Trademarks are unique identification of something. Trademarks can be a symbol, words, phrase or design that differentiates a particular object from any other entity. In this digital age where it just takes a few clicks to build a product or copy any other person’s brand name or logo.
It is super important to have a trademark for your design in order to make sure that your design’s originality is protected. Filing a trademark might be a little tricky and somewhat difficult as it comprises a lot of documents and other paperwork that are tedious to handle.
Hence it might be possible that your trademark application might not be accepted beforehand and hence you would have to go through certain stages of rejection on the basis of various factors. This is known as a trademark objection or TM Objection that is raised by the examiner if they see some issue with the trademark application.
Understanding Trademark Objection
Trademark application filing is the process that is executed prior to owning a particular trademark or of existing used trademarks. This step involves thoroughly examining the trademark which is done by the trademark examiner.
The trademark is only approved when the application is not entitled to any objection. As soon as the objection is raised by the trademark examiner, the process of trademark examination gets paused until the applicant does not submit an appropriate reply to the objection raised.
Reasons for Trademark Objection
There can be several of reasons that might cause your trademark application to be objected to. But in case, you are looking for the reasons that might get your upcoming trademark under objection state then here are some of the common reasons for trademark objection:
- The design/word/logo that you are filing a trademark for is similar or completely the same as other mark that has already been trademarked or is under process of trademark registration. Then, in this case, there is a high likelihood that your trademark application bight is objected to.
- General or common mark, in the case of your trademark being too common or generic based then there is a high chance that your trademark application might be objected. This can also be termed as the lack of uniqueness in a trademark.
- The mark contains a religious resemblance, in form of any name or symbol. In case you are about to file your trademark make sure that there are not any religious symbols or resemblances present in your trademark.
- Trademark designs consist of offensive language or ill images. As one cannot use offensive language or any other insulting language in your trademark.
- The trademark is descriptive in nature, which in actual mean that the mark is describing its kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, its time or geographical origin.
- Many a times the objection is raised due to clerical errors or mistakes in the application form made while filing or in case any document or details is missing in the form. In such cases reply is not sufficient, corrections are to be made by filing respective forms.
How to Respond to a Trademark Objection
In this case, your trademark has been held under objection. You have to respond to the objection that is raised by the examination officer or the third party. If you are unaware of the status of your trademark application make sure to check the Trademark examination report. Here are the steps that one should follow in order to respond correctly to the trademark objection.
- Glance at the objection status.
- Have a draft ready for the response.
- Submit the response in accordance with the trademark objection.
These steps might look simple but these can level up in terms of execution depending on the objection’s complexity.
Preparing a Strong Trademark Objection Response
Filing a successful response to the trademark comprises this crucial step which is to prepare a strong trademark objection response. Preparing a strong trademark objection response can be a tricky task. If you are not aware of the sections under the law of the objection that is raised. Here are some tips that are worth considering in case you are looking forward to filing a strong trademark objection response:
- First, make sure to understand the objection completely then only it will be possible for you to file a successful trademark objection response without much hassle. Understand the grounds of objection clearly and curate the particular reason that might become an obstruction in the process.
- Collect the evidence to support your objection reply and increase the chances of making the reply concrete and leave no loose ends or room for any error.
- Responding timely is another aspect that is underrated but makes a huge impact. Also filing timely can aid you in averting the risk of your trademark application being rejected.
- Be specific and use appropriate language. Find out the flaw in your trademark and asses the objection carefully. This will help you spot the perfect point where you should emphasize more. Use appropriate language as it plays a major role when filing any sort of objection response. Be clear and concise about the trademark objection reply format too.
Key Elements of a Trademark Objection Response
Here are some of the key elements of trademark objection response:
This is the section in which you need to start by specifying the objection that has been raised to your trademark application. Also, try to give an overview of your response that builds a concrete image in the minds of the examiner.
● Actual response
In this section describe all the key objections that were raised along with the response that you wish to submit in accordance with these objections that were raised. This is the main part of your application hence ensure that the appropriate language is used with specific points.
