Multiple Trademark Classes in India
Say you are an emerging star of the business world. You are passionate about your business and are aware that your brand name needs to be protected. Like any diligent person, you approach a trademark agent and ask for the registration of your brand name. The trademark Agent proceeds to tell you that you can register your brand name in multiple trademark classes and that you can file either a separate application for each class or a single application with multiple trademark classes. This is the moment you start thinking why should I file so many applications? A single application with multiple classes sounds good, Right?
Well, we can’t give you a definite answer, but from the applicant perspective, it is better to file a separate application for each class.
Why separate application for each class?
Once you file a single application in multiple trademark classes, there’s no going back. In case you receive an objection from the Trademark office regarding one of the classes, then the registration of all the classes will be halted until that problem is resolved. In case you don’t succeed, then your trademark application will be rejected as a whole. So even if the problem lies with only one class your whole application is at the risk of being rejected. If you are lucky enough, the problem is solved and you are on your way to publication. In case, someone opposes the registration of your mark based on the conflict of one class, once again you are at the risk of your whole application being rejected.
This is the biggest downside of multiple trademark classes.
Another problem with multiple trademark class application is that some countries require that separate trademark applications be filed for separate classes of goods and services. Once again, you will be at risk of your whole application being rejected.
Why multiple trademark class applications?
Well, from a purely administrative point of view, it is simply easier. A single trademark application reduces the time and effort it takes to file several applications. It is easier to keep track of a single application than multiple applications. The only circumstance under which multiple trademark class application would be recommended is if you are 100% sure that your brand name is unique, distinct and capable of being distinguished. Nevertheless, it must be kept in mind that you are at the risk of the application being rejected altogether.
The Government fees with respect to the single application and separate applications remain the same.
Once you have filed an application under multiple trademark classification and if it gets opposed or objected, you can file a divisional application to save the other classes from being rejected. However, there is a separate fee for the divisional application that will have to be paid to the Government. This is why multiple trademark class applications, which seem beneficial in the beginning, may end up as a big mess. A lot of time and money has to be spent to solve even a minor problem. Finally, to avoid risk, you should always engage professional services for filing a trademark application in India.
You may also interested to read on Trademark Registration Fees in India.