TRADE MARK OBJECTION
TRADEMARK EXAMINATION REPORT
Whenever somebody applies for trademark registration, a trademark examination report is issued to the applicant. This report is issued by the trademark office intimating similar or conflicting marks and grounds for refusal. The applicant is required to respond to the report in the stated time.
Trademark examination report is a report of examination conducted by Trademark Office after examining the registrability of the application, which includes distinctiveness, existing similarity with prior registrations, and filing of supporting documents.
If a mark is accepted during examination, the trademark office will issue an acceptance order and the trade mark will be published in the journal. However, objections may generally arise by the department while filing of trademark application. If registration of a trade mark is objected by the examiner in the examination report, applicant or his agent must respond to it within one month from the date of receiving the examination report. The examination report is reflected in the trademark status of the application as well a hard copy is sent to the applicant. Thus, the applicant has to respond to the examination report within 1 month from the reply of the examination report.
Objections raised by the Examiner:
There are usually two main kinds of objections that may be raised by the examiner:
1. Objections under Section 9(1)(a) or Section 9(1)(b) (Absolute Ground):
These objections are raised when the examiner feels that the trademark is not distinctive or if it is descriptive. The response to this objection must state clearly the reasons as to why the Applicant’s mark is distinctive and non-descriptive. The most common argument against this objection is that the trademark has acquired distinctiveness. i.e., the people associate the goods/services of the Applicant exclusively with the mark of the Applicant.
2. Objection under Section 11 (Relative Ground):
The Examiner raises this objection if he opines that there is/are trademarks that are deceptively similar to the Applicant’s mark. The response to this objection should be along the lines of how the Applicant’s mark is different from any of the marks cited by the Examiner. Emphasis is usually placed on the difference in representation of the mark or that viewed as a whole, the marks will not be perceived by the public as being similar; or
If the examiner has objected to the trade mark application, a written response should be filed by the applicant within 30 days of receiving the examination report or when it comes to the knowledge of the applicant that the report is online.