Provide all the necessary evidence that supports your response. Collect all the evidence and put them in a chronological manner to make sure that it is easy to interpret.
End the response by summarizing all the points that are highlighted in the main body and conclude by stating the arguments why your trademark should be considered.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in a Trademark Objection Response
Most of the first timers when they file a trademark objection reply usually end up making some mistakes. Here are some common mistakes to avoid in a trademark objection response:
- Ignoring the objection: One of the most common mistakes is ignoring the objection or failing to respond within the specified time frame. This can result in your trademark application being abandoned.
- Not able to address all objections: It’s important to address each objection raised by the examiner in your response. Also, it decreases the chances of your trademark registration over reply.
- Providing incomplete or insufficient evidence: Providing incomplete or insufficient evidence can weaken your arguments and make it harder to convince the examiner that your trademark should be registered.
- Not providing genuine evidence: Evidence is a must when filing a trademark objection response as it makes sure that all the arguments you are proposing are genuine and backed up by evidence. Hence it increases the credibility of the response.
- Using inappropriate language: A trademark objection response is a legal document, so it’s important to use appropriate language and avoid using technical jargon or overly complicated language that may confuse the examiner.
- One can use relevant citations for supporting the arguments
- Failing to seek professional assistance: Responding to a trademark objection can be a complex and time-consuming process. Failing to seek professional assistance from a qualified trademark attorney or agent can result in mistakes that harm your chances of getting your trademark registered.
Legal Remedies if Your Trademark Objection Response is Rejected
In the case, you have filed your trademark objection and your reply trademark objection is also not satisfying then don’t panic you still have some legal remedies left that you can try out.
Here are some of them:
- A chance of hearing is given to justify further but this will extend the time of the registration.
- Seek legal advice from an attorney or a lawyer. It is important to consider a legal agent that has appropriate knowledge related to trademark objection response.
- Make amendments if possible to your application. Altering your trademark application as per the requirement can be done to improve the chances of trademark approval.
Tips for Handling Trademark Objection Response Process
Here are some tips that are worth pondering upon before filing your trademark response:
- Try to be clear and precise about your response. As the response is directly answered without stretching things out the better the results will be.
- Write in chronological order and do not mix things up unnecessarily. Putting things in chronological order will lead to better readability and higher chances of approval.
- Considering an attorney. This might be the best option that you can rely on. This is a hassle-free way to make sure that your objection response reply is taken good care of.
How can Mark-O-Legal help you?
If you are tense with the objection reply response for your trademark then Mark-O-Legal can assist you with it.
Mark-O-Legal is tied up with the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys. The trademark experts will take care of all the paperwork as filing a response which takes up a quite long time to sort and present in a professional manner.
Mark-O-Legal will not only submit the reply on your behalf but will also keep a regular checks on the developments that takes place in your application and keeps you informed about the same as you may miss important updates and deadlines.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS) – Trademark Objection
The simplest way to file a trademark objection is to hire an attorney to make sure that things go smoothly and without any hassle or you can draft your reply and send it via post or by hand to the respective trademark office. One can also file the reply online though IP India Portal.
If he trademark you have applied for is similar or identical to an already registered trademark or an application which is filed under the Registry of Trademarks and s under process; in this case your mark will be objected under section 11 citing the similar mark.
Trademark objection under 9 occurs when the trademark that is filed is descriptive or too common for the applied goods or services.
There is no government fee for replying to objections notices but if there are any errors then there are several fees depending on the errors. Per correction the government fees is INR 900. Professional fees are around INR 1,500 – INR 3,000 for drafting and filing response to objections.
The time limit for filing the trademark objection reply is 1 month.
Yes, you can use the trademark but there will be no legal protection over your mark until and unless your trademark application is approved and your trademark is registered.
If your trademark is objected then you are given a time of one month in between which you have to submit a response to the objection.
Below are some of the common grounds available for objection:
- Common or general
- Connected to a religion
- Lacking distinctiveness
No there is no fee charged by the government for filing a reply for the trademark examination report.