How can a Company Respond to a Trademark Objection?
Companies register a logo or trademark that contains the set of words, design or symbol for differentiating its product or service from that of their competitors. The registered logo is known as a trademark which helps the customer to identify the brand or quality of a particular brand. For instance, the trademark of McDonald’s helps the customer to distinguish its burgers from that of Burger’s King.
In India, Trademarks are recognized under Intellectual Property Rights and are protected against infringement under The Trademark Act 1999. The act governs and regulates trademark registration, trademark objection reply, protection and punishment in case of violation of any provision. Trademark protection is provided to both the company and consumers. A protected trademark ensures the logo is protected against its misuse or infringement. In this blog, we will learn about trademark objection and trademark objection reply in brief.
Let’s understand about the trademark registration process in brief:
- Search and inspect for the logo to make sure selected logo is not already registered or listed in Trademark Registry of India
- Apply online through the official website of intellectual property right online through licensed attorney authorized to file a trademark
- Once the application is filed, the application is thoroughly examined by the examiner. Examiner after thorough verification may approve the trademark or can put an objection
- Trademark is published so that anyone who opposes the trademark has the opportunity to object the same
- In case there is no opposition, the trademark is processed further for registration.
- However in case of trademark objection is received, the applicant shall make trademark objection reply through filing trademark objection reply letter
- Once all the opposition, objection and query raised are resolved, the trademark registration certificate is issued with registered logo and class under which trademark is registered being mentioned on it
Process of Trademark Objection
Trademark objection is one of the first stages in trademark registration steps. Under the trademark objection process, the examiner opposes and objects the application based upon certain grounds. The trademark objection process is not considered as direct denial however through the trademark objection process, registrar seeks valid reason or explanation.
Trademark Objection Reply means when the applicant files the Trademark Objection Reply Letter to the authority stating the reason that explains why his trademark shall not be rejected and it fulfilled the criteria to avail registration. Reasons for Trademark Objection can be amongst the following:
- Incorrect details in Trademark Form: In case application consists of any wrong information relating to applicant name, principal place of business, trademark class, etc.
- Incorrect form filed for Trademark: Examiner can object if the form filed for a trademark is incorrect. For instance, if the Trademark application filed through attorney or agent, Form TM-48 shall be filed for the same.
- Similar or identical mark: Logo or trademark that is too identical or deceptive to an already registered trademark.
- Lack of distinctiveness: In case a mark or logo causes a dilemma and doesn’t help the customer in the identification of goods and services will not be protected.
- False description of goods and services: Filing a trademark application with incorrect information relating to product or service.
- Offensive words: In case the trademark or logo consists of any offensive word or image, the same shall face refusal.
Filing of Trademark Objection Reply Letter
In case the trademark is objected, its status in the Indian Trademark Registry is marked as “objected”. Thereafter following steps are followed to reply the objected trademark:
- Analyze the trademark objection thoroughly before filing trademark objection reply
- Draft the Trademark objection reply in properly signed and attested letter.
- In the next stage, file Trademark Objection Reply Letter that shall include the following clauses:
- The proper answer to query or objection raised shall be framed
- The reply shall be made with supporting rule of law and judgments made in relevant case laws
- The affidavit supporting the usage of the trademark on the applicant’s website and social media channels.
- In case the reply is accepted by authority, the application is further processed for registration; however in case if it is not accepted or examiner sought for additional clarification, trademark hearing for the same will be scheduled.
- Appear to the hearing with the following set of documents such as:
- Authorization letter
- Examination report of the examiner
- Notice of Trademark hearing
- Other relevant supporting documents
- The further process depends upon the hearing concluded. In case of hearing outcome is positive, a trademark is accepted and the same shall be ordered for publication in Trademark Journal. And in case of a negative outcome, the authority shall pass refusal orders.
- After the trademark is published in Trademark Journal, the same remains opened for 4-5 months for any opposition.
- Upon no opposition received, the authority will grant a registration certificate.
Advantages of prompt response to Trademark Objection
Filling of quick Trademark Objection Reply Letter with authority along with supporting documents and evidence has several merits as follows:
- The existing application will not be rejected or abandoned that will save their time and efforts involved in applying for a trademark
- Through timely respond to the objection, the application can be considered for further processing
- In case the response or reply made is stated well with complete accuracy, the possibility of its registration is high
- The company starts using the trademark once it applied, thus it depicts the bad influence on customers once it is rejected therefore it is advisable to make a quick reply to objection and save the same for further processing.
Winding up the Blog
Also, Read: Advantages of Trademark Registration.