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What is the Procedure for an NRI to Register a Trademark?

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  • Post published:October 27, 2023
  • Post category:Trademark


Securing a trademark in India is a straightforward process for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) when guided by legal experts, and it doesn’t necessitate a physical business presence in the country. Trademark registration is a robust shield for preserving your brand identity and preventing infringement. Furthermore, copyright infringement can lead to severe legal consequences. In this blog, we’ll explore the ease of trademark registration for NRIs and the vital role it plays in safeguarding intellectual property.

Registering a Trademark in India for NRIs: A Step-By-Step Guide

For Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) looking to safeguard their brand identity in India, the trademark registration process is now more accessible than ever. Here’s a step-by-step guide that takes you through the process:

  • Online Portal Registration: NRIs can initiate the trademark registration process by visiting the online portal of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks.
  • Unique Trademark Selection: Conduct a comprehensive search to ensure the chosen trademark is distinctive and not already used. This step is crucial to avoid conflicts and ensure your brand’s uniqueness.
  • Application Form: Fill out the trademark registration application form with the necessary details. Be prepared to provide information about the trademark, its intended usage, and your contact information.
  • Document Submission: Upload the required documents and pay the applicable fees online. These documents typically include a soft copy of the trademark, a power of attorney (if required), and any supporting documents.
  • Patience is Key: The trademark registration process in India may take some time. Be prepared for a waiting period, as it can extend from 18 to 24 months before the registration is finalized.

By following these steps and with the guidance of legal experts, NRIs can successfully register their trademarks in India, ensuring the protection of their brand and intellectual property rights.

Qualifications for NRI Trademark Registration in India

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) can pursue trademark registration in India, provided they meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Indian Business Presence or Service Address: NRIs are eligible for trademark registration if they possess a business presence or a designated address for service within India. This presence ensures that the registration process aligns with the country’s legal framework.
  • Distinctiveness: The trademark proposed by NRIs must be unique and distinct, setting it apart from existing trademarks within the same category of goods or services. This distinctiveness is crucial to prevent confusion or conflicts with other brands.
  • Legal Compliance: NRIs must diligently adhere to all the legal prerequisites and regulations governing trademark registration in India. These regulations are in place to ensure that the registration process aligns with the nation’s legal standards.

By satisfying these eligibility criteria and seeking professional legal guidance, NRIs can successfully navigate the trademark registration process in India and fortify their brand protection.

Crucial Legal Aspects to Bear in Mind When Searching and Choosing a Trademark

When embarking on the journey to register a trademark, there are essential legal considerations that Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) must keep in mind:

  • Trademark Search: A thorough trademark search is of paramount importance. It’s crucial to ensure that the chosen trademark doesn’t bear any resemblance to existing trademarks, especially within the same category of goods or services. A comprehensive search minimizes the risk of trademark conflicts or potential legal issues down the road.
  • Distinctiveness: The selected trademark should be distinctive and unique. This distinctiveness sets your brand apart and prevents confusion in the marketplace. Trademarks that lack distinctiveness or are too generic may face challenges during the registration process.
  • Relevance: The trademark should be relevant to your business or the goods and services you provide. A relevant trademark not only reflects your brand but also helps customers connect with your products or services more easily.
  • Marketability: Consider the marketability of your chosen trademark. It should be memorable and easy to market. A well-crafted trademark can contribute to your brand’s success and recognition in the market.

By taking these legal considerations into account when searching for and selecting a trademark, NRIs can enhance their chances of a smooth registration process and ensure the long-term protection of their brand.

Essential Documents for NRI Trademark Registration

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) seeking trademark registration in India should gather the following essential documents:

  • Passport Copy: A copy of the NRI’s passport, serving as proof of identity and nationality.
  • Proof of Business Presence in India: This document demonstrates that the NRI has a business presence or an address for service within India, which is a prerequisite for trademark registration.
  • Trademark Authorization Letter: An authorization letter authorizing a legal representative or agent to file and pursue the trademark registration on behalf of the NRI. This is particularly important if the NRI is not personally present in India during the registration process.
  • Trademark Application Form: The completed trademark application form provides all necessary details about the proposed trademark, its intended usage, and the applicant’s contact information.
  • Trademark Class and Description: Information about the trademark class under which the goods or services fall, along with a detailed description of the goods or services the trademark will be associated with.
  • Trademark Specimen and Logo: A representation of the trademark in the form of a specimen or logo. This helps illustrate how the trademark will be used in practice.

