What is Examination Report and How to file the Reply of Examination report issued by Registrar of the Trademark.
A trademark serves as a crucial identifier for a company’s products or services, setting them apart from others in the market. It can take the form of a logo, sign, design, words, or any distinctive mark. Registering trademarks under the Trademarks Act of 1999 is a necessary step for companies to establish legal protection for their marks.
However, there are instances when a registrar may refuse to register a trademark based on an examination report submitted by the examination officer. In such cases, the applicant has the right to file a reply to the Trademark Examination Report in order to seek registration of their mark while adhering to the rules outlined in the Trademarks Act.
Objection under Section 9
Section 9 of the Trademarks Act of 1999 outlines the absolute grounds for rejecting a trademark application. Under Section 9, certain types of marks are restricted from registration.
Section 9(1)(a) states that a mark lacking distinctiveness, which fails to differentiate the goods or services of the applicant from others, cannot be registered under the Trademarks Act.
Section 9(1)(b) prohibits the registration of common words, names, and expressions of a general nature. Section 9(1)(c) excludes marks that are customary in language or trade practices from registration.
Objection under Section 11
Section 11 of the Trademarks Act addresses relative grounds for refusal of trademark registration. It states that if the similarity between an earlier trademark and the mark being applied for has the potential to confuse the public or create a distraction, the trademark will not be registered. If an identical trademark already exists in the trademark register, the new application will be exempted from registration.
Documents required for filing of examination reply
To file a reply to the Trademark Examination Report, the following documents are necessary:
Time Period to file the reply to the Trademark Examination Report
The applicant must submit the reply to the Trademark Examination Report within 30 days. Failure to meet this deadline will result in the abandonment of the mark.
Reasons why the applicant must file the Reply to the Trademark examination Report
1. Protection of the mark: It prevents the mark from being abandoned and provides an opportunity to justify its distinctive character.
2. Legal rights and infringement protection: A successful registration grants legal rights and safeguards against infringement.
3. Precedents and case laws: The reply allows the applicant to present precedents and case laws to establish the mark’s distinctiveness and distinguishability.
4. Failure to reply: Without filing a reply, the applicant will be unable to secure trademark rights for their brand.
5. Creating a distinctive identity: Trademarks provide a unique identity, aiding product differentiation and building goodwill in the market.
Steps that the applicant must follow in order to file a Reply to the Trademark Examination Report
To file a reply effectively, the applicant must follow these steps:
1. Carefully analyze the objections raised in the trademark examination report.
2. Understand and adhere to the relevant laws while drafting the reply accurately.
3. Finalize and submit the reply within the specified time frame.
Time Extension in case of no reply filed
In case the applicant fails to file a reply within the 30-day period, the application will be considered abandoned. However, under Form TM-M of the Trademarks Act of 1999, the applicant can request an extension by providing valid reasons for the delay and paying the prescribed fee.
Registering a brand under the Trademarks Act is crucial for companies to gain legal protection and rights. It safeguards the brand as an intellectual property right, preventing infringement and unauthorized use. By registering a mark, not only does a company prohibit others from using it, but it also prevents the creation of identical marks.
During the registration process, examination officers may raise objections, leading to the need for filing a reply to the trademark examination report. This reply serves to secure the mark and highlight its distinctive identity. The Trademarks Act provides a comprehensive framework for registering marks and enjoying the benefits of trademark protection.
This article was authored by Ms. Shradha Sharma and Anupama Tripathi of Team Anupama Tripathi & Associates. For further information, please contact us at #8800839633 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.