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Replying to TRADEMARK Objections

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 A Trademark is a type of intellectual property protection, under which a word, phrase, visual symbol and/or design used by a company to distinguish its goods or services from other similar goods or services originating from a different company can be protected. A trademark registration will confer an exclusive right and legal certainty to the use of registered trademark by the right holder.

 Trademark protection can be obtained by filing a trademark application with the relevant Trade Mark Registrar in the prescribed format and paying the required fees.

 Once a trademark application is filed, the trademark registration application will be allocated to a Trademark Officer in the Trademark Registrar Office. The Trademark Officer would then process the application and analyse it. The Trademark Officer will give its opinion about the Trademark in the form of an “Examination Report”. Based on the Examination Report, the trademark application is published in the trademark journal or an objection is raised for registration of Trademark.

 If the trademark registration application is objected by the Trademark Officer, the trademark applicant has the right to submit a written reply for the objections raised within 1 month from the date of receipt of examination report. The trademark examination reply should include reasons and evidences along with the supporting documents to prove the distinctiveness of the trademark and as to why the trademark should be registered. The application is allowed to be published in the Trademark Journal before registration only if the Trademark officer is satisfied by the reply. Thus, the reply to the Trademark examination report should address all the concerns raised by the Trademark Officer.

The Trademark Officer raises an objection for registration of trademark under Section 9 and Section 11 of “The Trade Marks Act, 1999”.

 

Section 9 of The Trade Marks Act, 1999 states the Absolute grounds for refusal of registration—

 

(1) The trade marks—

(a) which are devoid of any distinctive character, that is to say, not capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of another person;

(b) which consist exclusively of marks or indications which may serve in trade to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, values, geographical origin or the time of production of the goods or rendering of the service or other characteristics of the goods or service;

(c) which consist exclusively of marks or indications which have become customary in the current language or in the bona fide and established practices of the trade, shall not be registered:

Provided that a trade mark shall not be refused registration if before the date of application for registration it has acquired a distinctive character as a result of the use made of it or is a well-known trade mark.

(2) A mark shall not be registered as a trade mark if—

(a) it is of such nature as to deceive the public or cause confusion;

(b) it contains or comprises of any matter likely to hurt the religious susceptibilities of any class or section of the citizens of India;

(c) it comprises or contains scandalous or obscene matter;

(d) its use is prohibited under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act,1950 (12 of 1950).

(3) A mark shall not be registered as a trade mark if it consists exclusively of—

(a) the shape of goods which results from the nature of the goods themselves; or

(b) the shape of goods which is necessary to obtain a technical result; or

(c) the shape which gives substantial value to the goods. \

Section 11 of The Trade Marks Act, 1999 states the Relative grounds for refusal of registration—

(1) A trade mark shall not be registered if, because of—

(a) its identity with an earlier trade mark and similarity of goods or services covered by the trade mark; or

(b) its similarity to an earlier trade mark and the identity or similarity of the goods or services covered by the trade mark,

there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public, which includes the likelihood of association with the earlier trade mark.

(2) A trade mark which—

(a) is identical with or similar to an earlier trade mark; and

(b) is to be registered for goods or services which are not similar to those for which the earlier trade mark is registered in the name of a different proprietor, shall not be registered if or to the extent the earlier trade mark is a well-known trade mark in India and the use of the later mark without due cause would take unfair advantage of or be detrimental to the distinctive character or repute of the earlier trade mark.

(3) A trade mark shall not be registered if, or to the extent that, its use in India is liable to be prevented—

(a) by virtue of any law in particular the law of passing off protecting an unregistered trade mark used in the course of trade; or

(b) by virtue of law of copyright.

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(4) Nothing in this section shall prevent the registration of a trade mark where the proprietor of the earlier trade mark or other earlier right consents to the registration, and in such case the Registrar may register the mark under special circumstances under section 12.

(5) A trade mark shall not be refused registration on the grounds specified in sub-sections (2) and (3), unless objection on any one or more of those grounds is raised in opposition proceedings by the proprietor of the earlier trade mark.

(6) The Registrar shall, while determining whether a trade mark is a well-known trade mark, take into account any fact which he considers relevant for determining a trade mark as a well-known trade mark including—

(i) the knowledge or recognition of that trade mark in the relevant section of the public including knowledge in India obtained as a result of promotion of the trade mark;

(ii) the duration, extent and geographical area of any use of that trade mark;

(iii) the duration, extent and geographical area of any promotion of the trade mark, including advertising or publicity and presentation, at fairs or exhibition of the goods or services to which the trade mark applies;

(iv) the duration and geographical area of any registration of or any application for registration of that trade mark under this Act to the extent that they reflect the use or recognition of the trade mark;

(v) the record of successful enforcement of the rights in that trade mark, in particular the extent to which the trade mark has been recognised as a well-known trade mark by any court or Registrar under that record.

(7) The Registrar shall, while determining as to whether a trade mark is known or recognised in a relevant section of the public for the purposes of sub-section (6), take into account—

(i) the number of actual or potential consumers of the goods or services;

(ii) the number of persons involved in the channels of distribution of the goods or services

(iii) the business circles dealing with the goods or services, to which that trade mark applies.

