Section 7, Trademark Act, 1999 reads as follows:
“Classification of goods and services.—(1) The Registrar shall classify goods and services, as far as may be, in accordance with the International classification of goods and services for the purposes of registration of trade marks.
(2) Any question arising as to the class within which any goods or services falls shall be determined by the Registrar whose decision shall be final.”
Classification is important because it provides a guideline for registering trademarks and it can help in identifying potential trademark infringers. Classification is made on the basis of categorisation of goods/ services. A mark registered in one class will only protect it in that specific class and not others.
The Trademark office won’t register a trademark that is confusingly similar to a mark that has already been registered. To be confusingly similar, the marks must be similar. They must also apply to related goods or services, so that a consumer might be confused about the source. “Dove” ice cream bars and “Dove” soap can both be registered trademarks because the products are so unrelated that it’s unlikely anyone would think they came from the same source.
The trademark classification system divides all goods and services into 45 trademark classes - 34 for goods and 11 for services. There are many goods or services that fall into each class, but not necessarily on the basis of the name of the class, i.e Class 29 (meat, fish, poultry) includes meat, fish but also includes jam and potato chips.
Goods and services are not clubbed in any of the classes. So if one sell bags of coffee to grocery stores, he is selling a product that’s in class 30. But if one operates a café, he is providing a service that belongs in class 43 (food services). That is to say if one is engaged in the business of selling coffee bags to grocery and also has a café, he would need to register his mark in more than one class.
Brands and Fakes has aligned the capabilities of the service delivery eco system with the industry verticals, so that the Brands under various industry verticals and sub verticals are able to get services from expertise in their specific domains.