Trademark Registration in Sri Lanka – A Step By Step Guide

Trademark Registration in Sri Lanka – A Step By Step Guide

  1. What is a trademark?
  2. What happens when you register a trademark?
  3. Advantages of registering a Trademark
  4. Who regulates Trademarks?
  5. What can I register as Trademarks?
  6. Features of a Good Trademark
  7. Can anyone register a Trademark?
  8. How long is a Trademark valid for?
  9. How to register a Trademark
  10. Is my registered trademark valid abroad?
  11. Need assistance? Register your Trademark with Simplebooks!
  12. FAQs

If you don’t register your trademark, someone else probably will. 

Every business owner faces this problem at some point. 

You’ve finally registered your business. You’re gaining some headway. 

You have a beautiful company logo and it represents your company well. 

What do you do now?

Do you register your logo? Or do you leave it as it is?

Well, chances are that if you’ve figured out your logo works for you – someone else will too. 

And if you don’t claim it – someone else probably will. 

But before we get ahead of ourselves; first thing’s first,

What is a trademark? 

Well, a trademark is a sign that’s used to distinguish your business from everyone else. 

This is mostly done by trademarking your company logo or signature. Most companies have more than one trademark. 

For example, Nike has trademarked it’s name, slogan and logo. 

What happens when you register a trademark?

When you register a trademark, only you will be able to use it. 

No one else will legally be allowed to use your company logo anymore. 

Once your trademark gets approved, the ™ or ® symbol will appear next to your design, logo or words. 

Advantages of registering a Trademark

Even though registering your slogans or logos isn’t compulsory, it’s a very important part of protecting your brand.

Since no one else can use your trademarks after it’s been registered, your brand will now be legally protected from being copied and misused. 

Registering your trademark also lets your customers recognize your goods or services under a single brand name or identity. 

Here are some of the main advantages of registering your trademark:

  1. Ownership 

A registered trademark is proof of ownership. This will give you the exclusive rights to use and assign the trademark however you want to.

No one else will be able use it other than you. 

In case someone else uses your trademark, you can enforce your ownership rights at court whether it’s at criminal or civil court. You can do this to stop others from using your mark or to even claim damages. 

The court will usually decide how the other party will have to compensate you for the damages done.

  1. Sell

If the right time comes, you can sell your trademark since it is a registered asset of the company.

A trademark also adds value to your business because it can protect your market share. 

  1. Licensing 

Much like selling your trademark, you can also license it to other businesses for a fee. 

  1. Infringement 

If someone infringes on your trademark, you can take them to court. 

This comes in handy when you have a registered trademark because you won’t have to prove how reputed your business is.  

However, if you do have an unregistered trademark, you’ll then have to prove your business’s credibility. 

Who regulates Trademarks?

All laws and activities related to trademarks are regulated by the National Intellectual Property Office.

What can I register as Trademarks?

There’s two types of marks you can register: 

  1. Wordmark

If you want to register a mark that only has words in it, it’s a wordmark. You cannot have any designs or logos in this category.

If your wordmark consists of two or more words, you will get exclusive rights to your wordmark.

  1. Trademark 

If you’re looking to register a mark that has any design elements in it like a logo or an illustration, you have to register it as a trademark. 

Features of a good Trademark   

Every good trademark has at least one of the following characteristics: 

  1. Its unique and original 
  2. Easy to remember and resonates with the target audience 
  3. Uses non-generic words
  4. Refrains from using three letter acronyms (example: Mrs, SEO, BRB)

Remember, good trademarks stick to your target customer’s brain. 

Can anyone register a Trademark?

Yes, absolutely anyone can register a trademark. 

Anyone from corporations, partnerships, unincorporated individuals to associations can register for a trademark. 

If you’re an unregistered company that wants to register a trademark, we recommend you register your company first. 

Additional resource: How to register a Private Limited Company in Sri Lanka.

How long is a Trademark valid for?

A registered trademark is valid for a total of 10 years from the date of registration. 

After your 10 year period is over, you can renew your trademark for another decade. 

How to register a Trademark

There are two very important steps in registering your trademark: 

  1. Submit application forms
  1. Registration process 

Let’s take a look at both: 

  1.  Submit application forms 

Before you begin this step, it’s recommended that you do an Intellectual Property search. 

This is optional, but an Intellectual Property search will help you determine whether there are any other existing companies with the same name, logo or slogan as you. 

Start by doing a basic Intellectual Property search across your specific industry according to class. 

We recommend that you get a professional to do this. 

Moving on to filing documents: 

  1. Submit your name, address and complete list of goods and services traded in the business under the NICE classification. This should be an in-depth description about the company. 
  2. Submit a letter of appointment by power of attorney (optional). 

