The practice of registering a single trademark to cover several classes of goods or services is known as Multiclass Trademark Registration, instead of having to register in separate trademarks for each particular class. This enables the trademark owner to protect their brand across a variety of industries and goods. To obtain a multiclass trademark registration, the trademark owner can apply by filing the TM-A form. The multiclass trademark application is done under class 99.
What is Trademark?
A symbol, design or word that can be used to identify and distinguish a product or service from the others present in the market is called a Trademark. The registration of the Trademark can be done on a national as well as international level, which mainly depends on the scope of the business.
The registration of a trademark is a legal procedure that grants the owner the exclusive rights to use the Trademark for a defined class of products or services. A trademark can be registered for one or more classes of products or services. Multiclass trademark registration refers to the process of registering a trademark for various classes of products and services.
What is meant by Trademark Classes, and why do we need them?
Trademark classes are the classifications used to categorize various sorts of products and services. There is a total of 45 classes, of which 34 classes are for products, and the remaining 11 classes are for services. Each class covers a specific set of goods and services. For example, trademark class 25 is for clothes, trademark class 33 is for wines and spirits, class 14 is for jewellery etc. The trademark classes assist the applicants in avoiding future trademark objections and allowing for the seamless registration of the mark.
When registering a trademark in numerous classes, it is essential to ensure that the Trademark is exclusively used for the products and services covered by that particular class. This helps to avoid the Trademark from being rejected during the registration process.
Benefits of Multiclass Trademark Registration
There are several benefits to multiclass trademark registration in India, which can safeguard the brand and make sure that it stands out from others in the market. The fact that the multiclass trademark registration offers comprehensive protection to the owner’s brand across a variety of products and services is one of the main benefits.
- As multiclass trademark registration protects the Trademark in various classes via multiple trademark registration, it is very advantageous for companies that provide a wide variety of products or services since it enables them to safeguard their brand across several industries and sectors. Multiclass trademark registration allows the trademark owner to expand their business into new markets or industries without having to worry about infringing on existing trademarks. This can help to increase brand recognition and customer loyalty.
- Multiclass trademark registration also helps to prevent others from registering similar trademarks in different classes. This helps to protect the trademark owner’s investment and prevent confusion among customers.
- Another benefit of multiclass Trademark is that it saves money and time. Multiclass Trademark enables you to register your Trademark in numerous classes at once rather than doing it separately. This is a more cost-effective approach for business because it not only saves time but also lowers the cost of registration.
- Additionally, multiclass registration also provides a competitive edge to companies. It is possible to protect the brand across a variety of goods and services by registering your Trademark in numerous classes, which can make it more challenging for rivals to enter the same market.
Process of Multiclass Trademark Registration
Following is the process of Multiclass Trademark Registration:
- It is vital to ensure that the proposed Trademark does not infringe on an already registered trademark. Hence the first step of multiclass trademark registration is to search for similar or identical existing trademarks. This can be done by using the online database or by engaging with a trademark attorney.
- The next step is to file the application with the relevant trademark office after the Trademark has been cleared for application. The proposed mark, a list of the classes to which the Trademark will be applied, and a description of the products or services for which the Trademark will be used all be included in the application.
- After the application is submitted, the trademark office will review it. This procedure can take up to several months and may call for additional information or documentation. The trademark application, if approved then, it will be published in the official trademark gazette.
- The third party has 30 days after the Trademark is published in the official gazette to oppose to the registration. The trademark office will convene a hearing if an objection is made to decide whether or not the Trademark should be registered.
- Every ten years after the registration, a trademark must be renewed to maintain its validity. The trademark owner must submit an application and pay a renewal fee.
Challenges of Multiclass Trademark Registration
While multiclass trademark registration offers numerous benefits, it also has some drawbacks that companies should be aware of before moving forward with the registration process. One of the main challenges of multiclass trademark registration is the complexity of the process. This process can be more difficult and time-consuming. When registering in many classes together, it proves to be more complex than registering in a single class. Businesses that are unfamiliar with the trademark registration procedure or those that have not previously worked with trademark attorneys may find this particularly difficult.
Confusion amongst customers may also result from multiclass registration. If a company registers a trademark in multiple classes and if the business is not operating in all those classes, then it might lead to confusion amongst the consumers and may dilute the brand’s reputation too. Hence the Trademark should be in use in all the classes in which it has been registered.
Furthermore, it is essential to keep in mind that not all products and services qualify to be registered in multiple classes. Hence it should be verified that the intended Trademark is not already registered in the classes they are interested in; the companies will have to conduct thorough research of existing trademarks.
When a registration application is rejected due to objection or if any third party opposes the registration of the Trademark in any one of the classes in the multiclass trademark registration, then the whole application of registration of the Trademark comes to a stop. The application is rejected even if the other registration is possible in other classes.
To conclude, registering a trademark for a business is a very vital step in protecting your brand and distinguishing it from the competitors in the marketplace. However, for businesses that provide a diverse variety of goods or services, the trademark registration procedure can become, much more complicated. A multiclass registration can help in this situation. Registering your Trademark in multiple classes ensures that your brand is protected across a wide range of products and services. However, it is essential to ensure the classification of goods and services, and be prepared for the opposition process. By understanding the benefits, the process, and the challenges of multiclass trademark registration, businesses can make informed decisions about protecting their brand.
It is important to note that the process of multiclass trademark registration can be a little complicated as compared to single-class registration. Still, it is well worth the effort to protect your brand properly. Registering a multiclass trademark is an essential step in developing and protecting your brand and it will provide the owner with confidence and security, to expand the business in the long run.
Read our Article:What Is The Process Of Trademark Renewal In India?