Trademark is segregated within 45 variant classes according to NICE classification for a trademark, it is also recognized as International Certification of Goods and Services. Every class includes a distinct set of goods and services. Trademarks are a part of Government of India’s legislation to protect businesses from being wrongly exploited by unethical competitors and counterfeiting crooks. The Trademarks Act was passed in 1999 and implemented on a full scale in 2003.
Did you Know? A registered Trademark protects the owner from illegal use of the owner’s trademark by competitors and others.
What is a Trademark?
Indian Trademarks Act defines a trademark as “trademark is defined under Section 2 (1) (ZB) of the Act as “a mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include the shape of goods, their packaging and combination of colours.
Any product or service that can display its unique identity can be registered as a trademark. If the authenticity of the ownership of the goods and services is registered as established, the process is simple. The product or service registered can be a logo, a specific design, an image, a word or phrase, a tagline or slogan or a combination of these.
Advantages of Trademark Registration
Trademarks are extremely important and valuable to a business. There are several advantages.
- It offers immense protection against any violation of the owner’s rights.
- It protects against counterfeiting and privacy.
- It increases the credibility of the product or service among customers.
- It represents an assurance of quality and reliability as perceived by most buyers.
- It is an inexpensive legal mechanism to protect the identity of a business.
- It enhances the brand image in the market.
- It can convert a generic product into a branded product. Examples are basmati rice (Daawat, India Gate etc.), sugar (Tata, Parry, Madhur etc.), salt (Tata, Aashirwad, Catch etc.), Drinking water (Bisleri, Kinley, Aquafine etc.,) – the list is endless.
Section 7 of the Trademarks Act, 1999, states, “The Registrar shall classify goods and services, as far as may be, following the International classification of goods and services for registration of trademarks.”
A set of rules and guidelines were issued as per the Act - “THE FOURTH SCHEDULE TO TRADE MARKS RULES, 2002”.
Broadly, all goods and services covered under trademark registration fall into any of four following categories – (1) Generic, (2) Descriptive, (3) Suggestive and (4) Arbitrary.
These products and services are separated into what is defined as Classes. Goods are listed as Class 1 to 34, and Services are from 35 to 45.
One such Class is 41. Class 41 lists services which pertain to Education and Entertainment. All Class nomenclatures are taken from WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland) as per the NICE Agreement.
Class 41 also falls under the category of Services.
Trademark Class 41
Trademark Class 41 has a long list pertaining, in general, to education and entertainment services.
The following are the broad details of services under Class 41:
- They pertain to education, provision of training, entertainment activities, sports and cultural activities.
- They also include any service relating to all forms of education, including professional training.
- Educative conferences, seminars, fairs and competitions are also included in Class 41.
- They also cover all kinds of training for animals.
- Entertainment services, amusement or recreation services are part of Class 41.
- Creative works of art, painting and literary work made available to the public come under Class 41.
- Other services covered are fitness, Libraries, Translation and Interpretation and even Gaming.
