A trademark is a visual symbol that can be a word, name, numbers, label, color combination, etc, which is used by businesses to distinguish it’s services or products from other same goods or services which are manufactured in different businesses. Trademarks in India are listed by the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. Trademarks are registered under the Trademark Act, 1999 and give the trademark owner the power to sue for losses when infringements of trademarks happen. Registered trademarks are intellectual property for the business they are used to safeguard the company’s investment in the brand or symbol. It is mandatory for a company to register its chosen Trademark as it will act as a unique symbol for the products and services you provide.
Proposed trademarks that are the same or identical to an existing registered trademark cannot be registered. Moreover, a trademark is not registrable if it is offensive, general, unreliable, not unique, includes specifically protected emblems, etc.
The World Intellectual Property Office or WIPO has organized all goods and services under 45 different classes. Hence, when a trademark application is submitted – it must fall under one or more class. For example, the trademark application for a bike called “FastSpring” would be filed under Class 12, which pertains to vehicles. If the mark is registered under Class 12, then no other person would be eligible to register an identical or similar mark under the same class. On the other hand, if an applicant makes a trademark application for “FastSpring” under a different class, if there are no conflicts – then the mark would be registered under the different class. In case an applicant’s product or service spans across classes, then multiple classes can be included in the trademark application at an additional cost.