Trademark is another way of referring to brands of company or firm or any product or services. Although we do not realize it, we deal with Trademarks on a daily basis. Customers’ buying decisions are guided by trademarks and the reputation associated with such brands.
Therefore it is very important to understand the need of a trademark before entering any business. Trademark acts as a communicating tool which makes it easy for the buyers to find the seller. Trademark is an asset which never expires which is an added advantage. Therefore a preliminary trademark search is advisable prior to trademark filing.
The trademark search helps us to determine three important things which is a vital step before filing and it is mentioned below:
Determining the existence of objectionable marks which are already on the trademarks register: Marks identical or confusingly similar to the proposed mark, and marks phonetically similar or same with respect to the proposed mark.
Preliminary Search of Trademark may eliminate the chances of following objections or any actions against the mark in future: Objection from the trademark registry, suit for infringement, and Opposition proceedings. The prior search of trademark will also determine the strength of the mark to be filed, and in case the mark is weak then opportunity is available to change the mark, if substantial branding efforts are not made already with respect to the mark.
Trademark searches for India as well as outside India is done for word mark, numerals, labels and device mark. The search involves a lot of skill and expertise so it requires a skilled and experienced Attorney to conduct the search. As business has a dependency on brand name or trademark so it’s an essential step before attaching a trademark to the business or company or any entity which aims to trade.
The Trademark Search is of three types:
This type of search determines whether a mark is similar or deceptively similar or phonetically similar to a prior mark. There are Classes 1-45 which have been classified according to the international classification of good and services and the word mark search is conducted with regards to targeted goods/services.
This search is done in accordance to the NCL, or the Nice Classification which was established in 1957 by the Nice Agreement which applies the international classification for registration of these marks.
Device Mark Search:
Device mark include numeral, letter which is designed, plants, celestial bodies, logos, pictures, combination of word and logo, slogans, colors, sounds and even product shapes.
A device mark is searched with the help of International Classification of Figurative Elements of Mark according to Vienna Codification of marks. When the trademark application comprises of a device mark or logo a Vienna Code is assigned by the trade mark office. The Vienna Code is basically assigned according to the nature of the particular figurative element/logo in question.
These are codified according to the Vienna agreement, further details of which can be found in the link given below: http://www.wipo.int/classifications/nivilo/vienna/index.htm
This search is done to identify same or similar sounding marks with respect to a targeted mark and for targeted class of goods/services, and sometimes even more specific to the targeted description of goods/services.