Grounds for Trademark Objection

By Trademark Bazaar - 17th January 2018

Grounds for Trademark Objection

Trademark can be defined as any unique word, logo, symbol etc that are used to distinguish one product or service from other goods or services. When a trademark application is filed by the applicant the examiner scrutinizes that application. After examining the application appropriately it may be found by the examiner that the trademark application filed is not in line with the trademark act. In such a case the examiner is empowered to raise objections on the application filed and thus the status of the application will be changed to Objected. One of the most crucial aspects of trademark objection is the reasons for objection.  The grounds for objections can be classified into three categories the absolute reasons, relative reasons, and other reasons. The brief description of all the grounds of trademark objection is provided below-

Absolute Grounds

Misleading Trademark-  The trademark applied can be considered as misleading if it is presumed that its use, quality, and character is capable of creating confusion amongst the public at large. The description of such trademarks in created in a vague manner which is likely to create confusion.

Trademark is descriptive- The trademarks which describe the products are not capable of being registered.  The descriptive trademarks mainly describe and identify the characteristics of the goods or services. They are not entitled to trademark protection and all the benefits go along with.

Relative Grounds

Deceitful description of goods and services- On an examination of the application if the examiner finds out that the specification of the goods and services specified in the trademark application is vague then examiner may raise the objection. The trademark application must be filed in the particular class to which the good belong. In case the goods fall into more than one category then separate trademark registration shall be obtained in each class.

The existence of similar trademark- If the examiner finds out that the similar trademark already exists then he may raise an objection on the trademark application filed. This is because registering the identical trademark may create confusion among the public at large. However where the new trademark application is to register for the different class to the earlier mark then it would not be considered as an identical trademark.

Other Grounds

Improper Trademark form- It is very crucial to file the trademark application in the appropriate form. If the application would not be filed in proper form then an objection will be raised by the examiner.   

Inappropriate details in the trademark form- In case the details like applicant name, address or any other information in the trademark application is incorrect then examiner may raise an objection.

Fails to attach FORM TM-48- When a trademark application is filed by the trademark agent or the attorney on the behalf of the applicant then it is mandatory to fill and attach TM-48 with the application.

Prohibited under Emblems and Names Act – The trademark applied is prohibited under Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.

Hurt Religious sentiments of people- An objection is raised on the trademark application filed if it is believed by the examiner that the trademark registration will hurt the religious sentiments of any section of the society.

Absence of uniqueness- A trademark can only be registered only if it holds any unique character. Thus the trademark application may be objected by the examiner if it has no potential to have the distinct character to differentiate among the goods or services in the market. 

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