This post was first published on 7th July, 2014.
In continuation to my previous post, this post is with regard to trademark search and classification of different classes.
A trademark search is required to be conducted prior to filing for registration of the mark. The purpose of conducting a trademark search is twofold:
- To understand and analyze the registrability of a trademark: The results yielded by a trademark search are used to understand the probability of registration of a particular trademark. The presence of a higher number of potentially conflicting marks indicates that there is a higher chance of receiving objections for the trademark in case an application for registration of the mark has been done before the Indian Trademark Office.
- To analyze whether the usage of the mark is infringing on others’ registered trademark rights: In other words, in case the particular mark, for which the applicant wishes to apply for a trademark registration, has been registered in the name of any other proprietor, it will amount to infringement of trademarks. By conducting the trademark search, it may be analyzed whether the usage of the trademark will infringe others’ trademarks right.
The trademark search has to be conducted under a particular class based on goods and/or services provided by the proprietor. The classes described under the fourth schedule of Trade Marks Rules 2002 have been derived from the Nice Classification of Goods and Services. The Nice classification is an Agreement resulting from the Diplomatic Conference of 1957 in Nice, France. The Nice classification provides a list of 45 classes for multiple goods and services. The first 34 classes define different products including manufacturing whereas classes 35 to 45 define different kinds of services. The classification is updated every five years and currently the tenth edition of the Nice Classification is in force.
The trademark search may be conducted from the Indian Trademark Office database. The name of the mark and its class are mandatory fields in order to conduct a search. We will discuss the registration process in our next post.