What is Trademark Objection? Reasons for Trademark Objection

March 16, 2021


Trademark registration can be taken for the brand, name, logo. It protects against any unauthorized use. Trademark registration in India is somewhat a long process. There are different stages of trademark registration. The trademark objection is one of the stages of registration. After the application is filed with the Trademark Ministry, there will be a stage called “Marked for Exam”. Under this stage, the examiner will examine the application and issue the examination report.

The examination report can have one of the two results. It can be accepted and processed further or it may result in a trademark objection. If the applicant receives a trademark objection then the applicant needs to file a reply to the trademark objection.

Reasons for Trademark Objection

The examiner raises the objection under two grounds which are Absolute grounds and relative grounds for refusal of registration of a Trademark. Let us understand the crux of both grounds.

Absolute Grounds

  • Distinctive character:

When the brand name is similar to other brands which are not capable to distinguish the goods and services from others, in such case the Ministry raises a Trademark objection. A brand name must be unique and must possess a distinctive character.

  • Characteristics of goods or services:

There should not be the nature or the characteristics of goods or services in the brand name. It should not have a kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, values, geographical origin, or other types of characteristics in the brand name. For instance, “Shiny detergent” here in this brand name ‘shiny’ defines the characteristics of the detergent, which is not acceptable.

  • Customary:

Any word which is commonly used for trading or service cannot be trademarked. Hence, any customary word will get an objection from the Ministry. The word “Airpods” cannot be trademarked as it is a common name of a Bluetooth device.

  • Creates confusion:

Any brand which is of nature to deceive the public and which creates confusion are not acceptable trademarks by the Ministry.

  • Religious matter:

A brand that is related to any religion which is likely to hurt the feelings of such religion or a particular section of the citizens of India cannot be registered as a Trademark.

  • Against Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act:

The Trademark gets an objection if the brand name consists the words which are prohibited under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act.

  • Natural shape of goods:

The trademark of any device which is the outcome of the natural shape of goods or mandatory to obtain technically or which gives substantial value to the goods, then such device cannot be trademarked and one will receive the trademark objection in examination report issued by the Ministry.

Relative Grounds

  • Identical or similar mark

Any brand which is identical or similar to other brands for similar goods or services cannot be registered as a trademark. Hence on relative grounds, the Ministry will raise an objection.

  • Prohibited by law

Any word, image, device, unregistered marks which are protected by Indian Law cannot be registered. Any similar device which is protected under copyright law then the Ministry objects.

  • Well known trademark

Any trade name which has become the well-known mark in the market in day-to-day business cannot be registered as a Trademark.

  • Names of chemical or element

The Trademark ministry will raise an objection for the brand name which consists of the name of any chemical or elements which is used in the preparation of the product.

  • Use of name of a living person

If the trademark application is filed with the name of any living person as a brand name then the Ministry will raise an objection. One cannot use the name of any living person or a demised person whose death is within the twenty years of an application without the permission of that person or the legal heirs of the demised person.

Wise Conclusion:

The trademark officer examines the application considering all the above-mentioned clauses. If the application attracts any of the clauses then the examiner will raise an objection in the examination report. In such cases the applicant has to file the reply to the examination report within the time limit otherwise the trademark application will get abandoned.

Wisefilings searches the availability of the trademark in advance considering all the aspects and suggest accordingly which makes the online trademark registration process fast and easy.

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