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Trademark Objection in India: Reasons for Raised Objections

If you want to register your business or brand’s trademark logo, then you must be aware of the long and taxing journey of the registration process. Even after laboring to prepare and furnish the required documents and file the registration application for the trademark logo, the applicant has yet to deal with the potential trademark objections that the examiner can raise by assessing the applicant’s registration application. After that, the applicant must accordingly prepare for a trademark objection reply in the prescribed trademark objection reply letter format.

Objecting a Trademark in Business

In a country like India, cases of trademark objection are rampant. Every year, thousands of business owners file trademark applications, and over 60 % of them reject by the Authorities. The Registrar raises an objection against them on the grounds of unoriginality, obscenity, and ignorance. This happens because businesses are not aware of the correct procedure to design a trademark. Therefore, you should take absolute care when applying for registration. Because regardless of how much you worked hard drafting the application, the objection to the tm doesn’t take much time. All it takes for the trademark objection process to complete is creating a trademark examination report. The report dictates whether the trademark is allowed or rejected.

Objecting a Trademark

However, trademark objections are not always fair. Therefore, there is a trademark objection reply letter format. A reply to the TM objection must be specifically filed in a customized fashion. Basically, through the reply, you will counter each statement made in the objection with a rebuttal. It has to be reasonable enough to counter the objection. If the reply is accepted, the trademark is published. If not, there is the matter of the hearing. Therefore, the trademark application objection needs a good trademark objections reply, or else all your efforts to register your trademark shall be in vain.

Trademark applications can face objections on more than one ground. So, in this article, we have mentioned some points of objection on which an examiner can object to registering a Trademark.

Also Read: Infringement of Trademark

Types of Trademark refusal

The examiner, assessing the filed application for trademark registration, can raise objections on two different grounds:

  • Absolute grounds of refusal: It refers to the incapability of the trademark to be unique and distinctive. The trademark lacks the ability to be graphically present as a brand logo.
  • Relative grounds of refusal: It refers to the objection raised in case the trademark has connections with earlier trademarks and their related rights.

Here we are mentioning some of the prevalent causes that are seen as a matter of objection against the proposed trademark in the trademark offices.

Deceptive Trademark

  • Suppose the filed trademark creates or is likely to create confusion among people about itself or its use, like the nature, quality, or geographical origin of the goods and services.
  • In that case, the trademark will be termed deceptive.
  • This is one of the most common causes of trademark objection, so deal with it carefully.
  • The applicant can file against the trademark objection in case of deceptive trademarks by filing the reply in Form TM-16.

Lacking Distinctiveness

Suppose a filed trademark bears a close proximity towards an existing trademark, and it is difficult to differentiate between one’s  goods and services from another. In that case, such cases are devoid of any distinctiveness. Thus, the examiner will raise a Trademark Objection under absolute grounds against the applicant for refusal of trademarks.

Existence of a similar Trademark

Suppose a filed trademark is similar to or even same as a registered trademark. In that case, the examiner will accuse the the owner of that trademark of not conducting a proper trademark search before its registration. Hence, the examiner will raise a Trademark Objection.

Vague Specification

Suppose a business wants to register a trademark for its business. But, it has the specification of goods or services to be too vague or encompasses a large variety of goods or services. In that case, the examiner will raise an objection. The objection will state a regulation directing the trademark owner to state the goods and services’ specifications clearly. The owner will then have to provide the exact items for which the trademark registration was happening.

Incorrect Official Address

  • Suppose the trademark applicant has not correctly mentioned the principal place of business. In that case, the examiner can raise an objection against it.
  • The Principal Place of business of the applicant must be brought on record by filing a request on form TM-16.

Incorrect Submission

  • If the trademark application is not in a proper form, the examiner can raise an objection against it.
  • So, to correct the application for trademark certification falling in a class, the required correction must be reflected in the form TM-4.

Also Read: How to obtain WPC Certificate in India

Procedure for filing a Trademark Objection Reply

The complete step-by-step process for filing a reply to the raised objection against an applicant’s to-be-registered trademark is as follows:

  • Carefully examine the filed trademark application against which the examiner has objected.
  • Analyze the trademark objection issued to the applicant.
  • Post-analysis, prepare a draft to reply to the notice of objection.
  • Submit the trademark objection reply to the trademark authorities.
  • Conduct follow-ups with Authority during application assessment.
  • If the Authorities are satiatewith the trademark objection reply, the trademark will publish in the trademark journal for further review.

Note: If the Authority rejects the trademark objection reply, you must again appear in the trademark hearing. The applicant needs to keep engaging with the authorities until the Authority accepts their trademark.

Filing under the Wrong Trademark Class

  • One of the most important things to consider while filing a trademark application is to choose the right trademark class. But, if you have chosen the wrong trademark class, then the authority can reject your application.
  • Therefore, the applicant must verify that the chosen trademark class is correct.
  • Say, if applying for a Trademark for services, then the applicant must choose the service class 35 – 45.
  • For a trademark class for goods, the applicant must choose from trademark classes 1 to 34.

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