Trademark Class | What is it all about?

Trademark means a mark or a symbol which is used in trade or business which distinguishes the goods or services of one person (manufacturer /trader or service provider) from those of others. Manufacturers, traders and or service providers adopt various marks which helps their respective customers to identify the source of the mark (from which manufacturer or trader or service provider the goods or services, the goods are, or services are being provided). A trademark class was adopted by the Indian Trademarks Registry where the different goods and services are being classified in order to identify a particular product or service.
The International Class of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks was established by an Agreement concluded at the Nice Diplomatic Conference, on June 15, 1957.
The Nice Agreement concerning the International Class of goods and services for the purposes of the registration of marks is an international agreement under the aegis of the World Intellectual Property Organisation. Its purpose, as the name suggests, is to provide an internationally recognized class system of goods and services in respect of which trademarks may be registered. India is a member of the Nice Union of countries and the Indian Trade Marks Registry applies this class system.
Under the Nice Classification of goods and services are categorized in classes, each of which relate to a particular field or fields of commercial activity, for example, food and drink, pharmaceuticals, financial services, etc. The classification consists of 34 classes of goods (classes 1 – 34 inclusive) and 11 classes of services (35 – 45 inclusive).
When a trademark is registered, it may be registered in respect of a particular product or service within a class or for several of the goods or services within a class or, indeed, for goods and services in several different classes depending completely on the nature of business. The registration of a mark in respect of specific products or services serves to define the extent of the protection afforded by that registration.
Therefore, before filing a trademark application, it is necessary to identify the classes in which you wish to seek protection for your trademark.

 FinTech is a new industry that uses technology to improve activities in finance and according to the nature of the business can be classified under
Class 36 Insurance; financial affairs; monetary affairs; real estate affairs and
Class 42 Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software.
 B2B e-commerce (also written as e-Commerce, eCommerce or similar variants),
short for business-to-business, electronic commerce, is selling products or services between businesses through the internet via an online sales portal. In general, it is used to improve efficiency for companies. Instead of processing orders manually – by telephone or e-mail – with e-commerce orders can be processed digitally.
Class 35 Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions.

Class 42 Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software.
 Finance Company
Class 36 Insurance; financial affairs; monetary affairs; real estate affairs

 Bakery
Class 30 bakery items including biscuits / cookies; bread; buns; burritos; cakes;
Class 43 Services for providing food and drink;

 E-commerce Lifestyle Company
Class 24 Textiles and substitutes for textiles; household linen; curtains of textile or plastic.
Class 25 Clothing, footwear, headgear.
Class 35 Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions.
Class 38 Providing Telecommunication Channels for Teleshopping Services Including Online Shopping Services
Class 45 clothing rental, evening dress rental, kimono dressing assistance,
personal wardrobe styling consultancy

 Online Business to trade in retail precious stones, jewellery, digital gold
Class 14 Precious metals and their alloys; jewellery, precious and semi-precious stones; horological and chronometric instruments.
Class 16 Printed matter in connection with the scheme for deposit of money against the purchase of gold for a specific period.
Class 40 gold plating, nickel plating
Class 42 Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software.

 CleanTech
Class 9 Scientific And Technological Services And Research And Design Relating Thereto; Design And Development Of Computer Hardware And Software, Nautical, Surveying,Electric, Photographic, Cinematographic, Optical, Weighing, Measuring, Signalling,Checking (Supervision), Life Saving And Teaching Apparatus And Instruments; Apparatus For Recording, Transmission Or Reproduction Of Sound Or Images; Magnetic Data Carriers,Recording Discs; Automatic Vending Machines And Mechanisms For Coin-Operated Apparatus; Cash Registers, Calculating Machines, Data Processing Equipment And Computers; Fire Extinguishing Apparatus.

