Trademark

What Is Trademark Class and Why Is It Important?

calendar19 Feb, 2024
timeReading Time: 5 Minutes
What Is Trademark Class

The trademark classification system is an essential component of the trademark registration procedure set as per the Trademarks Act, of 1999. It is a categorization system that divides goods and services into distinct categories, allowing other businesses to better protect their brand and intellectual property from being infringed.

Types of Trademarks

To choose the right trademark, one has to have in-depth knowledge of the product/ service in which he/ she is dealing. Trademark Classification can be done in four categories –

1. Service Trademarks

This trademark is taken by businesses that provide services to clients. It includes hotels, restaurants, retailers, the healthcare sector, etc., and they are not taken by the goods and products business owners. It helps keep their services distinct and recognisable.

2. Collective Trademark

As the name suggests, this trademark is taken collectively to represent a certain type of service or product. A group of companies take this trademark to keep their business activity different from others.

3. Certification Trademark

This trademark is taken as a sense of guarantee of the product or service. It provides the certification for the goods, which makes the buyer certain about the quality and durability of the product. For example, electrical appliances and their sales need a certification trademark, and food businesses might also need this.

4. Unconditional Trademark

It is chosen by the companies that provide a distinct variety and quality of goods from others. These trademarks give these companies global recognition. It includes –

  • Design Trademark for unique designs as owned by Adidas
  • Sound Trademark for the distinct tone, notes, sound, etc.
  • Colour Trademark for a distinctive set of colours that make the business known to others
  • Smell trademarks are given for deodorants and perfumes, which are completely different from those available on the market.

Trademark Class

Trademark Class is determined based on the product or service that has to be marketed. There are 45 Trademark Classes according to the Trademark Act of 1999, out of which 34 are product classes, and the remaining 11 signify service marks. The applicant of the trademark can apply to one class or multiple classes within the ambit of the scope of that product or service.   

Importance of a Trademark class

A trademark class is of huge importance while registering for a trademark for any product or service. It helps find the right class under which a specific trademark can be registered, and it also helps find if a particular trademark is in line with an already registered trademark. This eases the process of registration and reduces the risk of any legal compliance involved if a trademark is infringing an already registered trademark. Choosing the right trademark class while registering for a trademark is very important.

Advantages of Trademark Classes

The advantages of trademark classes are mentioned below:

  • Simplified Process – The main advantage of the trademark class is that it eases the process of trademark application. It allows individuals to ascertain that the trademark that they are willing to register is not already taken. Through these classes, the applicant just needs to search for the trademark availability in the respective class.
  • Protection – It also protects one’s registered trademark from being taken by other applicants. The class helps others not to register the same or similar trademark under the same class. It helps protect intellectual property rights from being infringed on by another person.
  • Smooth Registration Process–The Trademark class system smoothens the registration process for the Trademark offices. They also find it easy to look into the already registered trademarks so that while granting a new trademark, it does not overlap with the already existing one.
  • Recognition – It protects the trademark globally. It helps while you are planning to expand the business and don’t want your trademark to be infringing others.
  • Timely Enforcement – In a case when a trademark is infringing another, it is easier to get the remedy for the same. It is easier for legal authorities to find the overlapping trademark through the class system and prevent another applicant from infringing the person’s intellectual property rights.

Wrong Selection of Trademark Class

In case the applicant selects the wrong trademark class, the trademark officer has the right to reject the application for the trademark. It would prove good for the applicant that the trademark gets rejected by the officer. After all, if the trademark gets approved, then it may have legal implications for the applicant because it violates the rights of a trademark holder. A trademark search is necessary to avoid these kinds of implications later on after the approval of the trademark is granted.

Conclusion

To summarize, the trademark class system is a vital tool for firms seeking to protect their brand and intellectual property. It simplifies the trademark search process, protects your intellectual property, speeds up the registration procedure, and offers global recognition. Understanding the various trademark classes and how they apply to your goods or services allows you to fully profit from the trademark class system.

Corpbiz can help individuals get the trademark by figuring out the right trademark classification and the class in which they will lie without infringing another’s intellectual property rights. It will smoothen the process and document submission to get the trademark on time.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Trademark?

A trademark can be any term, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of these that distinguishes your products or services from competitors. Consumers use it to distinguish their items from rivals and identify themselves in the marketplace. The term “trademark” refers to both trademarks and service marks.

2. How are 45 classes of trademark divided?

There are 45 Trademark Classes according to the Trademark Act of 1999, out of which 34 are product classes, and the remaining 11 signify service marks.

3. Which class should I choose if I have to register a trademark for jewellery?

For Jewellery products, class 14 has to be chosen.

4. For how long is a trademark issued?

There is no time limit or expiration to maintain the rights of a trademark. However, they are issued for ten years, and after that, the holder has to renew them. The trademark holder can renew them as many times as they want .

5. Can a company or an LLP apply for a Trademark?

Yes, since a company or an LLP is a legal entity, they can apply for a Trademark for business purposes.

6. What are the documents required to apply for a Trademark?

Certain documents are required to apply for a Trademark: –
• Id and address proof (company’s directors in case of a company)
• Incorporation Certificate (in the case of a company)
• Trademark soft copy
• Filled spice form
• Power of attorney

7. Can a Trademark be added to different Classes?

Yes, in case a business is adding new products, then new classes can be added to that trademark only if there are no existing similar Trademarks in those classes.

8. What can I do if I find out that a Trademark is registered in the wrong class?

If you believe that a trademark is registered in the wrong class, then you can object to it legally after consulting with a legal attorney.

9. Can I register a similar Trademark for a different class?

Yes, a similar trademark can be registered in a different trademark, but it has to be looked at so that its registration does not involve confusion with an already registered trademark.

10. Who is responsible for updating the Trademark Classes?

Trademark authorities review trademark classes from time to time, and if they find that there is a need to update the trademark classes or add a new trademark class, then they can add the same.

Read Our Article: Renew a Trademark in India

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