Official trademark fees in India for filing a trademark, as well as fees related to aspects of trademark prosecution, such as opposition, renewal, expedited registration, etc., are provided in the First Schedule of the Trade Mark Rules, 2017. If the fees are not paid or are insufficient, then the document or form provided in connection with a particular process will be deemed not to have been filed.
The official fees for applying for a trademark in India vary depending on the entity making such application, the number of classes applied for, and the mode of filing. Larger companies typically pay double the fees paid by individuals and startups, and it is marginally cheaper to file applications electronically than in physical form. For one application in one class, the fees are as follows:
|Company, trust, or partnership||INR 10,000/-
(approx. USD 130)
(approx. USD 120)
|Individual or startup or small enterprise||INR 5,000/-
(approx. USD 65)
(approx. USD 60)
The fees increase corresponding to the number of classes applied for, i.e., if a trademark is applied for in 2 classes, the fees go up 2x, and so on.
Eligibility for reduced fees
Under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the Trade Marks Rules, 2017, certain categories of applicants are entitled to reduced fees for filing an application for registration under Indian trademark law. An applicant becomes eligible for reduced fees by approximately 50% if the applicant is an individual, a startup, or a small enterprise. This reduction is not available if an eligible applicant jointly files a trademark application with an applicant that does not meet these criteria (e.g., a company, trust or partnership).
Claiming “startup” status
Startups are entitled to a host of benefits under Indian law, not least in intellectual property (IP) protection. A ‘startup’ is defined as an entity recognised as such by the competent authority under the Startup India initiative, and that submits a declaration to that effect.
Under present policy, an entity claiming to be a startup and seeking benefits of IP protection must satisfy the following criteria:
- It must be incorporated or registered in India, not prior to five (5) years,
- Its annual turnover must not have exceeded INR 25 Crores / USD 250 Million (approximately) in any preceding financial year,
- It must be working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialization of new products, processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property.
A non-Indian company may also be considered a startup for the purpose of trademark filing in India, if it fulfils the criteria for turnover and period of incorporation/registration as per the Startup India Initiative and submits a declaration to that effect. In calculating the turnover, reference rates of foreign currency issued by the Reserve Bank of India shall prevail.
In order to claim reduction in trademark fees in India, the applicant claiming to be a startup would have to obtain a certificate under the Startup India Initiative from the Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification as constituted by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion from time to time.
Claiming “small enterprise” status
An enterprise is defined as an industrial undertaking or a business concern or any other establishment, engaged in the manufacture or production of any goods or providing any services, for any industry specified in the first schedule of the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951.
As of 1 June 2020, Rule 2(v) defines ‘Small Enterprise’ to mean an enterprise engaged in the manufacture or production of goods or provision of services where:
- Investment in plant and machinery / equipment does not exceed INR 10 crore / USD 100 million, and
- Turnover does not exceed INR 50 crore / USD 500 million
A foreign enterprise can also be considered a small enterprise for the purpose of claiming reduction in trademark fees in India, so long as it fulfils the criteria mentioned in Rule 2(v) for Indian entities.
In order to claim “Small Enterprise” status under Indian trademark law, the applicant must submit evidence of registration under the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006, by way of an MSME Registration or SIS Registration Certificate, accompanied with the official fee for filing trademark application.
There are costs involved in multiple stages of the trademark registration and renewal process in India. Note that besides the application fee, discounted fees are available to eligible applicants also for expedited registration. For the rest of the steps involved in trademark prosecution, the fees remain the same for all kinds of applicants. The following table details the most relevant fees.
|1||Expedited Registration||INR 40,000/-
(approx USD 510)
(NB: Fees for Individual or startup or small enterprise: INR 20,000/-
(approx USD 255) )
|2||Amendment to the application||INR 900/-
(approx USD 12)
|3||Notice of opposition/Counterstatement||INR 2,700/-
(approx USD 35)
|4||Response to a notice of opposition||INR 2,700/-
(approx USD 35)
|5||Request for extension time||INR 900/-
(approx USD 12)
|6||Trademark Renewal||INR 9,000/-
(approx USD 115)
|7||Renewal within six months after the expiration of the last registration of the trademark||INR 9,000/- plus renewal fee of INR 9,000/-
(approx USD 230)
|8||Restoring a trademark that has been removed from the register||INR 9,000/- plus renewal fee of INR 9,000/–
(approx USD 230)