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What is the Trademark Subsidy for MSME?

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  • Post published:October 25, 2023
  • Post category:Trademark


Trademark Subsidy for MSME

Trademark registration plays a pivotal role in the business world, serving as a critical tool for safeguarding brand identities, preventing unauthorized use, and establishing legal ownership over various elements such as brand names, logos, symbols, and more. While the trademark registration process can seem intricate, understanding its significance, especially for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), is essential. In India, the government has introduced measures to reduce trademark registration fees for MSMEs, making it more accessible for these smaller enterprises to protect their intellectual property.

Understanding MSME Trademark Registration

A trademark fundamentally represents a brand’s identity. It can be a word, phrase, logo, symbol, or even a unique colour combination. This visual symbol helps consumers distinguish a brand’s products or services from those of its competitors. When a business secures legal rights through trademark registration, it attains exclusive ownership over this symbol or name, strengthening its brand identity and fostering consumer trust.

MSME trademark registration is a specialized category of trademark registration in India that specifically benefits Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises. It allows these businesses to obtain trademark protection for their brand name, logo, or symbol at a substantially reduced cost compared to standard trademark registration.

Eligibility for MSME Trademark Registration

To be eligible for MSME trademark registration, a business must meet certain criteria related to its investment in either manufacturing or the service sector:

  • Manufacturing Companies or Firms: Businesses in the manufacturing sector with a total investment below ₹10 crores are eligible for MSME trademark registration.
  • Service Sector Companies: Companies in the service sector are eligible if their total investment is less than ₹5 crores.

Items Eligible for Trademark Registration

A wide array of items can be registered as trademarks in India. These include:

  • Letters, Words, or Numbers: Any combination of letters, words, or numbers that can uniquely identify a brand.
  • Phrases: Distinctive phrases used to represent a brand.
  • Colour Combinations: Unique colour palettes that set a brand apart.
  • Symbols and Logos: Distinctive symbols or logos that help consumers identify a brand.
  • Brand Names: Names under which products or services are marketed.
  • Sound Marks: Unique sounds associated with a brand.
  • Smells: Distinctive scents or fragrances associated with products.

However, the Trademark Registry will not accept any mark that is identical or similar to an existing trademark, nor will it allow marks that may deceive or confuse the public. This means that offensive words or symbols, common names, geographical names, common trade words, and common abbreviations cannot be registered as trademarks in India.

Benefits of MSME Trademark Registration

Trademark registration offers a multitude of benefits for businesses, particularly MSMEs:

  1. Exclusive Ownership Rights: Businesses gain exclusive rights over their brand name, logo, or symbol.
  2. Effective Marketing: Trademarks are vital for creating visually recognizable symbols, which play a pivotal role in marketing strategies.
  3. Protection Against Infringement: Registration safeguards the brand image, preventing unauthorized use and duplication.
  4. Brand Awareness: It enhances brand visibility and credibility, making it easier for consumers to identify and trust your products or services.
  5. Facilitates Business Expansion: Trademarks pave the way for businesses to expand their operations, whether within India or globally.
  6. Safeguards Goodwill and Credibility: Businesses can protect their hard-earned goodwill and credibility, reinforcing trust among consumers.
  7. Enhanced Product and Service Differentiation: Trademarks help consumers differentiate a brand’s products and services from competitors, fostering loyalty.

Key Considerations for MSMEs

Trademark registration, especially for MSMEs, involves several essential considerations:

  1. Selecting the Appropriate Class: Applying under the right class is crucial. The NICE Classification System encompasses 45 classes, with the first 34 for products and the rest for services. Applying under the wrong class can lead to significant issues, so professional guidance is advisable.
  2. Legal Expertise: Seeking legal expertise is crucial to ensure a smooth trademark registration process. These applications demand time and effort, and getting it right the first time minimizes unnecessary delays.
  3. Early Application: It is advisable to initiate the trademark registration process early in your entrepreneurial journey since it can take up to 18 months to complete.
  4. Territorial Nature: Trademarks are territorial in nature, meaning that a trademark obtained in India will only be valid within the country. To secure global protection, you must apply individually in the countries where you need it.
  5. Renewal: Registered trademarks last for 10 years from the date of filing. Ensuring timely renewal is crucial to maintaining continued legal protection.
  6. Usage Symbols: Once you apply for a trademark, you can use the ™ symbol next to your mark as an indication of the application. Once approved and awarded a Trademark registration certificate, you can use the symbol.
  7. Trademark Infringement: Unauthorized use of your trademark can result in legal action under the Trademark Act of 1999, as trademark infringement is punishable by law.

Trademark Registration Fees for MSMEs

To further encourage MSMEs to protect their intellectual property, the Indian government introduced reduced trademark registration fees. These new fees apply as follows:

Usual Trademark Applications:

  • Individuals and Proprietorship Firms: ₹4,500 per class per application.
  • Companies, Partnership Firms, and LLPs: ₹9,000 per class per application.
  • Udyog Aadhar/MSME-registered Companies: ₹4,500 per class per application.

