What is a Trademark?
Trademark is a recognizable symbol, design, logo or any special sign that distinguishes properties of one company or organization from their other competitors. The Indian trademark law came into existence in 1999.
A company uses following symbols to differentiate them from others as follows:
- ™ (represented as TM, this shows that an organization is not registered and just delivers product information)
- SM (represented as SM, this shows that an organization is not registered and delivers service information)
- ® (represent as R, enclosed in a circle, this shows that an organization is a registered one)
There are two grounds on which a trademark can be rejected named as Relative Ground and Absolute Ground and these are discussed below in brief.
Rejection of trademark on absolute ground
This ground mainly deals with the nature of the mark itself.
1. Not satisfying trademark rules
There are chances when a company comes up with a trademark that they think is unique and do not conflict with the regulations, the trademark could fail in terms of rules posed by the Government that states the requisites for something to be a trademark.
2. Not distinctive
If a mark selected by an organization and found to be not significant, it is liable to be declared duplicate and mark can be rejected.
3. National and regional flag emblems
If by any means one chooses their trademark symbol that describes the flags or any symbol that is strictly held in regulations by the government of any country, it has a strong chance to get rejected.
Rejection of trademark on relative ground
These ground deals are seen in the conflict of an applied-for mark.
1. Identical mark
If an organization applies for a mark, which is already in use by anther proprietor, it is most likely to be rejected.
2. Breaking copyright rules
If an organization is found, breaking copyright of other organization, a trademark application is most likely to get rejected.
Importance of conducting a prior search before filing trademark
One can apply online as well as offline to avail the trademark for their organization. Even if someone applies for the trademark with his entirely perfect documents and in a right manner, it might get rejected due to some slightest of conditions. In order to overcome these rejections, one should conduct a trademark search keeping them away from heartburns in the future.
Mentioned below few reasons why one should conduct a trademark search
1. Search Trademark and be unique
One of the most common reasons for the rejection of a trademark is the duplicate symbol or design or anything that is slightly similar to that of the other one. If any sort of duplicity is found in trademark symbol, it will certainly get rejected. So, it is important to run a thorough trademark name search in case of symbols, logos, or design.
2. Protection yourself against lost time, money and resources
After applying for trademark if any party proves that their designs are copied, there is a strong chance of your trademark getting rejected. So, in order to avoid these infringements one should go for deep research on various symbols of companies.
3. Improper use of trademark on website
Trademark is used solely for the sale of goods and services. Trademark officers continuously keep checking the web and while checking if anyone is found violating the rules of selling goods and services, their trademark is more likely to be rejected and further consideration will not take place.
4. Choosing color wisely (if applied for color logo)
If someone is willing to apply for the trademark in the form of colored logo, they should not be confused between black and white ones versus colored ones. Clearly, they are not the same. If someone wants to apply for just a simple logo, they are allowed to use black and white in their logo or design. If you have chosen for the ‘no color’ option, then it can be claimed as any and all colors.
5. Looking for deceptive terms
Those logos or designs that mislead consumers regarding the products and services of an organization are referred to as a deceptive term. On a strict note, not following these will lead to the rejection of trademark application.
6. Offensive terms
Trademarks that contain offensive terms and violate the regulations of choosing a trademark fail the eligibility test to be registered.
7. Generic terms
Words that refer to some objects/products like football, chair, pen, table and so on, cannot be considered as trademark word or symbols.
So, keeping these points in mind and doing research prior to filing a trademark can help one in getting their application accepted.
This is a guest post by Lokesh Sharma who is working as Marketing Manager at QuickCompany.in a leading website for Trademark Registration in India.
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