This only applies if:

  1.  You’re a foriegn company 
  2. If another person is filing these documents on your behalf
  1. Hand in either 6 hard copies of your trademark OR an electronic specimen (scanned copy)
  • Remember: the size of your trademark specimen shouldn’t be more than 10 cm x 10 cm. 
  • Specimens are supposed to be real life examples of how you’ll use your trademark. 
  • If your business is selling any unique products (created and branded by you); you need to show them labels, tags, packaging materials and containers that will showcase your trademark.  
  1. If you’ve applied for the exact same trademark in another country, you can submit the application form or the trademark certification as well. certified copy of that application. This can sometimes work in your favor. However, the application form or certification must have been received less than 6 months ago. 
  2. If your trademark isn’t in english, you’ll also need to hand in a translation. The translation must be done through a sworn translator (optional). 
  1. Registration process

After you’ve filed the documents, the registration process begins. 

  1. If you have conducted an Intellectual Property search, submit your Intellectual Property report along with the logo design/trade name when you make the application payment.
  2. A ‘Filing Number’ will be issued for you by the Intellectual Property Office
  3. Queuing for Examination stage
  4. Examination of trademark
  5. Sending of papers to the translation department (if they need translation)
  6. Make your second payment once the trademark gets approved. 
  7. Issue a public announcement of the trademark registration in a government gazette if your trademark has been approved. 
  8. Objection period of 3 months once the trademark registration has been announced. 
  9. Issuing of trademark certificate (if there are no objections)
  1. Important things to remember when registering

Once your trademark has been approved, it will be published in a Government gazette. If there is any opposition to your trademark, a claim will be made against your trademark. 

If there is no opposition claim made, your application will proceed as usual and be registered. 

In-case your mark doesn’t get approved by the National Intellectual Property Office, you will be notified by the registrar. 

After you’ve been notified about your trademark not getting approved, you can make a written appeal against the rejection within a month of the dismissal. 

If it is necessary, you will be given a court date for a hearing. 

Once you’ve submitted the appeal, the registrar will make either the necessary modification or refuse the application altogether. 

Is my registered trademark valid abroad?

No, if you’ve registered your trademark in Sri Lanka, it will only be valid in Sri Lanka. 

Need assistance? Register your Trademark with Simplebooks!

You can technically register a trademark by yourself if you follow the steps we’ve laid out for you. 

But hey, if you think you need help setting everything up or if you want a professional to handle everything for you, let us know. 

Simplebooks has registered dozens of trademarks over the years. Our team is highly experienced in the process and will take care of everything for you.  

GET FREE CONSULTATION

FAQs

How do I register a trademark in Sri Lanka?

There are two steps important steps:

(Read a detailed version of this here)

  1. Submit application forms  
  • Conduct an Intellectual Property search (Optional)
  • Submit your name, address and complete list of goods and services traded in the business under the NICE classification
  • Hand in a letter of appointment by the power of attorney (Optional)
  • Hand in either 6 hard copies of your trademark OR a scanned copy 
  • If you’ve applied for a trademark in another country, bring the certified copy or the application forms. 
  • If your trademark isn’t in english, bring the english translation of the trademark (optional)
  1. Registration process 
  • Submit the Intellectual Property application along with the logo design/trade name when you make your first payment
  • Obtain a ‘Filing Number’ from the Intellectual Property Office
  • Queuing for Examination stage
  • Examination of trademark
  • Sending of papers to the translation department (if they need translation)
  • Make your second payment 
  • Publicly announce the trademark registration on a government gazette 
  • Objection period of 3 months once the trademark registration has been announced  
  • Issuing of trademark certificate (if there are no objections)

What is a company trademark?

  • A company trademark is any logo, slogan or invented word registered by the company as a trademark. This trademark will be used to represent the company brand and enhance brand identity. 

What can I register as a trademark?

  1. Wordmark

If your mark only has words in it, you can register it as a wordmark.

  1. Trademark 

If your mark has any type of design or logo in it, you can register it as a wordmark.

What are the benefits of registering a trademark?

  • When you register a trademark, it becomes exclusively owned by you. So your slogan, logo or invented word gets legal protection against illegal duplication.
  • If you register a logo under a company, you can transfer it if you ever sell the company. 
  • You can license your trademark to other for a fee

How much does trademark registration cost?

Trademark registration cost depends on the class of registration. Contact Simplebooks for more details!

  1. What are the documents required for trademark registration?

(Read a detailed version of this here)

  • Name, address and complete list of goods and services traded in the company according to NICE classification
  • A letter of appointment by power of attorney (optional)
  • Hand in either 6 hard copies of your trademark OR an electronic specimen (scanned copy)
  • If you’ve applied for a trademark in another country, bring the certification or application
  • If your trademark isn’t in english, bring an English translation by a sworn translator (optional)

How long is a trademark registration valid for?

  • 10 years

Does the same protection apply to businesses abroad?

  • No, it doesn’t. You only get protection in the country you register the trademark in. 

What is the Industrial Design Protection in Sri Lanka ?

