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Trademark Objection

legal aspects

In the event of a trademark objection, a comprehensive reply needs to be filed within a month from the objection’s date of issuance.

There are several reasons for Trademark objections like similarity with an existing trademark, offensive trademarks, absence of uniqueness, etc.

Often, during the trademark registration process, the registrar raises objections to the applied trademark if it violates the trademark registration rules and laws.

Trademark registration creates an identity for the brand and differentiates it from other available services or products that are available in the market. Protecting a Trademark is very important if one wants to maintain its distinct identity. But there are some cases when someone would stop you from claiming your right. Hence, we need to understand the concept of Trademark objection.

Top Reasons for Trademark Objection
legal aspects

Here are some top reasons why a trademark would get objection:

Trademark applications can get objections under more than one grounds. Following are some grounds on which an examiner can object to the Trademark registration:

The grounds of refusal for Trademark registration can be divided into two parts :

  • Absolute grounds of refusal – refers to the incapability of marks to be distinctive or graphically presented.
  • Relative grounds of refusal – are always in connection with earlier trademarks and their related rights.

Deceptive Marks

Any trademark that is likely to confuse the people because of something inherent in the mark itself or its use, like nature, quality, or geographical origin of the goods and services.

An objection as to deceptive trademark can be overcome by filing Form TM-16.

Lacks Distinctive Character

Trademarks that are not capable of differentiating between one person’s goods and services from those of another are devoid of any distinctiveness and thus can get objection under absolute grounds for refusal of trademarks.

Existence of a similar trademark

If there are similar or same trademarks of different trademark owners on records regarding the same or similar description of goods or services, then an objection can be raised.

False or vague specification of goods

Suppose the specification of goods or services happens to be too vague or encompasses a large variety of goods or services. In that case, an objection can be raised as follows by the trademark registrar:

“The specification of goods/services mentioned in respect of class xx is very vague and wide. You should provide exact items in respect of which the trademark is sought to be registered by filing a request on form TM-16”.

Incorrect address on trademark application

In case the trademark applicant has not mentioned the principal place of business correctly, or he has not mentioned the address for service in India. An objection can be raised as under:

“The Principal Place of business of the applicant should be brought on record by filing a request on form TM-16” or “The applicant’s address for service in India should be brought on record by filing a request on form TM-16, since the applicant has no principal place of business in India.”

Incorrect name of the applicant

The applicant must enter the name in the application correctly. In case of incorrect name on the trademark application, the examiner would object as follows:

“The application appears to have been filed in the name of a partnership firm, names of all Partners of the firm should be brought on record by filing a request form TM-16.”

Incorrect trademark application form

If the trademark application is not made on a proper form, an objection will be raised by the examiner as follows:

“The application is made on Form TM-1, for certification mark in respect of goods or services falling in a class, the form of the application should be corrected as TM-4 by filing a request on form TM-16.”

  • After the trademark registration application is submitted and examined by the trademark officer, an examination report is sent to the trademark applicant. It is also put up on the trademark office website along with details of the trademark application.
  • The applicant or the authorized agent then gets a chance to submit a reply to the trademark examination report with a rebuttal if there is an objection by the trademark examiner.
  • The response is then considered, and if the objection can be waived off based on the applicant’s response, then the trademark application gets accepted for registration. The trademark gets published in the journal.


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