Trademark is a word, design, or symbol which differentiates a product from the other products of a similar kind. It is considered to be a part of the intellectual property rights. As per Section 2 (zb) of The Trademarks Act 1999, trademark refers to a mark that is capable of being represented graphically; which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include the shape of commodities, their packaging and combination of colours.
1. Importance of a Trademark Search
- It is always better to be safe than sorry. Trademark search would avoid the infringement of applicable law(s).
- Availability is an important criterion while deciding on a trademark which will avoid any duplication.
- It is vital for the trademark to not only be unique but also have a proper trademark classification.
- Every potential conflict can be avoided by conducting a meticulous search.
2. Classes of a Trademark
According to the NICE classification of trademarks, which is an international classification of goods and services, there are 45 classes which are divided as 1 to 35 for goods and 36 to 45 for services. Before a trademark search is done, a class search would be necessary in order to determine which class the product belongs to.
3. Steps to Check for a Trademark
- Log in to the official website of trademark registration in India: https://ipindiaonline.gov.in.
- Click on the trademarks tab and then click on public search.
- There are 3 search criteria available: – Wordmark – Vienna code – Phonetic
- On selection of each criterion, the keyword fields change as listed below:
Wordmark, class, goods description
Vienna code, class
Phonetic, class, goods description
- Once all of the details have been entered, you will need to click the search button.
- The result panel will show the list of trademarks either registered/objected/abandoned which will serve as the basis to decide on the trademark.
4. Important Tools You Need to be Aware of
The following tools are available on: https://ipindiaonline.gov.in
- Class details: This is a search facility provided to find out which class a particular product belongs to, based on the kind of product. The search is available in various languages.
- Well-known marks: It is a list of all the well-known marks as determined by several authorities.
- Prohibited marks: It provides a list of all the marks that cannot be used in a trademark. Using any of these would lead to rejection of application of trademark. Example: Mahatma Gandhi, ISO, national, etc.
- Vienna code classification: It gives the details of the international classification of the figurative elements of marks which are required for checking a trademark on the Vienna code search criteria.
It is imperative to do a trademark search before the registration of the same. If all the boxes are ticked beforehand, the registration process will be smooth and easy. Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are solely for information purposes. No attorney-client relationship is created when you access or use the site or the materials. The information presented on this site does not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes or used as a substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your state.