipedia, is a recognizable sign, design or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others. Used interchangeably with brand, mark, or logo, a trademark can be some sort of unique typographic design or font-based art, imagery, 2D or 3D figure, signature, numerals, etc., or a combination of these. In Pakistan, Trademarks Registry (TMR) is the federal government body that governs the rules and procedures for registering the Trademarks for different firms and products. The body works under IPO and acts as a Civil Court, and the head-office for TMR is located in Karachi.
Trademark Registration Procedure
The procedure for trademark registration is as follows.
- The applicant applies for a Trademark Search by filling out TM Form 55 and giving the required Trademark. A search is then made by TMR Office to check if a trademark similar to the one being sought already exists.
- If a similar trademark doesn’t exist, the applicant can move on to the next step.
- If a similar trademark is already registered, applicant can give another Trademark for search by filling out another form.
- This trademark search is not mandatory, but is recommended by TMR office to avoid any disputes in the future with matching trademarks.
- After the search is made and does not result in finding a similar Trademark, applicant fills out the Application Form (TM Form 1 or TM Form 2, whichever applies) for the registration. Goods and services for which a trademark can be obtained are divided into several categories known as Classes, the details of which can be viewed here. The application must contain:
- Prescribed Application Form (TM Form 1 or TM Form 2),
- 8 copies of clear reproduction of the Trademark (Word, Symbol, Logo, 3D features etc.),
- A list of goods and services for which the Trademark is being sought,
- Payment to the respective administrator (usually the Director General, IPO – Pakistan).
- An acknowledgment report is sent to the applicant within 15 days of application submission. The applicant is further notified regarding the application via an Examination Report within 3 months of application submission. If there is any objection regarding the Trademark, applicant is notified with a Show Cause notice to which the applicant must respond within 2 months and clarify all objections or the request will be cancelled.
- If no objection is raised within 2 months of the journal publication, the applicant’s request for trademark registration is accepted, and they are instructed via a Demand Notice to pay the registration fee alongside TM Form 11 in order to receive a registration certificate.
- Registration certificate is issued once the final payment is made by the applicant.
- Applicant is responsible for the renewal of trademark every 10 years. Trademarks can be renewed by filling out TM Form 12 alongside making prescribed fee.