By ensuring that these documents are in order and submitting them as required, NRIs can initiate and advance the trademark registration process in India while adhering to legal guidelines and requirements.

NRI Trademark Registration Fees and Timelines in India

For Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) considering trademark registration in India, it’s important to be aware of the following key factors:

  • Trademark Registration Fees: The cost of NRI trademark registration in India is contingent upon the number of classes of goods or services under which the trademark will be registered. The fees are typically structured on a per-class basis, and the more classes, the higher the registration costs.
  • Timelines for Registration: The process of trademark registration in India is not immediate. It typically takes a considerable amount of time, with the entire process lasting up to 18-24 months from the date of the application submission. This duration encompasses various stages, including application processing, examination, publication, and potential opposition.

Evaluating and Approving NRI Trademark Applications in India

The process of examining and approving trademark applications for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in India involves several crucial steps, including examination by the trademark office and publication in the trademark journal. Here’s an elaboration of this process:

  • Trademark Examination: After an NRI submits a trademark application, the Indian trademark office conducts a thorough examination. During this examination, the trademark office assesses the application for compliance with various legal and procedural requirements. They check if the proposed trademark is unique and distinctive, ensuring it doesn’t conflict with existing trademarks within the same class of goods or services.
  • Publication in Trademark Journal: If the trademark application passes the examination stage, it is published in the Indian Trademark Journal. This publication serves as a notice to the public, allowing interested parties to review the trademark and raise objections if they believe the registration may cause confusion or infringe on their existing rights.
  • Objection or Opposition Period: Following publication in the journal, there is a specific time frame during which third parties can file objections or oppositions against the trademark registration. These objections can be based on various grounds, including prior trademark rights, similarity concerns, or issues with the distinctiveness of the proposed mark.
  • Approval and Registration: If no valid objections or oppositions are raised during the specified timeline, the trademark is typically approved for registration. Once approved, the NRI’s trademark registration becomes official, and they gain exclusive rights to use the trademark for the specified goods or services within the chosen class.

It’s important to note that the examination and approval process can be time-consuming and may take up to 18-24 months from the initial application submission. NRIs must remain patient and vigilant during this period to address any objections or opposition, ensuring the successful registration of their trademark in India.

Challenging NRI Trademarks and Canceling Registered Trademarks:

During the trademark registration process, individuals and organizations can voice objections if they believe a trademark application conflicts with their rights. Additionally, registered trademarks risk cancellation if they go unused for a consecutive five-year period. This provision ensures that trademarks are actively and genuinely used to protect their intended market and prevent the misuse of trademark rights.


Kanakkupillai assists NRIs in every step of the trademark registration process in India. We help NRIs understand the legal prerequisites and eligibility criteria for trademark registration, ensuring a smooth process. We offer a comprehensive trademark search service to identify distinctive and non-conflicting trademarks, a crucial step in avoiding objections or opposition.

Our team aids NRIs in preparing and submitting the necessary documentation, including the trademark application, class selection, and description of goods or services. Throughout the examination and publication stages, we help navigate potential obstacles and offer expert guidance in case of objections. Our expertise also extends to trademark maintenance, ensuring NRIs’ trademarks remain protected and compliant with Indian regulations. With our support, NRIs can effectively secure their intellectual property and brand identity in India.


Telecom engineer turned content creator with a knack for crafting compelling narratives. Experienced in client management and community engagement, and ventured into freelance content creation, contributing tailored and impactful content across diverse industries. Currently, collaborating with companies like Kanakkupillai, dedicated to delivering inspiring technical content rooted in a solid foundation.