Class 35 Business Management Services, Consultancy Services in Wind Resources And Marketing Studies, Power Trading, Trade In Certified Emission Reductions/ Energy Efficiency Etc.
Class 37 Installation of Power Projects, Transmission Lines and Repair Services; Services Relating to Installation & Maintenance of Power Projects, Transmission Lines and Repair Services of Roof-Top Solar Solutions for Industrial, Commercial and Residential Consumers.
Class 39 Service Relating to Energy Distribution, Developing and Distributing Energy Generated by Way of Source of Energy Generation.
Class 42 Scientific and Technological Services and Research and Design Relating Thereto; Design and Development of Computer Hardware And Software For Energy Generation And Transmission, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy, Hydel Energy, Solar Energy, Geothermal Energy, Gas Based Projects, Energy Efficiency, Power Projects, Power Plants And Services Relating To Energy.
 Packaging Industry
Class 06 packaging containers of metals; metallic foils for packaging
Class 07 Packaging machines
Class 16 plastic materials for packaging, plastic sheets, sacks and bags for wrapping and packaging; non-absorbent sheets of plastic for foodstuff packaging, plastic film for wrapping and drying; gift packaging; bubble packs for packaging
Class 17 Polyester Film, Metalized Film, Solar Films, Stamping Foil, Plastic Packaging Materials Including Plastic Hand Bags, Plastic Liners and Plastic New Packaging Materials.; plastics in extruded form for use in manufacture, packing, stopping, stopping and insulating materials, flexible pipes, waterproof packing, plastic sheeting for agricultural purposes; rubber packaging
Class 18 Envelopes, of leather, for packaging; pouches of leather for packaging
Class 20 containers of plastic; packaging containers of plastic
Class 21 Industrial packaging containers of glass, Industrial packaging containers of porcelain
Class 22 Woven Polymer Products Viz, Sacks & Bags, Bulk Bags Jumbo Bags, Fibc Bags, Container Liner, Leno Bags, Bopp Bags
Class 23 Polyester Filament Yarn (Pfy)
Class 39 Transport; packaging and storage of goods; travel arrangement.
 Logistics
Class 39 Transportation logistics
Class 41 Training services relating to logistics
Class 42 Design and development of computer software for logistics; Development of computer software for logistics, supply chain management and e-business portals

 Educational Technology
Class 09 Computer Operating Programs Recorded, Computer Peripheral Devices,Computer Programmers Recorded, Computer Programs downloadable Software], Computer Software [Recorded], Computer Software Product.
Class 16 Books and Periodicals, Magazine, Printed Matters, Printed Publications, Printed Time Tables, Brochure Newspaper Periodicals and Stationery
Class 35 Advertising, Dissemination of Advertising Matter, Outdoor Advertising
Class 41 Educational training
Class 42 Scientific and Technological Services and Research and Design Relating Thereto, Industrial Analysis and Research Services, Design And Development Of Computer Hardware And Software; Computer Programming, Computer Software Consultancy,Computer Software Design
 Manufacturing, designing and selling clothes on online portals
Class 23 Yarns and threads, for textile use
Class 24 Textiles and substitutes for textiles; household linen; curtains of textile or plastic.
Class 25 Clothing, footwear, headgear

Class40 cloth edging,cloth cutting,cloth waterproofing / fabric waterproofing,cloth fireproofing / fabric fireproofing/ textile fireproofing, cloth dyeing, cloth pre-shrinking,clothing alteration, colour separation services, crease-resistant treatment for clothing ,custom fashioning of fur, custom tailoring, custom assembling of materials for others,dressmaking, dyeing services, fabric bleaching, fulling of cloth, fur conditioning,fur moth proofing, fur glossing, fur staining, fur dyeing, leather staining, leather working,permanent-press treatment of fabrics, quilting, sawing of materials, shoe staining,textile dyeing, textile treating / cloth treating, textile mothproofing, wool treating

Class 45 clothing rental, evening dress rental, kimono dressing assistance,
personal wardrobe styling consultancy

PS: Please note the above-mentioned classes is only a reference. Each company will have a different classes solely depending upon the nature of business of that individual company.
For detail list of class of goods and services, you can also check the NICE classes website

Difference between logo mark and word mark

Indian trademark law saw its origin way back in the 1940s with the advent of the Trade and Merchandise Act, 1958, subsequently increasing the need for protecting the trademarks. This upsurge can be attributed to the rise in growth of trade and commerce in the country over the years. Ever since then, the trademark law in India has been amended quite a few times to adapt with the standard of the growth of trade and commerce. Intellectual Property is an intangible property, yet one of the most important assets of a business and hence, businesses looking at the Indian market are the most in need of a trademark protection to safeguard their intellectual property rights.
However, one of the primary questions that arise when a business or a startup decides to protect their brand or trademark is – whether a business should protect its trademark as a word or a logo?

