Trademark Examination

As per the Trademark registration process, after filing the application for the trademark with the Trademark office, the trademark application gets examined by the examiner.

The examination of the trademark application is conducted within the period of 2-4 months of filing date. After the examination the examiner can raise objections in relation to the application if he/she is of the opinion that the application contains some kind of error or may propose that the Trademark should be registered only subject to some conditions, limitations or divisions. However, if the examiner does not raise any objection, then the application can move to the next stage i.e., advertisement of the application.

While examining the trademark application the examiner looks into the following aspects-

  1. Whether the application is filed in the correct form or not. In this the examiner examines if all the relevant details are mentioned in the application or not or if the details mentioned in the application are correct or not. For eg if the goods and services are mentioned in the application and if they are filed under the correct class or not.
  2. After this the examiner examines whether the application falls under the absolute grounds for refusal or not. The absolute grounds for refusal includes distinctiveness, devoid of distinctive character, not capable of distinguishing goods and services etc. For eg if a baker wants to register a mark named “baker” or “bakery” then that will be the absolute ground for the refusal as it is devoid of distinct character.
  3. The next aspect the examiner looks into is whether the mark falls under the relative grounds for refusal or not. The relevant grounds for refusal include similarity with an earlier trademark.
  4. Finally the examiner can also impose some conditions or restrictions on the use of the trademark.

If the examiner raises any objection in respect to the application, the examiner will issue a examination report on the website of the trademark registry. Then the trademark applicant or his attorney is required to file the reply to the examination report within one month from the receipt of the examination report. If the applicant or his attorney fails to file the reply within the prescribed period then the application will be considered abandoned.

After the filing of reply to the examination report, if the examiner is satisfied with the reply the application will be advertised in the trademark journal. In case the examiner is not satisfied with the reply, then the examiner will issue a show cause hearing notice to the applicant.

If in the hearing the registrar is satisfied with the contentions of the applicant then the application will be registered and if he is not satisfied then the mark will be refused.

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