(8) Where a trade mark has been determined to be well known in at least one relevant section of the public in India by any court or Registrar, the Registrar shall consider that trade mark as a well-known trade mark for registration under this Act.

(9) The Registrar shall not require as a condition, for determining whether a trade mark is a well-known trade mark, any of the following, namely:—

(i) that the trade mark has been used in India;

(ii) that the trade mark has been registered;

(iii) that the application for registration of the trade mark has been filed in India;

(iv) that the trade mark— (a) is well-known in; or (b) has been registered in; or (c) in respect of which an application for registration has been filed in, any jurisdiction other than India; or

(v) that the trade mark is well-known to the public at large in India.

(10) While considering an application for registration of a trade mark and opposition filed in respect thereof, the Registrar shall—

(i) protect a well-known trade mark against the identical or similar trademarks;

(ii) take into consideration the bad faith involved either of the applicant or the opponent affecting the right relating to the trade mark.

(11) Where a trade mark has been registered in good faith disclosing the material informations to the Registrar or where right to a trade mark has been acquired through use in good faith before the commencement of this Act, then, nothing in this Act shall prejudice the validity of the registration of that trade mark or right to use that trade mark on the ground that such trade mark is identical with or similar to a well-known trade mark.

Thus, if the Trademark officer has raised an objection under Section 9 or Section 11 of the Trade Mark Act, 1999, the reply must contain the judicial precedent and should prove the point with proper evidence.

Do you need a trademark for a logo? Can you patent a logo?
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Trademark of Logo

How do I get a logo trademarked?

“It’s all in the name”!

Designed a logo to represent your business?

How to protect the design of the logo and the business behind it using the Trademark Law?

Before addressing how to trademark your business logo, we should define the terms “trademark” and “logo.”

The terms “Logo” and “trademark” are used interchangeably but they do actually differ slightly from each other. “A logo can be a trademark but a trademark cannot be considered to be a logo”.

A trademark is a unique name, symbol, phrase, motto, or graphic design that is specific to a company name, or its products and services and is used to distinguish the products of one seller from the other. The symbol ‘™’ designates that  the name, symbol or word is a trademark-ed property belonging to a particular company and that specific drawing, logo, or phrase cannot be copied or used by any other business or person, unless specific authorization is given by the trademark owner.

A logo is a brand identity for representing businesses. A logo should represent the the characteristic spirit  manifested in the attitudes and aspirations of the company it stands for. Sometimes people identify the company through the logo; although they might have forgotten the name. Registration of the logo as a trademark makes it a legal document which can be used in the court of law in case of brand infringement.

Selecting trademark for startup business can be tricky but at the same time rewarding to the startup. It is important to do proper research before filing for trademark for startup business in India.

Trademark of a brand has a lasting effect on its consumers. As a business owner, the startup thinks passionately about naming their new business, but while doing so, due consideration should be given to the following two points:

(a) “Unique & Novel” Trademark: The trademark should be new and unique.

(b) Non-conflicting to competitor in same field: The trademark should not conflict with existing trade names who have registered trademarks.

Business names, brand names, logos and taglines are protected legally by way of trademarks, and in case of conflicting names, it might result in a trademark infringement suit. Trademark for startup business should be unique to the business offering.

It is very important to name a business properly. Inorder to highlight the importance of naming a business, we will take an example of International Trademark Infringement.

A South Korean fried chicken restaurant recently lost a trademark battle with designer “Louis Vuitton”. The restaurant’s name- “Louis Vuiton Dak” was too similar to Louis Vuitton. In addition to the name infringement, the restaurant’s logo and packaging closely mirrored the designer’s iconic imagery.

The restaurant ultimately changed the name to “LOUISVUI TONDAK” and was hit with another 14.5 million fine for non-compliance.

Therefore, as may be observed from the above case study, trademark for startup business should be unique, selecting a unique business name and legally protecting it by way of trademarks is very important. Companies can avoid expensive legal battles by avoiding mirroring their brand closely after another brand, even if the products and business strategy have nothing in common.

If a business involves multiple brands, a strong trademark strategy is crucial to manage them. It is advisable to keep business name different from brand name.

In accordance with Indian Trademark Law, it is not mandatory to file for a trademark, but it is highly advisable to file trademark for startup business, register a trademark for the name of your business as well as for the brand names of your products and services.

Accordingly, it is highly advisable to seek assistance from a Trademark Attorney.

Apply for TM Registration and discuss your brand strategy and understand importance of brand, logo and tagline with expert consultants at Tech Corp International Strategist India TCIS, India.

IF YOUR STRATEGY AND DOCUMENTATION ARE IN PLACE WE GET”YOUR” TRADEMARK REGISTERED IN TWO- THREE WEEKS.

Trademark Services

 

Advantages of filing a provisional application
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Provisional Refusal of International Trademarks in India

 

Under the Madrid System, Trademarks are registered worldwide in a convenient and cost-effective way. The Madrid Protocol is one centralized system to apply for protection of trademark in 115 countries by filing a single application.