It is the legal protection provided for an Industrial Design in Sri Lanka by the National Intellectual Property Office 

Can I trademark a name that already exists in Sri Lanka? 

  • If the name hasn’t been trademarked in Sri Lanka, you can. However, the other company can always object. 

How to register a trademark for online business and mobile apps in Sri Lanka?

  • It’s the same process as normal trademark registration. Read about how to register a trademark here.

 Does a small business need a trademark?

  • It’s not compulsory for anyone to register a trademark. However, regardless of the size of the business – it’s always smart to register your logos and slogans as trademarks. 
  • Because you’re a small company, there’s always a chance that another company may trademark your logo or steal it.

What makes a good trademark?

  • Every good trademark has at least one of the following characteristics: 
  • Its unique and original 
  • Easy to remember and resonates with the target audience 
  • Uses non-generic words
  • Refrains from using three letter acronyms (example: Mrs, SEO, BRB)
How do I register a trademark in Sri Lanka?

There are two steps important steps:

(Read a detailed version of this here)

1. Submit application forms  
– Conduct an Intellectual Property search (Optional)
– Submit your name, address and a complete list of goods and services traded in the business under the NICE classification
– Hand in a letter of appointment by the power of attorney (Optional)
– Hand in either 6 hard copies of your trademark OR a scanned copy 
– If you’ve applied for a trademark in another country, bring the certified copy of the application forms. 
– If your trademark isn’t in English, bring the English translation of the trademark (optional)

2. Registration process 
– Submit the Intellectual Property application along with the logo design/trade name when you make your first payment
– Obtain a ‘Filing Number’ from the Intellectual Property Office
– Queuing for Examination stage
– Examination of trademark
– Sending of papers to the translation department (if they need translation)
– Make your second payment 
– Publicly announce the trademark registration on a government gazette 
– Objection period of 3 months once the trademark registration has been announced  
– Issuing of trademark certificate (if there are no objections)

What is a company trademark?

A company trademark is any logo, slogan or invented word registered by the company as a trademark. This trademark will be used to represent the company brand and enhance brand identity.

What can I register as a trademark?


1. Wordmark
If your mark only has words in it, you can register it as a wordmark.

2. Trademark 
If your mark has any type of design or logo in it, you can register it as a wordmark.

What are the benefits of registering a trademark?

– When you register a trademark, it becomes exclusively owned by you. So your slogan, logo or invented word gets legal protection against illegal duplication.
– If you register a logo under a company, you can transfer it if you ever sell the company. 
– You can license your trademark to other for a fee

How much does trademark registration cost?

Trademark registration cost depends on the class of registration. Contact Simplebooks for more details!

What are the documents required for trademark registration?
(Read a detailed version of this here)

– Name, address and complete list of goods and services traded in the company according to NICE classification
– A letter of appointment by power of attorney (optional)
– Hand in either 6 hard copies of your trademark OR an electronic specimen (scanned copy)
– If you’ve applied for a trademark in another country, bring the certification or application
– If your trademark isn’t in English, bring an English translation by a sworn translator (optional)

How long is a trademark registration valid for?

10 years

Does the same protection apply to businesses abroad?

No, it doesn’t. You only get protection in the country you register the trademark in.

What is the Industrial Design Protection in Sri Lanka?

It is the legal protection provided for an Industrial Design in Sri Lanka by the National Intellectual Property Office.

Can I trademark a name that already exists in Sri Lanka?

If the name hasn’t been trademarked in Sri Lanka, you can. However, the other company can always object.

How to register a trademark for online business and mobile apps in Sri Lanka?

It’s the same process as normal trademark registration. Read about how to register a trademark here.

Does a small business need a trademark?

It’s not compulsory for anyone to register a trademark. However, regardless of the size of the business – it’s always smart to register your logos and slogans as trademarks. 

Because you’re a small company, there’s always a chance that another company may trademark your logo or steal it.

What makes a good trademark?

Every good trademark has at least one of the following characteristics: 

– Its unique and original 
– Easy to remember and resonates with the target audience 
– Uses non-generic words
– Refrains from using three letter acronyms (example: Mrs, SEO, BRB)

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8 Comments

    1. Hi Dhanushke, Thank you for messaging us!

      The cost of the Trademark depends on the classes added for the category it falls under. It would be best to explain to you via a phone call, could you please provide us your Email ID and Contact number so that our team can get in touch with you.

    1. Hi Siriwardana. Thank you for reaching out to Simplebooks. Unfortunately, you will not be able to use the word “Sri Lanka” when registering a trademark.

  1. Can a brand name can register online.
    Can the brand neme search can be done by online
    What you will charge to register a brand Name.
    I have seen your youtube and it is excellect job for the self employment people in sri lanka.
    I am an Accounting Consultant this is for my sons business. My contact number 077-7892966

    1. Hi Ashraff. Thank you for reaching out to Simplebooks. Our team will contact you on the given number and will explain the complete procedure.

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