A Trademark is a unique identity of a product/ service/ business, expressed through graphical representation, text, color combination, sound, smell, taste or even a name giving a full-fledged definition to a brand. Developing a mark of identity to be trademarked is a creative process which requires much of research and brainstorming.
Take the example of FedEx, a reputed international logistic firm. Its logo at first seems to be a simple typographical play. When closely inspected it shows a hidden arrow between the lower indent of E and the letter ‘x’. The arrow represents the speedy and prompt delivery by the company as well as forward movement.
This unique way of expression of logo is registered trademark of FedEx and hence cannot be imitated or recreated by any other company.
Once a unique identity/ mark has been decided to represent your venture, it is logical to get it protected from unsolicited use. The best protection for your brand identity is offered by legally registering a trademark.
The first step in registering a Trademark is to pick the appropriate class under which the chosen mark of the product or business needs to be applied for registration.
Selection of a precise class for trademark can often be a confusing affair and requires the technical expertise of a legal professional. Professional guidance helps you to decide the range of protection offered under a specific class or the need of registration of a brand under multiple classes.
Trademark search is first step towards trademark registration. Only on the availability of the required trademark under applicable class can it be furthered for application process.
The Government Of India has classified all the goods and services under 45 categories which are termed as classes in general terminology. Each class categorizes specific goods or services underwhich the trademark needs to be searched for a particular product.
Say for example, Class 12 is categorized for vehicles. Hence a company launching a new car or truck has to search for the trademark name under class 12. If the required trademark is available for registration or in other words if the trademark is not registered in anyone else’s ownership under that specific class, it can be applied for registration. Definitions of various classes are available on www.ipindiaonline.gov.in/tmrpublicsearch/frmmain.aspx and various other class database websites.
While selecting an appropriate class, one should keep the following things in mind:
- What class will give you maximum protection?
For example if you’re dealing in baby apparel, it is advisable that you search for trademark availability under class 25 that gives you a broader protection for clothing, footwear, and headgear. This is because you might want to extend the product line in future to include adult clothing in your business expansion plan.
- What best represents your product?
If you are in Beer manufacturing business, you may find class 33 as the obvious choice for your product trademark registration. On the contrary beer is clubbed under class 32 as it is considered a non-alcoholic beverage.
- Do I need a single class or should I apply for multiple classes?
If your business ranges in different types disciplines, you need to register the trademark under multiple classes. Giant firms like Reliance group has got its logo registered under multiple classes which specify their varied business interventionsas inPetrochemicals, Telecom, Retail and digital.
Likewise Flipkart, though a single company is registered under four different classes due to the varied products or services in which it is involved. Trademarking under multiple classes provides protection to the owner upto a broader range.
Registering a trademark is made simple, affordable and speedythrough LegalWiz.in, your expert legal advisor. Our team of proficient and experienced lawyers, CAs, CSs is available on call to guide you with choosing the right class for application and to complete all the legal formalities for you, making it a stress-free procedure for you.