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Registration of Trademarks in Pakistan

Registration of Trademarks in Pakistan

This article covers 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 Islamabad, Karachi, 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:

  1. What is a trademark?
  2. Why do you need to register your trademark?
  3. What kind of companies / businesses should consider registering their trademarks?
  4. What protections trademark registration provides?
  5. What is the process of registering a trademark in Pakistan?
  6. What is the time required to register a trademark in Pakistan?
  7. How can a trademark be filed in the US for your tech product?

If you are here just to understand the process of trademark registration, please scroll down to section # 5. 

  1. 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.

  1. 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. 

  1.  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

  1. 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 an 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.

  1.  What is the process of registering a trademark in Pakistan?

Trademark Registration in Pakistan involves a five-step procedure which is as follows:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 IPO Pakistan will refuse to accept your application if:

  1. Your trademark contains obscene content;
  2. Your trademark contains a religious symbol;
  3. The trademark has already been registered.

The official filing fee for each trademark search application is PKR. 1000/- .

iii. Once you receive the Trademark Search results, you will proceed to filing the Trademark   Registration Application (TM-1) for each class in which you want to register your trademark. Please note again that you will have to file a separate application for each class. 

The official filing fee for each trademark registration application is PKR. 3000/- .

Note: Remember, you will also have to attach a form (TM-48) for authorization of an agent with your Trademark Registration Application. The form TM-48 is to be printed on stamp paper with a value of PKR 1000/-.

iv. Response to Objections Raised by IPO Pakistan 

After evaluation of your application, IPO Pakistan may send you objection notice(s) asking you about further clarifications around your application.An objection may arise if you file your application for trademark in an incorrect classification.Once all objections, if any, are satisfied, the IPO may may also call you for a hearing before the Registrar to provide provide answers to any further queries.

v. Advertisement in the Trademark Journal

Once the IPO Pakistan is fully satisfied that your trademark does not bear any similarity to an already registered trademark or a pending registration, it will issue notices to publish your trademark in the Trademark Journal. The idea here is to give the public a chance to raise any objections to ensure there is no registered trademark with a similar design. 

vi. Final Registration

If no objections are received from the public after the advertisement of your mark in Trademark Journal, the IPO Pakistan will issue additional demand notices for submission of Form TM – 11 for each class in which the application for the trademark was filed. 

This is done to confirm registration and issue a certificate of registration of the trademark (Registered Trademark). The official fee for form TM-11 is PKR. 9000/- (Pak Rupees Nine Thousand only).

You can access all relevant forms mentioned above at this link. hese forms must be submitted in person at any IPO Pakistan office.

Here are the locations to Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad offices of IPO Pakistan:

  1. Lahore Office
  2. Karachi
  3. Islamabad
  • What is the time required to register a trademark in Pakistan?

The average time it takes to register a trademark is approximately two (02) years. However, this is subject to change and varies on a case to case basis.

The registration process initially may seem daunting or time consuming, but in the long term, protecting intellectual property is well worth the time and effort.

  • How can a trademark be filed in the US for your tech product?

For trademark registration in the United States, here is a detailed explanation of the registration process with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

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