Sunday, July 11, 2010

Trademark Search! Is It Even Important? by Namratha Jain

Today "Brandism" (coined to state the importance of brand name) has increased so much that, it has led to imitation and counterfeiting of goods using same brand names or similar ones to deceive or confuse the customers. Therefore protection of one's propriety in the brand name has become a necessity than a status. A Trademark search needs to be conducted before filing for protection. Trademark search is very important before registering a Trademark as it confirms the presence of any other similar trademark already in existence. This acts as a deterrent for using already existing mark.

Trademark search can be done in two ways:

* One by asking a authorized trademark agent to do the searches and give their opinion and report for the same whether the present trademark name or logo can be used or not,

* Second way is by filling in Form no 54 available from the Trademark Registry office for doing the necessary searches.

In Form no 54, a request for searches is filed before the Registrar to ascertain whether a similar mark exists or not by sending triplicate copies of the trademark to be used. The application has to also specify the class in which the goods or services come under. A direction to the Registrar is to be obtained if the relevant class for goods or services is not known. If a mark comes under multiple classes then for each class a separate Form has to be filled. This can be done paying a prescribed fee of Rs. 500 for every trademark name to be searched.

The form can be submitted at any of the Trademark registry office in India, but it is advisable to submit the form in ones respective zone itself. For e.g. if the applicant is residing in Bangalore and wants to get searches done then Chennai Trademark registry would be appropriate place for submitting than Delhi, Kolkatta, Mumbai or Ahmedabad.


With the recent transformation in Indian IPR system (Thanks to Mr. P.S.Kurian) today a trademark search can be conducted online by paying a fee of Rs 400 through Axis Bank or SBI only, towards the Trademarks Registry office. Once paid a user id and password is given and one can log onto the Trademark website and start the necessary searches. A similar or phonetically similar word or device can be searched in the website. The class under which the word comes has to be mentioned before starting the searches. Hence, it is advisable to know before hand under which class the goods or services fall under as the search time is only for limited period, thereafter one is automatically logged out.

With these searches one can definitely be sure that they are not and will not infringe any other registered Trademark.

Namratha Jain
IP Attorney, of Intepat IP Services. (, A leading IP consulting firm in India.

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