Trademark

Benefits of Trademark Class System

calendar23 Feb, 2023
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
Benefits of Trademark Class System

A good brand should be easy to pronounce and remember, but at the same time it should not lose the uniqueness and distinctiveness that sets it apart from others. A consumer’s decision to purchase a product or service is heavily influenced by goodwill and brand reputation. Trademarks registered with the Trademark Registry in India are generally considered valid trademarks. Also, it is fair to assume that trademarks are valid because a trademark is an identification of the source of a product. In this blog, we will discuss the concept of the Trademark Class System and benefits of Trademark Class System.

Understanding the Concept of Trademark Class System

Let’s understand the concept of Trademark Class System:

  • Select a specific class to begin the trademark registration process: Make a wise choice before choosing your final class. Because if you make a mistake and choose the wrong class, your application will take longer. Before jumping, seek professional help if you feel the need. Once you have enough confidence in the class, you can apply for a trademark.
  • Determine if the brand you have chosen is registered or exists: Many products or services of a particular category are registered as trademarks. Therefore, you need to check if your brand is similar to products in the same category. This is a big risk to consider before making a decision. Chemicals, building materials, musical instruments, etc. Check the category of the product because even a small copy of some already registered trademarks can pose a risk of counterfeiting an existing trademark.
  • Section 7 of the Trademarks Act, 1999, states, “The Registrar shall classify goods and services, as far as may be, following the International classification of goods and services for registration of trademarks.”
  • A set of rules and guidelines were issued as per the Act – “THE FOURTH SCHEDULE TO TRADE MARKS RULES, 2002”. 
  • Broadly, all goods and services covered under trademark registration fall into any of four following categories – (1) Generic, (2) Descriptive, (3) Suggestive, and (4) Arbitrary.
  • These products and services are separated into what is defined as Classes. Goods are listed as Class 1 to 34, and Services are from 35 to 45.
  • One such Class is 41. Class 41 lists services which pertain to Education and Entertainment. All Class nomenclatures are taken from WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland) as per the NICE Agreement.

Key Benefits of Trademark Class System

Following are the benefits of Trademark Class System:

  1. The owner has a lifetime right to the trademark rights of a product with a registered trademark. This will help prevent unauthorized use of the product/service by a third party/person. Owners may use the trademark to protect any product or service of the class applicable to the registered trademark.
  2. A registered trademark is a sign of establishing good standards and goodwill among your customers. Through the use of a brand, the product becomes more reliable. A trademark informs your customers about the uniqueness of your brand and the vision of your company.
  3. Your trademark is a valuable asset to your business. You can now use it for franchising, commercial contracts or have the right to sell your innovation.
  4. By acquiring a brand, your product or service gains additional market space. It is an intangible asset that can be assigned to any new product or service that you bring to market.
  5. Nowadays, online registration can also be done with relatively low maintenance costs.

Trademark classes are related to the nature of the goods and services for which users intend to benefit from trademark protection. There are currently 45 different classes of trademarks in our country under the Trademark Law[1]. These classes allow users to prevent future trademark objections and simplify trademark registration.

Of the above number of trademark classes, 34 are reserved for product classes, while the rest assist in the registration of service marks.

Services under Class 41 of Trademark

  • They pertain to education, provision of training, entertainment activities, sports and cultural activities.
  • They also include any service relating to all forms of education, including professional training.
  • Educative conferences, seminars, fairs and competitions are also included in Class 41.
  • They also cover all kinds of training for animals.
  • Entertainment services, amusement or recreation services are part of Class 41.
  • Creative works of art, painting and literary work made available to the public come under Class 41.
  • Other services covered are fitness, Libraries, Translation and Interpretation and even Gaming.

Many organizations offer their goods and services worldwide. They have clients and customers in several countries. In such cases, protection of products or services through trademarks registered in India will not be sufficient. Similarly, many companies from other countries may have customers in India as well. Therefore, it is important to create a system where all owners of relevant brands are fully protected, regardless of where they operate. Since international trade is centuries old, it was possible to find a solution through cooperation.

Sustainable solutions have been created through several joint legislations and agreements. These include the Madrid Protocol, the Paris Convention, the TRIPS Agreement and the European Union Trade Marks (EUTM). More than 94 countries are members of the Madrid Protocol. WIPO is responsible for managing international programs and covers all 45 classes of goods and services.

Goods and services are never combined in the same class. So, if you sell coffee bags to grocery stores, you are selling a class 30 product. But if you run a coffee shop, you are providing a service that falls under class 43 (catering services). Depending on your business (for example, if you sell roasted beans at your coffee shop), you may need to register for both classes.

When you apply for a trademark, you must select the class of goods or services that your trademark will protect and indicate the goods or services that you represent. Your trademark will only protect the goods, services and class that you mentioned in your application.

Conclusion 

These trademark classes are important because your trademark registration will only protect your trademark in the class you specify in your application. Trademark classes can be difficult to understand. There are many, and it’s not always easy to tell where your product or service stands.

Also Read:
Overall Trademark Registration In India
Online Trademark Registration: A Detailed Guide
Process To Register A Logo Trademark In India – An Overview

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