These significantly reduced fees make trademark registration more accessible and affordable for MSMEs.

Documents Required for Trademark Registration of MSMEs

To complete the trademark registration process for MSMEs, several essential documents are necessary:

  • Address proof and ID proof of the applicant.
  • Certificate of incorporation or partnership deed.
  • Address proof of the company.
  • A copy of the trademark or logo.
  • Udyog registration certificate.

Securing trademark protection through MSME trademark registration is a legal necessity and a strategic move for businesses. It ensures that your brand identity is protected, your products and services are distinguishable, and your credibility and goodwill are safeguarded in a competitive marketplace. Whether you are a small startup or an established MSME, registering your trademark is a valuable investment that can yield substantial long-term benefits.

Understanding the Importance of Trademarks for MSMEs

Trademark registration is a vital step for MSMEs, and a key consideration is determining the appropriate category or class under which to register. The NICE Classification System comprises 45 distinct classes, with the initial 34 encompassing products and the remainder dedicated to services. Choosing the correct class is paramount; misclassification or overlooking relevant classes can have costly repercussions. Therefore, it is highly advisable to seek expert guidance during the registration process to ensure precision and avoid potential delays.

For MSME proprietors, collaboration with legal professionals is essential to guarantee accurate trademark registration. Given the intricacy and time commitment associated with these procedures, it is imperative to get everything right from the outset to prevent undue delays.

Initiating the trademark registration process at an early stage of your entrepreneurial journey is a wise move, as the entire process can span up to 18 months.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to recognize that trademarks possess territorial implications. A trademark registered in India holds recognition solely within the nation’s borders. To secure international trademark protection, separate applications must be filed in the desired countries.

It’s essential to keep in mind that once you register your trademark, its validity extends for a decade from the filing date. Timely renewals within this window are necessary to maintain the trademark’s legal protection.

Upon initiating the trademark application, the ™ symbol can be appended to the mark, indicating that an application has been filed. Following the certification of the trademark registration, the symbol signifies its official recognition.

Any unauthorized utilization of your trademark by another individual or entity constitutes a trademark violation. With a certified trademark in India, as per the Trademark Act of 1999, such infringements are legally actionable.

Trademark Subsidy for MSMEs

The government, recognizing the potential of MSMEs as the backbone of the economy, has introduced financial support to facilitate their trademark registration. The key features of the trademark subsidy for MSMEs encompass:

MSMEs can avail a subsidy of 50% on the official fees when applying for a trademark.

This concession aims to ensure that MSMEs can protect their intellectual property rights without shouldering the full financial burden. For individual applicants and sole proprietorships, the fee amounts to ₹4,500 per class for each application. In contrast, corporations, partnership entities, and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) incur a fee of ₹9,000 for every class per application. However, if the company possesses a Udyog Aadhar/MSME registration, the fee is reduced to ₹4,500 per class for each application.

Government Initiatives for Trademark Subsidy

The Indian government has launched several initiatives to bolster trademark subsidies for MSMEs. These programs are geared toward promoting innovation, intellectual property protection, and brand identity. Some of the noteworthy government initiatives include:

  • Scheme for Promotion of MSMEs: Under this scheme, the government provides a 50% reimbursement of the trademark registration fee and a 75% reimbursement of the patent application fee for MSMEs. This initiative aims to incentivize MSMEs to innovate and safeguard their unique brand identities.
  • Financial Assistance for Intellectual Property Protection (FIPP): FIPP focuses on raising awareness and fostering the adoption of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) among MSMEs. Under this scheme, MSMEs can seek reimbursement for the expenses incurred in patenting, trademark registration, and design registrations.
  • Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGMSE): Although this scheme isn’t a direct subsidy for trademark registration, it provides collateral-free loans to MSMEs. Entrepreneurs can utilize these loans to manage the costs associated with intellectual property registration, including trademarks.


The trademark subsidy for MSMEs extends far beyond financial relief; it serves as a testament to the government’s unwavering commitment to fortify the MSME sector. By simplifying access to trademark registration, the government ensures that these enterprises can carve a niche for themselves and compete effectively in the market. If you are an MSME entrepreneur, consider leveraging these schemes to protect your brand identity and unlock avenues for growth. In a competitive business environment, safeguarding your intellectual property through trademark registration is not just a legal requirement but a strategic move that can yield substantial long-term benefits for your business.


Greetings, I'm Iram, a taxation expert with a profound passion for helping businesses navigate the complex world of tax compliance and financial strategies. With extensive knowledge in tax law and a commitment to providing businesses with the guidance they need, I'm here to be your trusted partner in achieving financial success. I firmly believe that every business owner, regardless of their background, deserves access to expert taxation advice and strategies. My goal is to support you in optimizing your tax planning and compliance efforts, ensuring that your business thrives in the competitive landscape. I am honored to be part of your journey toward financial success through this blog, where I'll share valuable insights and strategies tailored to your taxation needs. Thank you for entrusting me with the opportunity to contribute to your business's financial prosperity. For more information and resources, please visit