IndiaFilings » Learn » Trademark » Everything You Need to Know About Trademark Transfer in India

Everything You Need to Know About Trademark Transfer in India

Trademark Transfer

Everything You Need to Know About Trademark Transfer in India

Trademark Transfer, often known as Trademark Assignment, is a formal procedure by which a trademark’s ownership and associated rights are passed from the original holder (the assignor) to a new one (the assignee). This process ensures a smooth transition of the brand’s goodwill and exclusive rights, allowing the assignee to step in and take on all the rights and responsibilities that the trademark entails. Understanding the nuances of trademark assignment is crucial for businesses and individuals seeking to protect their brand assets and explore growth opportunities. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of trademark transfer, exploring all the essential information you need to know.

Need help with trademark transfer? Contact IndiaFilings for expert support and a smooth process from start to finish.

Get Started!

What is Trademark Transfer?

When a company registers a trademark, it secures legal protection for its brand elements, such as logos and names, distinguishing its goods or services from others. However, there are instances when a business might need to transfer these trademark rights to another entity, necessitating a process known as Trademark Assignment. This legal procedure involves the transfer of ownership of a registered trademark from the original owner to a new one. In India, this process is meticulously governed by the Trade Marks Act of 1999 and the Trade Marks Rules of 2017, ensuring that such transfers are conducted smoothly and maintaining trademark rights’ integrity within the legal framework.

Note on Trademark Assignment Agreement

The process begins with a Trademark Assignment Agreement, a crucial document that seals the deal between the assignor and assignee. This contract spells out all the transfer details, from the trademark’s specifics to the extent of rights being transferred, along with any particular terms both parties have agreed upon.

Common Instances Leading to Transfer Trademark Ownership  

Common circumstances that necessitate a change in trademark ownership include:

  • Death of the Trademark Owner: When a trademark owner passes away, the trademark ownership may need to be transferred to an heir or a legal representative as part of the estate settlement.
  • Sale of Business: Selling a business often involves transferring all associated intellectual property, including trademarks, to the new owner to ensure the continuity of the brand.
  • Sale of Trademark Alone: A business may choose to sell one or more of its trademarks separately from its other assets, transferring ownership to another entity while retaining the rest of its operations.
  • Division of Business: In the event of a business division, trademarks may need to be distributed among the new entities or divisions based on their respective operations and brand usage.
  • Change of Name of Owner: If a trademark owner changes their name due to personal reasons such as marriage, or if a company changes its name, the trademark registration needs to be updated to reflect the new ownership identity.
  • Change in Form of Business: Transitioning from one business structure to another, such as from a sole proprietorship to a corporation, may require the transfer of trademarks to the newly formed legal entity.
  • Compliance with a Court Order: Legal disputes over trademark ownership may result in a court order mandating the transfer of the trademark to comply with a judgment or settlement.
  • Purchase of an Existing Business with Goodwill: Acquiring an existing business typically involves transferring all associated goodwill, including trademarks, to maintain the brand’s market presence and customer loyalty.

Advantages of Trademark Transfer in India

The trademark transfer process in India offers many advantages, facilitating strategic business manoeuvres for both the transferring and receiving parties. Key benefits include:

  • Legal Transfer of Ownership: The primary advantage is the legal conveyance of the trademark’s ownership, empowering the recipient with the rights to utilize, market, license, or further assign the trademark, ensuring full legal backing in their commercial use.
  • Mitigation of Legal Conflicts: Transferring trademark ownership can preemptively resolve or circumvent potential legal disputes stemming from unauthorized trademark usage, safeguarding against litigation and associated costs.
  • Facilitation of Business Growth: Trademark transfers are a strategic tool for businesses aiming to penetrate new markets or territories. Acquiring a trademark with an established market presence allows for easier market entry, leveraging the pre-existing brand recognition and consumer trust.
  • Enhancement of Brand Equity: Acquiring an established trademark can significantly enhance the brand’s value for the transferee, benefiting from the accrued goodwill and market reputation, thus elevating the brand’s standing and consumer perception.
  • Cost Efficiency: Acquiring an existing trademark can substantially save brand development, marketing, and advertising expenses. This cost efficiency allows businesses to allocate resources more effectively towards other critical operational areas.
  • Revenue Growth: Securing an established trademark can lead to immediate revenue growth opportunities by tapping into the existing customer base and capitalizing on the brand’s established reputation and market presence.

Types of Trademark Transfer in India

The following are the types of Trademark Assignments in India:

Full Transfer

This type of transfer entails the complete handover of all ownership rights associated with the trademark from the original owner to the new recipient. Consequently, the recipient assumes full ownership and control over the trademark.