The comprehensive list of Class 41 services are shown below:
- academies [education]
- amusement parks
- providing amusement arcade services
- animal training
- rental of audio equipment
- arranging of beauty contests
- boarding schools
- booking of seats for shows
- calligraphy services
- providing casino facilities [gambling]
- rental of cine-films / rental of motion pictures
- cinema presentations/movie theatre presentations
- club services [entertainment or education]
- coaching [training]
- arranging and conducting of colloquiums
- arranging and conducting of concerts
- arranging and conducting of conferences
- arranging and conducting of congresses
- correspondence courses
- disc jockey services
- discotheque services
- education information
- educational examination
- electronic desktop publishing
- entertainer services
- entertainment / amusements
- entertainment information
- film production, other than advertising films
- conducting fitness classes
- game services provided on-line from a computer network
- games equipment rental
- providing golf facilities
- gymnastic instruction
- health club services [health and fitness training]
- holiday camp services [entertainment]
- providing karaoke services
- language interpreter services
- layout services, other than for advertising purposes
- lending libraries
- rental of lighting apparatus for theatrical sets or television studios
- providing on-line electronic publications, not downloadable
- providing on-line music, not downloadable
- providing on-line videos, not downloadable
- mobile library services / bookmobile services
- modelling for artists
- rental of movie projectors and accessories
- movie studios
- providing museum facilities [presentation, exhibitions]
- music composition services
- production of music
- news reporters services
- night clubs
- nursery schools
- operating lotteries
- orchestra services
- organization of competitions [education or entertainment]
- organization of exhibitions for cultural or educational purposes
- organization of sports competitions
- organization of balls
- organization of shows [impresario services]
- organization of fashion shows for entertainment purposes
- party planning [entertainment]
- personal trainer services [fitness training]
- photographic reporting
- physical education
- practical training [demonstration]
- presentation of live performances
- publication of texts, other than publicity texts
- publication of books
- publication of electronic books and journals on-line
- radio entertainment
- rental of radio and television sets
- production of radio and television programmes
- recording studio services
- providing recreation facilities
- recreation information
- religious education
- services of schools [education]
- scriptwriting services
- arranging and conducting of seminars
- rental of show scenery
- production of shows
- sign language interpretation
- rental of skin diving equipment
- rental of sound recordings
- sport camp services
- providing sports facilities
- rental of sports equipment, except vehicles
- rental of sports grounds
- rental of stadium facilities
- rental of stage scenery
- arranging and conducting of symposiums
- teaching / educational services / instruction services
- television entertainment
- rental of tennis courts
- theatre productions
- ticket agency services [entertainment]
- timing of sports events
- toy rental
- rental of video cassette recorders
- rental of video cameras / rental of camcorders
- videotape editing
- rental of videotapes
- vocational guidance [education or training advice]
- vocational retraining
- arranging and conducting of workshops [training]
- writing of texts, other than publicity texts
- zoological garden services
Sections 101 to 109 of the Trademarks Act, 1999, provide for legal remedies in cases of violation or infringement of Trademarks owned by a businessman. They protect Trademark registrants from unscrupulous competitors or others. The most important clauses are Sections 101, 102 and 103.
Important Sections of the Act
- Section 101 sets the purposes for registering a Trademark.
- Section 102 sets conditions which are treated as infringement of a Trademark.
- Section 103 quantifies the punishment for offenses committed. Punishments could be either imprisonment from six months to two years or a penalty ranging from ₹50,000 to ₹2 lakhs or both.
- Sections 104 to 109 are extensions which deal with certain specific violations.
Validity of a Registered Trademark
Trademarks are valid for ten years from the date of issue. Renewal of a further period of ten years is also possible.
International Protection of Trademarks
Many organizations offer their goods and services across the globe. They have customers and clients in several countries. In such cases, protecting their goods or services through Trademarks in India alone will not be sufficient. Similarly, many companies in other countries may also have customers in India. It is thus very essential that a system is set where all owners of respective trademarks are fully protected wherever they operate. Since international commerce is several centuries old, devising a solution through cooperation was possible.
Through several legislations and common agreements, enduring solutions have been created. The Madrid Protocol, Paris Convention, TRIPS Agreement and the European Union Trade Marks (EUTM) are some of them. The Madrid Protocol has 94 plus countries as its members. WIPO takes the responsibility of administering international applications and covers all 45 Classes of goods and services.
Steps Involved in International Registration of Trademarks
Though a massive activity and responsibility, international registration of Trademarks have been made quite simple. It involves the following steps:
Step 1: Registration of Trademark in India
Step 2: Examination and Approval by WIPO, Geneva
Step 3: Examination and Approval of Each country covered in the application.
The above process usually takes from 12 to 18 months for final approval. If an application is declined for any reason, WIPO will move out of the scene, and the applicant will have to deal with the approving country directly.
The importance of registering a trademark cannot be overemphasized. Trademark Class 41 is particularly vital as it is not difficult for competitors to make small variations and offer their services as unique. With proper registration, the holder of the trademark is equipped with the legal strength to fight persons with such malafide intentions and protect the interests of their businesses.
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