The step-wise process of Registration of Trademark is as under:
Step 1: Search of Trademark
Step 2: Determination of Class
Step 3: Attorney Authorization
Step 4: Filing of TM Application
Step 5: Review of application
Step 6: Examination of TM application
Step 7: Personal hearing before the Registrar
Step 8: Publication and opposition
Step 9: Registration and Renewal
Most common problems faced while registering in Trademark in India
- Absolute grounds of refusal (Sec. 9): It deals with the objections that are primarily related to the mark inherent qualities or nature of the mark and not due to any external factors. This ground of refusal is primarily aimed at protecting the interests of the general public instead of any specific third party.
- Relative grounds of refusal (Sec. 11): These grounds of Refusal are related to external issues like the existence of a similar trademark already registered or applied for registration by third parties. The purpose of this grounds of refusal is to protect the trademark rights of a specific third party holding a similar or identical trademark and to safeguard the general public from confusion or deception caused due to the availability of two similar trademarks.
#1. Existence of Similar Trademarks:
#2. Trademark is devoid of a distinct character
#3. Trademark is a Word or symbol used in Common Trade Practice:
#4. Trademark is obscene and offensive
#5. Trademark results from obvious shape of Goods or nature of services
Q1: What are the common problems faced during the trademark registration process in India?
Common problems in Trademark Registration include meeting the requirements for distinctiveness of the mark, making sure the mark is not prohibited under any law, and avoiding conflicts with existing trademarks. Additionally, addressing objections raised during the examination stage and opposition stage from third parties is crucial.
Q2: How can I ensure that my trademark application is not rejected on absolute grounds of refusal?
To ensure your trademark application is not rejected on absolute grounds, it is crucial to choose a mark that is distinctive and capable of distinguishing your goods or services. Avoid using descriptive or generic terms, and aim for a mark that is unique and not commonly used in trade practice.
Q3: What steps can I take to avoid conflicts with existing trademarks during the registration process?
Conducting a comprehensive trademark search is vital to identify any existing trademarks that may conflict with yours. Engaging a trademark attorney or professional Trademark search service provider for this purpose is ideal as they can help assess the risk of conflicts accurately and much ahead of time.
Q4: What are the potential objections that can arise during trademark examination?
Objections during trademark examination can relate to absolute grounds (such as lack of distinctiveness) or relative grounds (conflicts with existing trademarks) of Trademark Refusal as prescribed under the Trademark Act. It is essential to carefully review the examination report and address each objection raised with appropriate legal arguments, evidence, or modifications to the trademark application, within the given timeframe.
Q5: How can I overcome opposition to my trademark registration from third parties?
If opposition is filed against your trademark, it is important to prepare a strong response that addresses the concerns raised by the opposing party. This may involve presenting evidence of acquired distinctiveness, proving that there is no likelihood of confusion, or negotiating a settlement with the opposing party. Seeking guidance from a trademark attorney is highly recommended to navigate the opposition process effectively.