Segmental Transfer

In this scenario, only a portion of the trademark’s ownership rights are transferred from the original owner to the recipient. As a result, both the original owner and the new recipient jointly share the ownership and rights of the trademark.

Documents Required for Trademark Transfer

The following documents are required for Trademark Assignment in India:

  • Original Trademark Registration Certificate: The authentic certificate provided by the Trademark Registry confirms the registration of the trademark.
  • Assignment Agreement: A legally binding Assignment Agreement detailing the transfer of trademark ownership from the seller to the buyer, requiring signatures from both parties.
  • Power of Attorney: A legally notarized document granting the appointed trademark attorney the authority to submit the trademark transfer application on behalf of the buyer.
  • No Objection Certificate: An official statement from the seller indicating their consent for the trademark ownership transfer.
  • Declaration Affidavit: A sworn statement by the buyer asserting the acquisition of the trademark through the assignment and their commitment to adhere to legal usage practices.
  • Proof of Identity: A government-issued identification document of the buyer, such as a PAN card or passport.
  • Proof of Address: A document verifying the buyer’s address, like an Aadhaar card or a recent utility bill.

Procedure for Trademark Transfer in India

The process for transferring a trademark in India encompasses several systematic steps to ensure a smooth transition of ownership rights:

Due Diligence

Before transferring a trademark, the current owner (assignor) must carefully check (due diligence) to ensure they have the right to transfer the trademark and that there are no legal problems or disagreements. This important step helps protect the future owner’s (assignee’s) rights and guarantees a straightforward transfer.

Negotiation and Agreement

The current and future trademark owners (assignor and assignee, respectively) discuss and agree on the details of the trademark transfer. This includes the trademark, how much it is being transferred, and any special terms or limits they’ve agreed on. These important points are then put into a formal, legally binding document called a Trademark Assignment Agreement.

Creation of Assignment Deed

After finalizing the negotiations, the assignor and the assignee formally sign the Trademark Assignment Agreement. This signed document is the official record of the trademark’s change of hands, detailing the rights, duties, and commitments that each party has agreed to.

Submission of Trademark Transfer Application

With the Assignment Deed finalized and signed by both parties, the next step involves the transferee applying to the Registrar of Trademarks for the transfer. This application uses Form TM-P and must accompany the completed Assignment Deed and the requisite fee.

The Form TM-P is attached here for ready reference:


Review by the Registrar

The Registrar of Trademarks then reviews the submitted application and Assignment Deed to verify compliance with the Trade Marks Act 1999 and the Trade Marks Rules 2017. Should any discrepancies or deficiencies be identified, the Registrar will issue a notice of objection to be addressed by the parties involved.

Advertising the Transfer

Following a satisfactory review, the details of the trademark transfer are published in the Trademark Journal. This publication informs the public and allows for any objections to be raised by third parties.

Addressing Oppositions

A period is allowed following the publication for any opposition to the transfer to be filed. If no objections are raised within this period, typically three months, the Registrar will proceed to issue a certificate of transfer. Conversely, if oppositions are presented, they will be examined, and a resolution will be sought through a formal hearing.

Finalizing the Transfer

Upon resolution of any objections and compliance with all procedural requirements, the Registrar finalizes the transfer, officially recording the transferee as the new owner of the trademark in the trademark register. This final step legally entitles the new owner to all rights and benefits associated with the trademark, completing the transfer process.

Handover of Rights and Duties

By signing the Trademark Assignment Agreement, the original owner (assignor) hands over all the rights and duties of the trademark to the new owner (assignee). This makes the assignee the sole owner of the trademark, with the full authority to use, safeguard, and legally defend it.

Steps After the Transfer

After the trademark is transferred, the new owner (assignee) should promptly update their records and inform their customers, partners, and other important parties about the ownership change. They must also actively protect their new trademark rights, keeping an eye out for unauthorized uses and ready to take legal action if needed.

Following these crucial steps, including adhering to all legal requirements and properly filing the necessary documents, allows for a smooth transition of trademark ownership through the Trademark Assignment process.


In conclusion, transferring a trademark is a pivotal mechanism that enables individuals and businesses to legally pass on trademark ownership rights from one party to another. Governed by the Trade Marks Act, 1999, and the Trade Marks Rules, 2017, in India, this process encompasses several steps, including the creation of an assignment deed, submission of a transfer application, rigorous application review, public announcement in the Trademark Journal, addressing any opposition, and ultimately, the formal registration of the transfer.

Transferring a trademark requires careful consideration and meticulous attention to detail. For expert guidance and seamless assistance throughout your trademark transfer process, contact the professionals at IndiaFilings today.

Get Started!