Trademarks in India can be registered in different forms namely word mark, label, logo and device mark and deciding whether to register the mark as a word mark or as a logo as a trademark is the toughest decisions to make for one before applying for registration of a trademark. Although, there isn’t a definite answer for the question, there are many factors which lead to deciding whether a business should register the brand name or trademark, as a logo or a word mark or a combination of both which is termed as a composite mark.

Trademark application as a word mark:

A word mark registers the word a person would want to use and renders stronger and wider protection to that person’s business. Once registration is granted for a word trademark, the applicant has the right to use and represent the word in any format or font which grants it extensive protection including exclusive rights to the word as a whole and also allows the applicant to depict it in various formats regardless of its style for all the goods and services in respect of the mark. In other words, by filing a word mark, one would prevent third parties from using one’s brand name in any regard.

Trademark application as a logo:

A logo or a composite mark on the other hand gives a person the rights in the combination of images, design and words taken together. Therefore, the protection given to the words encompassed in the logo are limited in comparison with the standard word marks since the rights in a logo are entitled only to the logo as a whole. If one wishes to register a particular stylized appearance or a combination of stylized wording, orientation, shape, colour and design, filing a trademark as a logo would be appropriate. In other words, by filing a logo, one would prevent third parties from using the said logo or any other logo deceptively similar, rather than the words incorporated in the logo.
Quite often, the brand name of businesses constitutes both of words and logos rather than just a logo. The safest way to protect the intellectual property in such instances would be to file the trade mark as both as a word mark and as a logo. However, since filing multiple trade mark applications would be an expensive affair, the next safest pick for businesses who are looking at cost efficiency would be to register the trade mark as a word mark.
An ideal example for such a scenario would be that of the well-known brand PEPSI. Since 1962 till date, PEPSI has changed its logo a significant number of times. Had it registered its initial trade mark application as a logo in 1962 and ceased usage of the same each time a new logo was created, then it would have to file a new trademark application for every such new logo created. The initial
trademark application would not protect any of the subsequently created logos. However, since PEPSI registered their trade mark as a word mark, they were able to do away with such redundant hassles. Ideally, separate trademark applications for word as well as logo should be filed to attain the broadest
protection for any business. While big companies might have the budget to justify such multiple applications, this may not seem economical for startup businesses. Hence, it is advisable to file the trademark as a word mark, giving one the next broadest protection against unwarranted infringers.
But again, if a business will apply for word mark registration or logo registration will completely depend on the business strategy since if a logo mark is distinctive enough then the business can go
ahead with the logo registration only. The crux of the story is mainly your client should be able to recognize you as in recognize your brand among all the other competitive brands. Your brand should stand out in the pool of thousands of other brands or competitors. Your brand should be unique or distinctive, whether as a word or a logo or a combination of both.

Your Brand | Your Strongest Asset

Your brand is the image that differentiates you from your competitors. It identifies your product, your service, your company! It may be represented by a sign, a symbol, a design, a word, a colour, or a combination thereof. It conveys a sense of quality, credibility, customer satisfaction. It plays a crucial role in your marketing strategy and is at the core of your business competitiveness. It generates customer loyalty and has a value. It may become your strongest asset

1.1      Branding Strategies And Business Success

Branding aims at building a distinctive and attractive presence in the market that helps gain and retain loyal customers. Effective branding involves creating an image in the consumers’ minds about the quality of a product or a service, mainly through advertising campaigns centred on the brand. It also requires ensuring the legal protection of the brand against competitors in the relevant markets. Branding strategies are at the core of sustained market competitiveness and business success.

1.2      Brand Creation, Management And Commercialization

Creating a brand implies choosing the signs that will distinguish your products or services from those of your competitors and getting them legally protected. The legal expression of your brand is a trademark. A trademark confers on you the exclusive right to prevent third parties from using the signs that distinguish your brand in the course of trade for identical or similar goods or services. You can register your trademark in India by filing an application at the Trademarks Registry (TMR) within the Office of the Controller General for Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM). The registration of your trademark in India will be valid for a period of 10 years from the date of the trademark registration and can be renewed time and again for similar duration of 10 years. Managing your brand implies regularly renewing your trademarks and enforcing your rights against infringers and counterfeiters. The assignment and licensing of trademark rights may play a significant role in brand commercialization through partnership, merger and franchising initiatives.

