What is trademark examination or
After filing an application for trademark registration , you get Trademark receipt which specifies one number known as Trademark application number, which is used to track your trademark application various stages, the trademark officials specifically trademark examiners, analyse the application which is comprised of basically two types of examinations one is formal examination and other one is substantive examination, generally formal examination is related to basic checking of the Trademark application filed which is once cleared is marked as Formality check pass, after this stage, the trademark filed is marked for examination and if the trademark status shows as objected it is said to be substantially examined , this substantial examination is also known as Trademark objection or Examination report where your applied mark is duly searched by the Trademark examiner which may comprise of similarity search and also legal examination of your Trademark application in view of section 9. After conducting their search they write down their opinions about the mark, mainly point out the reasons why the applied mark shall not be registered. All these objections along with relevant trademark provisions are stated in Trademark Examination Report. These objections must be replied by the applicant within 1 month from the date of receipt of the examination report. This reply is generally known as trademark examination reply or Trademark objection reply
The Trademark Registry examines a trademark application within a period of three to six months to one year from the date of filing.
An Examination report is issued in case the Registry has some objection/s with the registration of the Trademark application filed, which may relate to the question of the trademarks distinctiveness, not meeting the qualifications under the act, existing similarity with prior existing trademark registrations, and filing of supporting documents.
If a mark is accepted during examination, the trademark office will issue an acceptance order and the trade mark will be published in the journal.
However, a trade mark is rarely accepted without objections. If registration of a trade mark is objected by the examiner in the examination report, applicant or his agent must respond to it within one month from the date of receiving the examination report. The trademark examination reply must include below stated point:
A well crafted Trademark objection reply ensures that mark may get accepted by the examiner without proceeding for hearing, Any trademark objection reply must focus on objections raised in view of mark applied and cited marks, the answer to objection raised must be specific , supported by relevant examples of like trademark cases and must also be supported by recent relevant Trademark caselaws which supports your point of arguments.
Below is the quick summary of what shall be the content of any Trademark objection reply or Examination report reply. 1) An answer to the objections raised, supported by legal prepositions, relevant sections of Trademark Act along with arguments crafted around the objections so raised
2) Relevant case laws or precedents of the trade mark office and
3) Supporting documents to prove inherent or acquired distinctiveness.
4) An affidavit of Usage along with supporting documents could also be filed along with the reply to the examination report which shows that the trademark has acquired distinctiveness and is being associated with the goods/services of the applicant due to its prolonged usage.
Filing of a correct and specific reply is pertinent step to secure
In case, the objections are not being answered to the satisfaction of the trade mark office through the response submitted to them, the applicant can avail an opportunity of hearing before the Trademark Registrar, where he/she can present submissions orally. The hearing is generally conducted by the Assistant Registrar or Senior Examiners of Trade marks.
It is always advisable that applicant of the trademark hire an attorney for drafting a reply as they are better experienced with relevant trademark laws and caselaws that are pertinent to file the reply efficiently.
In case, an applicant or his/her agent satisfies the objections of the Trademark Office via response or hearing, the examiner or assistant registrar, whoever has heard the matter, orders the publication/advertisement of the Trademark in the Trademark Journal.
DEADLINE TO RESPOND THE TRADEMARK OBJECTION REPLY: All applicants shall know that prescribed limit to respond the Trademark objection reply is 1 month, However, due to COVID Pandemic even if your deadline is missed you have the opportunity for filing of the reply, however Trademark applicant’s are advised to finish this process timely.
Once a Trademark application is accepted or all objections are being removed, it gets published in the Trademark Journal.
What to do in case I have missed my trademark examination reply deadline?
Your deadline is calculated from actual receipt of the examination report. Hence in case the report, for example was issued on 12 December 2019 but is dispatched and received on 17 March 2020. The deadline to file the objection reply will be 17 April 2020 that is the 1 month from the date of receipt of the report.
How to know if your Trademark is objected or not ?
Learn how to check your trademark objection online and how to download the examination report.
When you can expect trademark objection ?
Once your application is filed , now a days trademark applications are getting objected within 2-3 months. Hence, one must check their application regularly. For checking your application status you may visit the above link. What if my application is filed by someone else and now I want to change the attorney, will that be a problem? No, you may change attorney on record anytime, you just need to issue new Power of attorney.
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