The trademark search finds out whether a proposed trademark is available for use in connection with certain goods and services. To file a trademark Application the goods/services need to be categorized as per their Class or Classes so that the Application seeking protection is filed in the correct class. For this purpose, India follows the Nice Classification of goods and services. A public trademark search is made in the database of the Indian Trade Marks Registry. Similar wordmarks, as well as phonetically similar names in a specific class, can be searched in this Registry.
Why conduct a Trademark Search
· A trademark search provides details of any existing similar trademark.
· Provides details of the trademark which are phonetically like the proposed trademark.
· Provides details of any well-known trademark which are like the proposed trademark.
· A trademark search can give details of a similar logo or device under the Vienna Code Classification.
Trademark Search in India
An online trademark search can be done free of charge at the database of the Trade Marks Registry of India. The trademark search interface is divided into three categories:
1. Wordmark: Filing a wordmark prevents third parties from using the brand name of the original trademark. A wordmark can be searched using the following prefix methods:
· Starts with: Shows all trademarks starting with the keyword.
· Contains: Shows all the trademarks containing the keyword.
· Match with: Shows all trademark matching with the keyword.
2. Vienna Code: The Vienna Code classification is an international standard of figurative elements. It contains a broad category of 29 elements that may form a part of the trademark.
3. Phonetic: The Phonetic search is important as they show how the mark may be perceived by a customer. If phonetically similar marks exist in the same industry, they may cause confusion.
There are 45 Classes of trademark registration in India. Classes 1 to 34 deal with various goods and Classes 35 to 45 deal with services according to the Nice Classification. Only a single Class can be searched at a time in the Trade Marks Registry of India.