The Ultimate Guide to Trademark Search in India
In India, Trademark rights are statutorily protected by the Trademark Act, 1999, which deals with the protection, registration, and prevention of illegal use of trademarks. Furthermore, it deals with the rights of the owner of the trademark, penalties for infringement, remedies for damaged as well as modes of transference of the trademark.
A trademark performs four functions:
- Identifies the good(s)/or service(s) and its origin.
- Guarantees the quality of good(s)/service(s).
- Advertises the goods/service(s).
- Creates an image for the goods/service(s) in the minds of the public.
Importance of Trademark Search
In most cases, trademark search is a crucial first step in trademark registration or brand launch strategy. It allows companies to avoid adopting brands that infringe the trademark rights of third parties.
Trademark Public Search in India
A trademark public search is conducted in the Indian Trademark Registry database. The search ascertains whether a suggested trademark is available or not in connection with related goods or services. Notably, trademarks which have been filed with any of the Indian trademark registries are available during the public search of trademarks.
How to Conduct Trademark Searching in India?
In India, an online trademark search can be performed free of cost using the Indian trademark database.
Three types of trademark search can be performed in the Indian trademark database:
- Word Mark Search – to conduct exact and near exact word search.
- Phonetic Search – to conduct search for phonetically or similar sounding words, and
- Vienna Code Search – to conduct search for similar artistic designs.
Word Mark Search
For performing word mark search you need to enter the keyword of mark name which you want to search on the database. Basically, there are 01-45 classes of trademark, in which 01-35 are goods and 36-45 are services. Therefore, you must enter the class related to the mark which you are planning to register in India. If there are more than one class of your goods & services, then you can enter only one class at a time. You can perform the search by selecting “Starts With“, “Contains” or “Match With” from the drop-down menu.
When you are performing a phonetic search, you can fetch all the similar sounding words which can be related to your mark name. Notably, conducting a phonetic trademark search eliminates the likelihood of confusion by ensuring that the mark is distinct and different from other marks available in the market. This in turn helps customers get only the brand they are seeking. This search can be performed in the same way as the word mark search.
Vienna Code Search
Vienna code search is primarily performed to find the similar device trademark. You enter the six-digit Vienna code corresponding to the “Vienna code” and select the relevant class. After the search is complete, the result table shows all the marks containing the device.
The aforementioned steps are general procedures for trademark search in India. However, it is advisable to seek professional assistance to know the probability of trademark registrability of your brand name or logo. Sagacious IP’s Trademark Search and Monitoring Service offers insights to clients before they file for trademarks. Furthermore, product-driven companies across the spectrum now depend on trademark search prior to launch of their products or services in new markets. Click here to know more about this service.
-Anupama Shukla (Trademark) and the Editorial Team