1.3      Choosing Your Trademark – Best Practices

Creating a brand implies choosing the sign (trademark) that will distinguish your products or services form those of your competitors. In principle, any sign capable of distinguishing your goods or services from those of other undertakings in the market can constitute a trademark. Thus, your trademark may be constituted by a sign, a symbol, a design, a word, a colour, or a combination thereof. However, when choosing your trademark, there are certain requirements or limitations that you need to consider.

The trademark must be distinctive. In other words, it should consist of a sign or a symbol that serves to identify your products or services and distinguishes them from those of other companies/startups. For example, the symbol of Mercedes Benz or a BMW will distinguish the quality of the cars from any other cars in the automobile industry.

  • The trademark should not be descriptive of the specific goods or services that you wish to commercialize. Generic terms used to identify those goods or services, or terms that describe their characteristics, would not be accepted. For example, ALANKAR cannot be an ideal trademark for jewellery since directly or indirectly it is describing the source of the goods or service.
  • The trademark should be capable of being represented. Most trademark offices require graphical representation, even though some also accept other means of representation for special types of marks (e.g., MP3 audio recordings for sound marks). The Indian Trademarks Registry requires that your trademark be graphically represented.
  • The trademark should not be functional, which means that the sign that constitutes your trademark should not consist exclusively of a characteristic that results from the nature of the goods themselves or that is necessary to obtain a technical result. This is especially relevant in the case of three-dimensional marks. For example, A1 or Best.
  • The trademark should not be deceptive. A sign conveying a false origin or false characteristics of a product would be refused for protection on grounds of being deceptive.
  • Most countries would refuse protection as a trademark for signs that are contrary to public order or morality.
  • State flags, State emblems and names and emblems of intergovernmental organizations are excluded from protection as trade marks in most countries around the world.

1.4      Conclusion

Finally, most importantly, you must make sure that the sign you wish to use as your trademark is still available in the market and is not the same as or similar to a well-known mark or a trademark already registered by someone else for the same goods or services. Therefore, it is very important that you make an exhaustive search for the availability of your trademark in those markets where you would like to get it protected.

Also Read – Applying for a Trademark? Here is how you can get a proprietor code.

If one is incorporated as a private limited company does he need to get a trade license from the municipality?

Trade license is permission granted in form of a certificate by State government to carry on any business/trade for which it is issued. Trade license is regulated to ensure that the citizen is not adversely affected by Health Hazard & Nuisance by the improper carrying of a trade.

The trade license is a means to ensure that the manner and locality in which the business is being carried on is according to the relevant rules, standards and safety guidelines. It is issued by the municipal corporation of the place where business is located. A trade license is a permission to carry on a specific trade or business at the premises for which it has been issued. Any unauthorized running of trade is an offense which may result in a substantial penalty and subsequent prosecution.

The business owners must apply for trade license is required in particular area without any delay. An application must be made before the commencement of the activity. However, some state governments allow up to 3 months’ time to seek a trade license. License once issued requires periodical renewal on annual basis. Application for renewal must be filed at least 30 days before expiry of license.

As per shops and establishment act, it is mandatory for three kinds of business:

1. All the eating establishments like hotels, restaurants, canteen, food stall, bakeries, the sale of vegetables, meat, provisions store, etc.

2. Trades which use motives like manufacturing industries, factories, power looms, flour mills, cyber cafe, etc.

3. Offensive and dangerous trades like a barber shop, dhobi shop, timber wood, sale of firewood, candle manufacturer, cracker manufacturer, etc.

Documents required for obtaining trade license:

1. Pan card of the establishment in case of company, LLP or Firm;

2. Canceled Cheque and bank statement of the establishment;

3. Certificate of Incorporation, MOA, and AOA of the company or LLP/ Partnership Agreement as the case may be;

4. Premises proof of the establishment in the form of Sale Deed, Electricity Bill/water bill and NOC from the owner;

5. Colour photograph, Pan card and ID Proof and Address Proof of all Directors/ Partners;

6. Photograph of the establishment with the display of goods traded from the premises; and

7. Site/Key plan showing the area under the occupation of the applicant earmarking the neighborhood of the site.