Trademarks Registration in Pakistan / Process Time for Trademark Registry
In this article, we will cover the process of registration of trademarks in Pakistan with Intellectual Property Office Pakistan. The Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (the “IPO Pakistan”) was established as an autonomous body in the year 2005. It has offices in Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar. IPO Pakistan is responsible for administering intellectual property services, coordinating all government systems for protection, creating awareness about intellectual property rights, and advising the Federal government on intellectual property related issues.
The following questions will be answered in the course of this article:
- What is a trademark?
- Why do you need to register your trademark?
- What kind of companies / businesses should consider registering their trademarks?
- What protections trademark registration provides?
- What is the process of registering a trademark in Pakistan?
- What is the time required to register a trademark in Pakistan?
- How can a trademark be filed in the US for your tech product?
What is a trademark?
A trademark is any graphical mark which is capable of distinguishing goods or services of one business from those of another business.
The domain or subject matter of a trademark can be defined as the good will or good name of a business. Trademarks are powerful instruments for distinguishing goods in the course of trade from the goods of others.
Trademark law in Pakistan is governed by the Trademarks Ordinance, 2001.
Why do you need to register your trademark?
It is hard to set up a profit-generating business. Building such a business requires significant hard work and sacrifice on part of the business owner. Trademarks and other copyright laws exist to protect your businesses from copycats who are always on the lookout to copy the identity of successful businesses and benefit from it.
Registering your unique trademark with IPO Pakistan will give you legal protection against all those who might seek to impersonate or copy your brand after your success. For this reason, it is important to start the process of registering your trademark early on.
What kind of companies / businesses should consider registering their trademarks?
It does not matter whether you are a small-scale retailer, a startup, or a multinational giant, you should strongly consider registering trademarks for your products and services.
Failure to do so may allow your competitors to take advantage of your brand through unfair marketing techniques.
What protections does trademark registration provide?
If you have registered a trademark in your own name or in your company’s name, you have an exclusive right to use it. You can also license another business to use and charge a fee against it. Registration also provides legal certainty, and if a legal dispute arises, you will have a strong position.
IPO Pakistan ensures effective enforcement through various designated agencies like the Police, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and Pakistan Customs. You can also initiate proceedings to claim damages under sections 46 and 47 of the Trademark Ordinance 2001, against parties who violate your rights by copying your mark.
An owner of a registered trademark, you will have the exclusive right to prevent all third parties from using identical or similar signs in the trade of goods or services.
What is the process of registering a trademark in Pakistan?
Trademark Registration in Pakistan involves a five-step procedure which is as follows:
The first step is to determine the classification (class) under which goods/services of your business fall. Please keep in mind that you will have to file a different application for each class in which you want to register your trademark.
Once the classification has been determined, you have to file a Trademark Search (TM-55) application before the IPO Pakistan. This application is filed in order to identify whether any similar trademark(s) already exist in the market. The official filing fee for each trademark search application is PKR. 1000/- .
After 10 to 20 days you will receive a search report of your mark in your selected class.
If your logo or mark isn’t similar to the other registered or pending trademarks then you have to file (TM-1) application before the IPO Pakistan. This application is filed in order to register your trademark if it is not already registered. The official filing fee for each trademark application for registration of trade mark for goods or services and to register a domain name under section 22(1), section 84(2); rule 12 is PKR. 3000/- and don’t forget to take the credit receipts of all applications.
Within 10 to 15 days you will receive an acknowledgement receipt of your application. In which you will get a trademark application number and other useful details. This unique number will be quoted in all future correspondence related to your trademark.
Furthermore you have to wait for 4 to 5 months, then there will be two conditions, accepted or objected.
If objected then applicant will receive notice to remove objections under section 27 of the trademarks ordinance, 2001. If you receive the same notice then you need a legal consultant to answer this notice, because objections varies and the consultant know the laws.
Once your consultant replies the objections, there will be again two conditions either it will be accepted or it will be called on hearing before the registrar. In both cases consultant or you have to satisfy the registrar with the evidences and proofs.
After acceptance it will be published in the trademark journal, where no opposition received.
It includes following steps: Acceptance, Publication, Opposition time (02 months) and Issuance of demand notice. It takes approximately 6 months.
In Lastly, Issuance of Registration Certificate of trademark after publication from reception of Fee for Demand Notice, it will almost 15 to 20 more days to get Registration Certificate.
According to this time frame, one trademark will take approx. 1.5 years.
Furthermore, a trademark registration is a complicated and skillful task, however never hire an inexpert lawyer or unskilled consultant for your trademark, because incompetency of consultant and a lawyer can waste your time and money and results will be the rejection of your trademark.
The IPO Pakistan will refuse to accept your application if:
- Your trademark contains obscene content
- Your trademark contains a religious symbol
- The trademark has already been registered
Please contact us anytime on WhatsApp +923362418786. We can better assist you in regarding your trademark registration application at any stage with minimum fees.