A trademark is a logo or brand associated with goods manufactured by a company or individual. The Trademarks Act, 1999 governs and prescribes the procedure for registering a trademark in India. A trademark registration application goes through two important stages: Trademark Objection and trademark opposition. Before granting trademark registration, a trademark registration application can be objected to and opposed. People are sometimes perplexed and use the terms Trademark Objection and trademark opposition interchangeably. These two terms, however, are not synonymous. The Trademark Objection and trademark opposition procedures are also very different. Trademark Objection is done by the trademark examiner, whereas trademark opposition is initiated by a third party who has reservations about accepting your mark. People frequently mix up Trademark Objection and trademark opposition. Here are some key distinctions between trademark objection and trademark opposition.
What is Trademark Objection?
Trademark opposition is a step in the trademark Examination Process. Trademark Objection is a type of preliminary negation issued by the trademark examiner after your application is examined and the Trademark examination report is issued against your mark. If the intended Trademark violates Trademark registration rules and laws, the Trademark registrar may object to Trademark applications. The applicant is notified of the objection, and he or she is required to respond to it within a month of the report’s issuance. Trademarks are challenged for lack of distinctiveness, similarity to pending or registered marks, international proprietary names, geographical names, offensive or obscene words as part of or as a trademark. In some cases, an appeal should be made to the appellate board, and trademark applications must be checked on a regular basis or they will be abandoned. It is comparable to the fact that you have lost the money you spent on trademark filing.
An overview of the major grounds for objections to a trademark
- If a trademark contains anything offensive or obscene as part of it, it will be challenged.
- It can be argued that if an intended trademark is deceptively similar to an earlier trademark, it will cause confusion among the general public.
- If the application for trademark registration contains any incorrect or incomplete information, or if the form contains any incorrect details.
- An examiner may raise an objection if he believes the intended mark violates the terms for a valid mark.
- If the proposed trademark could cause confusion or mislead the public about an already existing similar mark.
- In some cases, an application for trademark registration is filed on behalf of the applicant by a Trademark Attorney, and then a TM-48 with an attached Authorization Letter must be filed. However, if the applicant fails to do so, an objection may arise.
What is Trademark Opposition?
A third party may file an opposition against an intended trademark if the Trademark sought for registration is similar or identical to his or her registered Trademark. It’s as if someone stole your exclusive right or idea. It is generally accepted shortly after publication in the trademark journal, usually within three months of the date of publication. A Trademark Opposition is a provision for opposing a trademark after it has been published in the trademark journal, and it prevents a person from using a similar or identical trademark that may cause public confusion, as well as it may prevent people from making illicit gain from a similar trademark to the one that is established and popular. Even if the trademark examiner reviewed and approved your application for a trademark. Opposition can sometimes result in accusations, infringement claims, and monetary damages.
An overview of the major grounds for opposition to a trademark
- If the proposed trademark is similar or identical to a previously registered trademark and cannot be distinguished from any other company or brand.
- If the mark causes confusion among the general public, or if it is illegal or prohibited by law.
- If the mark is common in the current language or in established business practises and is prohibited by the Emblem and Names Act of 1950, it may be used.
- If the mark is likely to offend religious sensibilities of any class or society.
- If the intended trademark is descriptive in nature, or if the trademark registration application is made in bad faith.
- If a trademark contains anything offensive or obscene, it will be challenged.
- If an intended trademark is deceptively similar to an earlier trademark, it may cause confusion among the general public.
Trademark Objection vs. Trademark Opposition
|S.no||Factors Considered||Trademark objection||Trademark opposition|
|1.||Individuals who initiate||The examiner raises an objection.||The third party is opposed.|
|2.||Respond to the initiation||It must be responded to within one month.||It must be responded to within two months.|
|3.||Charges||The applicant is not required to respond with a fee.||The applicant must respond with a fee.|
|4.||Process||Trademark Registration is the procedure.||Separate from the trademark registration process.|
|5.||Appeal||Rejection is being challenged.||There is an appeal against the decision.|
|6.||Finality of the process||Journal acceptance is published.||The parties are notified of the judgement.|
|7.||Initiation stage||Trademark objection is initiated immediately after the trademark registration application is submitted, and it is objected to during the early stages of registration and may follow ‘Marked for Exam’.||Trademark opposition comes after trademark objection and may come after ‘Advertised Before Acceptance.’|
|8.||Initiation style||In the form of a trademark examination report, the examiner files a trademark objection.||A third party files a notice of opposition in the form of a trademark opposition.|
Trademark Objection and Trademark Opposition are both required stages of a trademark application. A cautious and deliberate approach can help to avoid confrontation with these stages. When applying for trademark registration, a careful approach and knowledge of trademarks are invaluable. Even if one’s application is objected to or opposed, he or she should not be concerned. A strong response in a timely manner can assist you in navigating the various procedures associated with it. So, in this blog, we will discuss the major reasons for Trademark Objection and opposition, as well as the differences between the two. Thus, before applying for a trademark, proper research must be conducted, and any necessary responses must be filed diligently and carefully in order to avoid any inconvenience or waste of time and money. If your application for trademark registration is opposed or objected to, you should not be concerned and should seek proper guidance from the team of experts at Legalraasta, who can advise you on submitting a strong response and various proceedings associated with it in a timely manner, as well as best advice for any query related to trademark registration such as Trademark Objection and trademark opposition.