Amendments to a trademark application or its registration can be rendered by filing a request to the trademark office. A TM-M is the most commonly used trademark form after a TM-A (Application for a new trademark) as it allows the applicant or their representative to make changes to the original application before the trademark is registered.
This form is primarily available for altering a trademark application during the registration process however, the same only allows for minor or typographical changes. This helps in preventing the applicant from filing a fresh application and saves considerable time and money.
A TM-M is initiated by an applicant, their legal representative, or by the Registrar of Trademarks as well, as part of their adjudicating power. The Registrar in its power may advise the applicant to make some changes to the application for its betterment (Rectification or cancellation initiated by the registrar).
Before registration, an applicant who files the trademark application can request for correction or amendment of the application by filing trademark and TM-M with the prescribed fee and supporting documents. It must be noted, however, that any amendment in the application which may considerably modify the proprietor’s details, description of goods and services, or the statement of the use of the mark is not be allowed.
The final power to allow the TM-M rests with the Registrar and the same is determined once the amendment is examined as per the required legal prerequisites.
Where there is a clerical or typographical error in the data entry and the TM-M requests a correction of the same, the Trademark Officer approves the relevant documents and makes these changes in the system with the remarks to this effect.
In many instances, applicants intend to make considerable changes to their initial applications, however, certain details can modify its substantial nature, and therefore it is not allowed.
Details such as a change in the wordmark, logo, or the color specification of the trademark, its claimed User Date, its trademark category, class, or its description, are not allowed. Such modification changes the very nature of the trademark application.
Thus, the applicant must withdraw the same and make a fresh trademark application of registration.
The amendment application can be filed by the applicant through the concerned form TM-M with supporting documents. The method of applying can be online through E-Filing or by manual filing with the prescribed fee.
Once the application is filed it is examined by the Trademark Registry. The Trademark Officer in charge may pursue any clarification or supporting documentation to verify the authenticity of the application.
The TM-M is divided into three parts.
In the first part, namely, Part A, the applicant or it’s representative must provide the details of the Applicant, their name, address, contact no., and email address, the Agent of the Applicant, their name, address, contact no., email address and nature, and the registration number of the original application.
In Part B, the applicant or its representative must provide the details of the clerical error made in the original application or depend on the request being made through the TM-M, provide the necessary details as prescribed in the Form.
Lastly, Part C contains the necessary, details of the individual making the request and that of the documents being submitted. The Fee for a TM-M is INR 900.
An amendment becomes an added problem for the applicant and the Trademark Registry. It similarly interrupts the trademark registration process adding an excessive processing period for the registration. Thus, the Trademark application must be filed with the greatest care to avert any mistakes during filing.
To avoid the amendment, cancellation, or removal of a registered Trademark, all suitable precautions must be taken during its filing and its renewal, taking measures to safeguard the unique character of the mark and not abandoning the mark.
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Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter.
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