In a previous post, we discussed on how to be a patent agent in India. This post will explore another avenue of a career in intellectual property law- becoming a trademark agent in India.
A trademark is a sign, design or expression in the form of a name, word, logo etc used to distinguish between the products/services of two or more different parties. The primary use of a trademark is to maintain the unique identity of the products or services.
Now, a trademark registration, at times, can be a difficult procedure. It is here where trademark agents come to the rescue.
Who is Trademark Agent?
A Trademark agent is one who specializes in trademark matters. Trademark agents are supposed to have extensive knowledge about trademarks and also should be adept at the process of registration and protection of trademarks as well deterrence of the use of fraudulent marks. A Trademark Agent deals with all the possible legal aspects of a trademark right from its registration to appearing for court cases relating to trademark.
The primary duties of a trademark agent in India are:
i) Helping companies to select a new trademark for their businesses.
ii) Conducting trademark search so as to ensure that the chosen trademark has not been already registered.
iii) Assisting in the drafting and filing of trademark applications for the registration of new trademarks and providing legal support for the same.
iv) Communicate with the Indian trademark registry on behalf of the clients for the registration procedures.
v) Ensure that the application has been duly registered with the applicable trademark office.
vi) In the event of infringement or violation of the trademark, the trademark agent protects his/her clients’ interests by sending a cease and desist letter.
How does one become trademark agent in India?
One can become a trademark agent by passing the qualifying examination i.e., the Trademark Agent Examination conducted under by the Trademark Registry under the Trade Marks Act 1999.
Who can apply?
Any person who:
Is a citizen of India.
Has completed the age of 21 years.
Has graduated from any recognized university in India or possesses an equivalent qualification.
How to apply?
Applications should be made on prescribed form, namely Form TMA-1. The application should be submitted in triplicate accompanied with a prescribed fee.
How is the exam held?
The eligible candidates shall be called for a written examination followed by an interview which will be held at the centers where the appropriate office of the trademark registry is situated. The written examination is valued for a total of 150 marks while the interview is valued for 50 marks.
The written examination and interview will be on the Trademark Laws and Practice. The questions will be based on the Trade Marks Act and Rules including problem-solving and drafting skills based on the Acts and Rules.
The Registrar will then publish the names of those qualified in the examination in the Register of Trademark Agents along with the address of a place of residence, an address of the principal place of business, the nationality, qualifications and date of registration. The Registrar may publish in the Journal a code of conduct for registered Trademark Agents authorizing them to act as such.
Disqualifications to being a trademark agent
The following persons are barred from being registered as a trademark agent in India:
i) Any person who has been adjudged to be of unsound mind by a competent court.
ii) Any person who is an undischarged insolvent.
iii) Any person, being a discharged solvent, has failed to obtain from the court a certificate to the effect that his/her insolvency was caused by misfortune without any misconduct on his/her part.
iv) Any person who has been convicted by a competent court, whether in India or outside India, of an offence punishable with transportation or imprisonment, unless the offence for which he has been convicted has been pardoned or unless on an application made by him, the Central Government by order in this behalf has removed the disability.
v) Any person, being a legal practitioner has been guilty of professional misconduct by any High Court in India or by any Court beyond the limits of India.
vi) Any person, being a chartered accountant, has been guilty of negligence or misconduct by a High Court.
vii) Any person, being a registered trademark agent has been held guilty of professional misconduct by the registrar.
Further, to get trademark registration services from Intepat’s trademark agents, please visit our trademark services.