Brand Names denied Trademark Registration in India

Deciding a brand name can be a very tiring task especially when there are so many brand names already registered and being used in India and abroad. As per the Trademarks act there are a few clauses which do not make it possible for some words to be registered as Trademarks and get exclusive rights claimed upon. We shall discuss these clauses further to help one and all deciding on their brand names.

  • Describing the Class: A Trademark cannot be registered if it is a description of its own class. There are 45 classes covered under the trademarks act and each class describes a particular range of goods or services. For example, Apple as a brand name can be registered under the class of electronic goods i.e. Class 9 but cannot be registered under the class covering fresh fruits i.e. Class 31. This does not mean that you cannot use the brand name describing your class but only means that you cannot claim exclusive rights upon that brand name.
  • Names of Cities or Geographical places: Claiming exclusive rights on the use of the name of a particular geographical area cannot be accepted. Use of famous cities with products is allowed to one and all and cannot be restricted to the use of a single person or entity.
  • Describing the Quality: Laudatory words or words which describe the quality or kind such as “Good” or “Best” cannot be registered under the Trademarks Act under any class since all traders should be equally free to use them in advertising their products. Similarly words such as HITECH would not be acceptable for use in goods or services related to technical items such as computers but can be accepted for goods like food products.
  • Describing the Quantity: Words or numbers which suggest the quantity of goods cannot be given exclusive rights. Numerical such as 12 cannot be accepted for a product such as Wine as a case of wind contains 12 bottles, similarly 1000 would not be accepted for Milk as 1000ML is 1 Litre and is used as a standard packaging description for the product.
  • Describing the Purpose of Use of the Product: Words which refer to the use of the goods or describe the benefits of the products cannot be accepted for Trademark Registrations. Words such as Weather Coat for product which coats against weather effects cannot be accepted, similarly words such as ‘At your Doorstep’ for services of providing door-to-door deliveries cannot be accepted under trademark applications.

Even though the clauses do not stop anyone from using words stated above as their brand names, but they only act as a prevention from claiming exclusive rights over the use of such words and names. It is hence suggested to think of a uniquely positive brand name in order to secure ones identity in the market.

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