Why? What? When? How? These are some of the most used words in John’s dictionary. He’s pretty curious about the workings behind what happens in his life, and many of those have to do with the inventions and the workings of intellectual property in the world around him.
John knows that trademarks need to be unique and distinctive in order to be approved by the Trademark Office of India. However, what happens when two people want to register the same unique mark? Should someone back down, and how? Confused, he turns to IP Geek to know more.
Hello IP Geek.
Recently, two of my friends almost got into a fight. You see, both of them had the same unique idea for a trademark, one for app development services and the other for perfumery manufacturing. Since we know trademarks are exclusive, they couldn’t decide on who could use it. Any way to solve this?
Hello, John! I have some good news there- you might not need to solve it at all!
You know how patents are classified according to the field of technology? Trademarks are classified according to the type of goods or services. For example, perfume manufacturing is in Class 3, while app development services are in Class 42.
This matters because when the examiner runs a search for conflicting trademarks, they run it in the same class or related classes.
So, as long as your trademark is unique, both of your friends can use the same mark. Unless your mark is legally classified as a “well-known mark” under the Act, unrelated classes will not be considered when looking into conflicting trademarks. And as very few marks meet the rigorous criteria required to be classified as a “well-known ” mark in India, that is unlikely to be an issue.
Oh good- that does help a lot. But now I have another question – are these classes the same all over the world?
Not entirely. However, almost 150 countries and regions, including India, the USA, the EU, and plenty of others, use what is called the NICE classification system for trademarks.
This classification system was first adopted in the 1950s. However, a new edition was published every five years. Since 2013, a new edition has been published each year, which just goes to show how rapidly the pace of life and technology has changed in the world.
I see. Thanks for letting me know about this system, IP Geek! I’m glad both of my friends can use their word- I’ll go and let them know about it right now.
Thank you for reading IP Conversations! We’d love to hear from you. 🙂
- Are you Interested in IP facts?
- Would you like to know more about how IP affects everyday lives?
- Have any questions or topics you’d like us to cover?
Comment below, or share your thoughts at email@example.com