Trademark FAQ's:

1. Can we know whether similar marks have already been registered in respect of the same type of goods?

Yes, it is possible to make a request for search.

2. How long is the term of trade mark right (registration)?

The trade mark right can be extended (provided it is renewed after every 10 years).

3. What is the procedure adopted by the Trade Mark Registry for completing the process of registration of a brand?

The Trade Mark Office requires that an application for registration must be made online or in Form 1 along with a prescribed fee of INR. 4,000/- per application per class.

On receipt of the Application, the Trade Mark Registry will issue an Examination Report and the Applicant will have to comply with the requirements of the report within a month of receiving the report.

On fulfilling these requirements, the mark will be advertised in the Trade Mark Office Journal prior to the acceptance. If there is no opposition, the mark will proceed towards acceptance.

4. What if the Applicant doesn’t respond to the First Examination Report within the stipulated time?

It is imperative that the Applicant must respond to the requirements of the Examination Report within 30 days. If the Applicant either does not respond to the Examination Report or fail to comply with the requirements of the Report, the Application shall be deemed to be abandoned. In such a case, the Applicant does not have a right of Appeal anywhere. However, the Applicant can file a Writ Petition.

5. What are the ways to overcome the objection raised in the Examiner’s Report?

The Applicant can produce evidence to the Examiner that the mark had over a period of time acquired distinctiveness and the consumers associate the brand only with the Applicant and none else. For this purpose, the Applicant can file an Affidavit along with evidence to show the amount of money spent on advertisements, produce publicity brochures and the other hand bills to popularize the brand.

6. What if the Examiner rejects the Application even after the Applicant had responded to the objection in the first examination report? Will the Applicant be heard before the rejection?

There is no automatic right of hearing before rejection of a trade mark Application. If the Applicant is so particular, the Applicant has to request for hearing while responding to the first examination report.

Despite the hearing and the response given by the Applicant or in pursuant of an opposition logged by a third party, if the Trade Mark Registry rejects the Application the aggrieved Applicant can file an Appeal to the Intellectual Property Appellate Tribunal within 90 days of the receipt of the order.

7. Is there any opposition system for third parties?

Yes, there is an opposition system for third parties wherein within three months after the publication of the mark in the Trade Marks Journal and from the date of publication.

Soon after the receipt of Notice of Opposition, the Applicant for Registration must file Counter Statement against Opposition. Thereafter, the Opponent will be allowed to file Evidence in Support of Opposition.

The Applicant would also be given an opportunity to rebut the Evidence filed by the Opponent. If the Applicant fails to lodge the Counter Statement against the Opposition, then the Application will be deemed to be abandoned.

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