“An image is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service”. – Daniel J. Boorstin

When an applicant who is interested in a global Trademark files an application for registration of its trademark with its respective Intellectual Property Office (IP Office), the information is given to the International Bureau of World Intellectual Property Rights. The International Bureau of World Intellectual Property Rights examines and closely inspects the application based upon the requirements of Madrid Protocol. If the application fulfils all the criteria, the trademark is published in the International Gazette of Trademark and thereafter it is notified to all the designated countries.

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old” ― Peter F. Drucker

The Indian Trademark Office examines and allots an International Registration Designating India (IRDI) number to every International trademark registration designating India received from the International Bureau of WIPO.

The Brand trademark is examined by the trademark examiner on the basis of its uniqueness and similarities to trademarks registered and in the pipeline before the Indian Trademark Registry.

“It isn’t all over; everything has not been invented; the human adventure is just beginning.” ― Gene Roddenberry.

If there is any objection while examining the trademark application, for protection of such trademark registration in India, a Provisional refusal is notified to the International Bureau of WIPO within 18 months from the date the International registration was notified to India.

“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship…the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.” ― Peter F. Drucker

Trademark Objections under Provisional Refusal In India

The objection is raised under Section 9(1) (a) of the Trade Marks Act 1999, if the mark is not unique and as such it is not efficient to distinguish the services of one person from those of others.

The objection is raised under Section 11(1) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, if the mark is similar to the trademarks previously filed. There exists a possibility of confusion on the part of the public.

“Excellence must be achieved through the eyes of those who judge us; once achieved it can only be maintained with constant innovation.” ― Tom Collins.

Provisional refusal is basically an Examination Report containing objections.  The International Bureau provides the details of such provisional refusal to the trademark applicant of the International Trademark registration and records the provisional refusal in the International Register along with the date on which the notification was sent.

The provisional refusal is also published in the WIPO Gazette, with an indication as to whether the refusal is total (i.e. relates to all the goods and services covered by the designation) or partial (i.e., relates to only some of those goods and and services covered).

“Innovation needs preparation, collaboration and the light of the soul. Every challenge provides that light – a greater depth of understanding about life and truth.” ― Amit Ray,

How should the International Trademark applicant respond to Provisional Refusal Issued by the Indian Trademark Office under the Madrid Protocol ?

The normal deadline to revert to trademark objections raised by the Indian TrademarkOffice is 1 month from the date of receipt of the provisional refusal notification by the trademark applicant.

The International trademark applicant can also engage a trademark agent or an Indian trademark attorney having address in India by executing a Power of Attorney in the favour of the agent/attorney in the Form TM-48.

For an extension of timeline to respond to trademark objections, the Indian trademark attorney can file FORM TM-56 application for extension of time by 1 month prescribed by Rule 79 or by rule 80(4) and is at the discretion of the trademark office.

The Trade Marks Registry (TMR) office of India then considers the response of the trademark applicant of the international registration and may either confirm the refusal or move for advertisement of the international registration in the Trade Marks Journal.

“Be the initiator of things you wish to see, but can’t see. Be the originator of things you wish you feel but can’t feel.” ― Israelmore Ayivor,

Apply for TM Registration and discuss your brand strategy and understand importance of brand, logo and tagline with expert consultants at Tech Corp International Strategist India TCIS, India.

IF YOUR STRATEGY AND DOCUMENTATION ARE IN PLACE WE GET”YOUR” TRADEMARK REGISTERED IN TWO- THREE WEEKS.

We at Tech Corp International Strategist India(TCIS) provide Trademark services:

TRADEMARK OFFICE ACTION RESPONSES

We at TCIS,India evaluate your office action after client discussion and understanding his business quotes and let you know if there is a fair chance to get your trademark application approved. If you decide to hire our trademark lawyers / trademark attorneys at TCIS to draft a response to the office action, cost effective flat rates are available.

As experienced trademark attorneys we at TCIS are well versed in responding to office action letters issued by trademark examining attorneys at the Indian Patent Office(IPO) and Indian Trademark Office.

Trademark Monitoring Services

We at TCIS,India also offers trademark monitoring services for OUR clients. This service is designed to protect the client’s trademark by periodically reviewing the records of the Indian Patent Office(IPO) and Indian Trademark Office, and additional sources, depending on the monitoring service requested, for applications to register, or use of, confusingly similar marks.

Other Services

The firm offers a variety of services, including representation in cancellation and opposition proceedings at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

CALL NOW FOR YOUR FREE CONSULTATION WITH TRADEMARK ATTORNEY at 011 6654 4992 OR SEND AN EMAIL TO legal_desk@patentbusinessidea.com

When you contact Trademark attorney at TCIS,India whether by phone or email, you can expect to receive prompt, professional, efficient and courteous service.

Clients of the firm enjoy the following:-

  • Free initial trademark consultation with an experienced trademark attorney
  • Review of office actions by an experienced trademark attorney
  • Trademark attorney personal attention to their matters
  • Firm ideology of involvement that requires “going the extra mile”
  • Firm policy to return client phone calls and respond to emails immediately whenever practical
  • Cost-effective flat rates