Maximizing Your Trademark Protection: The Key Steps how to trademark search
Updated on : Feb. 17, 2023 - 5 p.m. 17 min read.
A trademark search is a process of searching the existing trademarks on the Trademark Registry database to ensure that the proposed trademark is not similar or identical to any existing trademark. It is a crucial step in the trademark registration process as it helps in identifying the potential risks associated with the proposed trademark.
Why it is essential to do Trademark Search?
To know existing trademarks
By conducting a trademark search an applicant can identify any existing trademarks that may be similar to their proposed trademark which can help them to avoid any potential infringement issues. This is important as it can save time, money and effort that would be wasted in creating, promoting and using a trademark that is already registered.
To know existing registered business ideas similar to
A trademark search can also help an applicant to know the existing registered business ideas similar to their own. This can help them to understand the market and the competition better and to come up with a unique and distinctive trademark that will set them apart from others.
To save your compliance cost:
An applicant can save on compliance costs. This is because, if a proposed trademark is already registered or similar to an existing trademark, then the applicant will have to change their proposed trademark which can be a costly and time-consuming process.
To restrict you from the usage of Vienna expressions (similar logo or marks):
A trademark search can also help to restrict the usage of Vienna expressions which are symbols or signs that are similar to existing trademarks. This can help to avoid any potential issues or conflicts with existing trademarks.
To help you get saved of usage of restricted expressions:
Trademark search also helps to get saved of usage of restricted expressions. It is important to conduct a trademark search to ensure that the proposed trademark is available for use and registration and it does not contain any restricted or prohibited expressions that may be in violation of the trademark law.
Where to do Trademark Search?
A trademark search can be done both online and offline in India.
The Indian Trade Marks Registry (TMR) has an online trademark search database which is updated on a daily basis. This database contains all registered and pending trademarks in India. It can be accessed through the TMR's official website. The search can be conducted based on various criteria such as the trademark name, owner name, class, application number and more.
In addition to the online search, a trademark search can also be conducted offline by visiting the TMR office in person. A physical search of the trademark register can be done by visiting the TMR office and requesting a manual search. This option is useful for those who are not familiar with the online search process or for those who prefer to conduct a thorough search.
Top Tools for Conducting a Trademark Search in India
- 1. Intellectual Property India (IPI) Website: The official platform provided by the Government of India for trademark-related activities is the Intellectual Property India website (www.ipindia.gov.in).
- 2. Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) Website: Although primarily focused on company-related information, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) website (www.mca.gov.in) can also be useful for conducting a trademark search.
Trademark Search Process
The trademark search process involves searching the trademarks registered in the Trademark Registry database which is maintained by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM) in India. The search is conducted on the basis of the trademark class, goods and services and the trademark name. The trademark search can be conducted online or offline, depending on the user's preference.
The trademark search process can be divided into the following steps:
- Identify the class of goods and services: The trademark is classified into different classes based on the goods and services it represents. Therefore, it is important to identify the class that best describes the goods and services associated with the proposed trademark.
- Search the Trademark Registry database: Once the class of goods and services are identified, the next step is to search the Trademark Registry database for similar or identical trademarks. The search can be conducted online or offline depending on the user's preference.
- Analyze the search results: After conducting the search, it is important to analyze the search results to identify any potential issues or risks associated with the proposed trademark. The analysis should include a comparison of the proposed trademark with the existing trademarks to identify any similarities or identical marks.
- Consult with a trademark attorney: If any potential issues or risks are identified during the analysis it is recommended to consult with a trademark attorney to understand the implications and potential legal risks associated with the proposed trademark.
- File the trademark application: After conducting the trademark search and consulting with a trademark attorney the next step is to file the trademark application with the Trademark Registry.
It is important to note that the trademark search process is not a guarantee that the proposed trademark will be registered. The final decision on the trademark registration is made by the Trademark Registry after considering various factors including the similarity or identical marks the class of goods and services and the legal requirements.
A trademark class is a category of goods or services that are grouped together for the purpose of trademark registration. There are 45 classes in total, with 34 classes for goods and 11 classes for services. Each class has a specific list of goods or services that fall within its category.
For example class 25 includes clothing, footwear and headgear while class 35 includes advertising and business management services. When an individual or company applies for trademark registration they must specify which class or classes their goods or services fall under. This allows the trademark office to ensure that there are no conflicting trademarks already registered in the same class and also helps to prevent any future disputes over trademark infringement.