The Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPO-Pakistan) is a governmental organization responsible for the administration of intellectual property rights in Pakistan. One of the main functions of IPO-Pakistan is to register trademarks and provide protection for trademark owners in Pakistan.
Trademarks are an important component of any business, as they help identify the source of goods or services and distinguish them from those of other businesses. Registering a trademark with IPO-Pakistan provides legal protection to the trademark owner and prevents others from using the same or similar mark without permission.
The registration process for trademarks in Pakistan begins with a search for existing trademarks. This can be done through IPO-Pakistan’s online database or by hiring a trademark agent to conduct a search. If no conflicting trademarks are found, the application for trademark registration can be filed with IPO-Pakistan.
The application for trademark registration must include the following information:
- The name and address of the applicant
- The trademark to be registered
- The goods or services the trademark will be used for
- A statement indicating whether the trademark has been used in Pakistan or is intended to be used
- A statement indicating whether the trademark is already registered in any other country
Once the application is submitted, IPO-Pakistan will conduct an examination to ensure that the trademark meets all the necessary requirements for registration. If the trademark is found to be acceptable, it will be published in the Trademark Journal for a period of four months to allow for opposition by any interested party.
If no opposition is filed during this period, the trademark will be registered and a registration certificate will be issued to the trademark owner. The registration is valid for a period of 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely for successive periods of 10 years.
In addition to trademark registration, IPO-Pakistan also provides protection for trademarks through legal remedies. If a trademark owner discovers that someone else is using their trademark without permission, they can file a complaint with IPO-Pakistan. IPO-Pakistan has the authority to order the infringing party to stop using the trademark and to pay damages to the trademark owner.
IPO-Pakistan also provides online services for trademark registration and other intellectual property matters. These services include online filing of trademark applications, online payment of fees, and online status updates on trademark applications.
Average Process Time for Services of Trade Marks Registry
The following is the list of office actions related to trademark registration, along with their average time for disposal in working days:
- Issuance of Acknowledgement Receipt on filing application (15 days): This step involves the reception of documents in the systems, fee instruments verification, and data entry.
- Issuance of 1st Examination Report on application (4 months): This step includes classification, allocation to the section/officer, formal examination, similarity search, and reporting.
- Action on reply received from the applicant (3 months).
- Acceptance and subsequent publication on compliance of all legal/codal requirements (2 months): This step involves the processing of reply/amendment, data entry, and publication in TM e-Journal.
- Process time to decide an Opposition proceedings: This depends on the individual case.
- Registration of Trademark – where no opposition received (6 months): This includes acceptance, publication, opposition time (02 months), and issuance of demand notice.
- Issuance of Registration Certificate of trademark after publication from reception of Fee for Demand Notice (3 months).
- Trademark Search Report from request on form TM-55 (15 days).
- Miscellaneous requests where hearing is NOT required (1 month): This includes requests for issuance of certified copy, change of name/address, duplicate certificate, and assignment/license.
- Process time to decide invalidation/cancellation Proceedings: This depends on the individual case.
- How can I file a trademark application in Pakistan?
To file a trademark application in Pakistan, you need to fill out the prescribed application form TM-1/TM-2, attach 8 clear reproductions of the trademark or logo, provide a list of goods or services to which the trademark would apply, and include a Power of Attorney if applied through an advocate/agent. You also need to submit a Pay Order/Bank Draft of the prescribed fee for TM-1/TM-2, which is currently Rs. 3,000 made in the name of Director General, IPO-Pakistan. You can submit your application to the Trade Marks Registry located at Karachi or at any of the other IPO offices in Islamabad or Lahore.
- How long is a trademark registration valid in Pakistan?
In Pakistan, a trademark registration is initially valid for 10 years from the filing date. After 10 years, the registration can be renewed for another 10 years.
- What is the procedure for registering a trademark in Pakistan?
To register a trademark in Pakistan, it is advisable to conduct a search of the Trademarks Register to ensure that there are no similar or identical marks already registered. You can file a search request on Form TM-55 with a Pay Order/Bank Draft of Rs. 1,000 for a search of one mark in one class only. After conducting the search, you can file the trademark application on Form TM-1/TM-2 for one mark in one class with a Pay Order/Bank Draft of Rs. 3,000. Once the application is submitted, the Trade Marks Registry will issue an Acknowledgement Receipt to the applicant within 10-15 days. After 3 months, an Examination Report is generated, and if there are any objections, they are communicated to the applicant in the form of a Show Cause Notice. The applicant is required to respond within two months of the issue of the Show Cause Notice. If there are no objections, the application is published in the Trade Mark Journal, and if no oppositions are filed to the published application within two months, the application stands accepted, and a Demand Notice is issued to the applicant requesting them to submit the registration fee. On receipt of the registration fee, the Registration Certificate is issued.
- Where is the Trade Marks Registry located in Pakistan?
The Trade Marks Registry is located at Karachi. The complete postal address is IP-House: Plot # CD-3 behind KDA Civic Centre, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi. The telephone number is +92 21 9923 0538, and the email address is email@example.com.
- Can we file a trademark application at any IPO office in Pakistan?
Yes, you can file a trademark application at any IPO office in Pakistan, including the Trade Marks Registry in Karachi, IPO Pakistan HQ’s in Islamabad, and IPO-Regional Office in Lahore.
- Where can I find Trademarks forms in Pakistan?
All Trademarks forms are available on the IPO-Pakistan website at www.ipo.gov.pk.
- Can I pay Trademarks fees in cash?
No, all payments to the Trade Marks Registry must be made in the form of Pay Orders or Bank Drafts in the name of Director General, IPO-Pakistan. The Trade Marks Registry does not accept cash.
- Is it possible to file a trademark application online in Pakistan?
Yes, you can file a trademark application online through the e-filing portal available on the IPO-Pakistan website. The required forms can be filled and submitted online along with the prescribed fee.
In conclusion, trademark registration with IPO-Pakistan is an important step for any business operating in Pakistan. It provides legal protection for the trademark owner and prevents others from using the same or similar mark without permission. With the availability of online services, trademark registration has become more accessible and efficient than ever before.