Trademark has evolved with the main objective of recognising the proprietary right of an owner of the mark to use in his trade.
Trademark could be anything like a device, brand, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter, numeral, shape of goods, packaging or combination of colours or any combination thereof.
When you file Trademark application for registration then it has to knock down several stages before it is finally registered. Of these stages, scrutinizing your trademark application is one of them where your application is checked by Registrar/Examiner. If Examiner finds that your Trademark is not distinctive or similar to some existing trademark, then he seeks some clarification or raises some queries from the applicant.
To avoid these queries, you must be careful while filing application. So, to escape these queries you must keep in mind the followings principles:
- Descriptive words, surnames and geographical names can not be registered. For example, the word Gupta can not be registered as a trademark.
- Trademark law not only takes care of trademark owner interest but it also protects the consumer. Trademark authority takes a proper care while registering a trademark that trademark should not mislead the general public about the source of the product. And even where a trader apprehends that registration of a particular mark will cause passing off then such a mark can be denied.
- Trademark registration is not like a reservation in a train. It means that once you register your trademark, you are obliged to use it, otherwise, your trademark can be removed from the register on the ground of non-use.
- Trademark is always registered under particular class. Trademark law defines 45 classes under which the service & goods of a business fall. A person before applying for a trademark has to search under which class the goods/service of the business falls.
Different goods and services have been classified by the International (Nice) Classification of Goods and Services into 45 Trademark Classes (1 to 34 cover goods, and 35 to 45 services). This classification is used by Indian Trademark Registry to classify the trademarks.
- It may be possible that you want to register your trademark under more than one class. In this case, you can file separate application or file a multi-class application wherein you can mention the classes in which you are also seeking trademark registration.
- Besides logo, image, tagline, you can also register colours, shape, sound, scent etc. as your trademark.
- You can register your trademark not only in India but in other countries as well. Trademark registration application in other countries can be filed as a seprate application or under Madrid Protocol. If you file trademark application under Madrid system then your trademark can be registered in 91 countries which have membership of Madrid Protocol.
This is a quick summary of trademark filing guidelines which would be useful before applying any trademark application.