Conducting a Trademark Search in India – Everything You Must Know
The Trade Marks Act, 1999 governs and deals with the mechanism of registration, protection, and illegal use of trademarks in India. Additionally, it also deals with the exclusive rights of a trademark owner, penalties for Trademark Infringement, remedies for damaged goods, and modes of transference of a Registered Trademark.
In the market, a trademark performs the following four functions:
- Identifying the goods/services and their source of origin;
- Guaranteeing the quality of goods/services;
- Promoting and advertising the goods/services; and
- Creating a brand image for the goods/services in the minds of the public at large.
It is undoubtedly imperative to register your brand or business name as a trademark, especially in today’s world where first copies are easily available. Trademark Registration safeguards the brand or business name from unauthorized use. However, before going ahead with trademark registration, you must check the availability of the proposed trademark by conducting a thorough Trademark Search, which is indeed a crucial step. By doing so, you’ll easily determine whether your brand name is available for registration or some other person or third party has already registered or filed a Trademark Application for a similar brand name.
If the trademark search is not performed properly, there can be increased chances of objection and rejection of the trademark application. Hence, it is always best to follow the steps given below for performing a trademark search.
- Class Search
The first step of the trademark search process focuses on selecting the right class. The Trademark Ministry has classified goods and services into 45 different classes. So, the applicant is required to select the right class for the product or service that he’s dealing with under his brand or business.
Sometimes, a product may seem to belong to one or two trademark classes. In such situations, the applicant can select the best suitable class or can even go ahead with selecting all the suitable classes as per the description of the goods or services.
- The suitable trademark class can be selected from the Trademark Ministry’s portal using the link given below:
- Click on the link mentioned below if you face any sort of difficulty in selecting a suitable trademark class:
After clicking on the link mentioned above, you’ll see the page shown below:
Now, here in the ‘Search Term’ field, you can enter the name of your product or service and come across the related list of trademark classes. For instance, if you enter the term ‘computers,’ you will find the list shown below:
In this way, you can find the most suitable trademark class in your trademark search process.
- Trademark Search
After selecting a suitable trademark class, the next step focuses on checking the availability of the brand or business name by visiting the Indian trademark database using the link given below:
Here, three types of trademark search can be conducted, which are as follows:
- Wordmark Search– To conduct a trademark search for exact words;
- Phonetic Search– To conduct a trademark search for phonetically or similar sounding words; and
- Vienna Code Search – To conduct a trademark search for similar artistic designs.
- Now let’s say you select ‘Wordmark’ in the ‘Search Type’ field.
- In the first row, in front of ‘Wordmark,’ there’s another drop-down list. Select the ‘Contains’ option in that menu and write your brand or business name in the box placed next to it. If your brand or business name contains two words, you should check each word individually to see the exact details. For instance, if your brand name is Super Mart, you should first search for ‘Super’ and then search for ‘Mart.’
- In the second row, enter the class number related to your product or service and then click on the ‘Search’ button.
- You will find all the matching brand and business names as shown below:
- If no similar brand or business name exists, you’ll see the following results:
- Now select ‘Phonetic’ in the ‘Search Type’ field, enter the class and brand or business name, as described previously, and click on the ‘Search’ button.
- It is crucial to check the availability of the brand or business name phonetically because there may be no similar brand names, but there might be brand names that sound similar. For instance, if your brand name is ‘seez,’ there may be no similar result found in the trademark search, but there might be a brand name called ‘ciz,’ which would appear in the results only if you perform a trademark search phonetically.
- Remember, the Trademark Ministry would reject a trademark application if there already exists a phonetically similar trademark. So, conducting a phonetic search is a must.
All the steps mentioned above are imperative for performing a trademark search in India. However, it is also highly advisable to seek professional assistance and help to know the chances of successful trademark registration of your brand or business name or logo. At Kashishipr, we offer valuable insights to clients before they file applications for their proposed trademarks. Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know about our services related to trademark search and the overall trademark registration process. ✅ For more visit: https://www.kashishipr.com/