A trademark objection is a formal objection raised by the trademark office against a trademark application. It means that the trademark application is facing certain issues and needs to be addressed in order to be approved. In India, trademark objections are raised by the Trademark Registrar under Section 9 and Section 11 of the Trademarks Act, 1999.
There are several reasons why a trademark objection may be raised. Some of the common grounds for objection include the following:
- Lack of distinctiveness: If the trademark is too generic or descriptive, it may be objected to as lacking distinctiveness.
- Similarity with existing trademarks: If the trademark is too similar to an existing registered or pending trademark, it may be objected to on the grounds of likelihood of confusion.
- Deceptive or scandalous trademark: If the trademark is deemed to be immoral or scandalous, it may be objected to on the grounds of being against public order or morality.
- Incorrect information: If the trademark application contains incorrect or incomplete information, it may be objected to on the grounds of providing false information.
- Non-use of the trademark: If the trademark has not been used for a continuous period of 5 years, it may be objected to on the grounds of non-use.
If your trademark application has been objected to, you will receive a notice of objection from the Trademark Registrar. This notice will specify the grounds of objection and provide you with an opportunity to respond to the objections within a certain timeframe.
Here are the steps to respond to a trademark objection in India
Step 1: Analyze the Objections Raised
The first step is to analyze the grounds of objection raised in the notice. This will help you understand the issues with your trademark application and the specific areas that need to be addressed.
Step 2: Prepare a Response
After analyzing the objections raised, you need to prepare a response to address the concerns of the Trademark Registrar. The response should be drafted in a clear and concise manner and must address each objection raised.
Step 3: Provide Evidence and Supporting Documents
In your response, you may need to provide evidence and supporting documents to prove the distinctiveness of your trademark or to show that your trademark is not similar to any existing trademarks. These documents can include market research reports, product samples, or any other relevant information.
Step 4: File the Response with the Trademark Registrar
Once you have prepared your response, you need to file it with the Trademark Registrar within the specified timeframe. The response can be filed either online or in-person at the trademark office.
Step 5: Attend the Hearing (if required)
If the Trademark Registrar is not satisfied with your response, they may require you to attend a hearing to present your case in person. At the hearing, you will have an opportunity to explain your position and provide further evidence in support of your trademark application.
Step 6: Await the Decision of the Trademark Registrar
After reviewing your response and any additional evidence presented, the Trademark Registrar will make a decision on your trademark application. If the objections have been adequately addressed, the trademark application will be allowed to proceed to the next stage.
In conclusion, a trademark objection can be a hurdle in the trademark registration process, but with the right approach, it can be overcome. By analyzing the grounds of objection, preparing a comprehensive response, and providing supporting documents, you can effectively respond to a trademark objection and increase your chances of getting your trademark registered. It’s important to work with an experienced trademark attorney to ensure that your response is well-drafted and tailored to the specific concerns raised by the Trademark Registrar.