Reasons for Trademark Application Rejection

The Trademark registration process is lengthy and takes nearly about 12-18 months to finally get some idea about the status of the application. However, there may be a variety of reasons for a trademark getting rejected including lack of research, use of generic terms and similarity to existing trademarks. This article briefly looks at some of the key reasons for a trademark getting rejected.

Business can't wait that long to be started, right? so you start off with the business while the trademark registration is pending. Imagine after all the efforts that you have put in, the trademark application is being rejected. Yes, definitely you are in trouble and to avoid this situation you need to keep a note of the following reasons leading to trademark application rejection!

1.Lack of Research

This is the fundamental step for anybody who wants to leave a mark because research helps to see what everybody else has seen, and engages us to think what nobody has thought. To form a unique, uncommon, and exclusive trademark, a thorough research of all the existing marks is essential. There is generally lack of research conducted as it is time-consuming but, it will be of great trouble if without research you carry on your registration process and thereafter it is being objected by the TM officers for clashing with the existing marks. Now, that's a waste of time! So lack of research can lead your trademark to rejection!

2.The Descriptive Marks

An "Apple" for a product apple and an "Apple" for product I-phone, which is more distinctive according to you? Definitely the "Apple" for I-phone as all the apple manufacturers can claim that "Apple" is their trademark because it directly describes the product. The marks that describes the characteristic of your product, or precisely states the product or services then it will not have specific mark which can be differentiated from others product or services. Descriptive marks are strictly rejected as it becomes generalized for similar products and services.

3.Generic Terms

The universal words that is known by general public and used in regular vocabulary can't be registered in trademark, so any generic term is on spot rejected by the trademark office. It lacks in the fundamental distinctive feature for a trademark. Strength of generic terms are also less and not uniquely recognized in the market.

4.The Misguiding Mark

Any mark which causes confusion among public or misguides them are likely to be rejected by the TM officer. If any mark which intent to hurt religious sentiments or consist of scandalous/obscene elements then it is immediately objected & later rejected.

5.Official Terms

Trademarks that contains names, flags which are protected under Emblems and Names are rejected. Prevention of improper Use(Act 1950) states that nothing of state or national concern like hallmarks, international organizations, armorial bearings that are protected under National Regulations cannot be registered as Trademark.

6.Existing trademarks

The marks which are already recorded in the trademark database are certainly not registered again. hence, if you are on process with a trademark which already exists then it is expected to be rejected and objected by opposition and thereafter the trademark office.


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