Once an application for registration of trademark is filled with the Trade Mark Office, the Registrar may, refuse the application, accept it absolutely or accept it subject to such amendments, modifications, conditions or limitations, if any, as the registrar may think fit.
The Registrar may also withdraw his/her acceptance if he is of the opinion that the application was accepted in error, or that the trademark ought not to have been accepted in the circumstances of the case, or proposes that the trademark should be registered only subject to conditions, limitation, divisions or to conditions additional or different from the conditions, or limitations, subject to which the application has been accepted. The Registrar shall send a written communication of such action to the applicant. (See section 19 r/w Rule 38 of Trade Mark Act, 1999 & Trade Marks Rules, 2017)
If the registrar accepts the application, the application enters into the stages of registration. The initial stage is the “FORMALITY CHECK”. If the application passes the general formalities that must be fulfilled by the applicant in check, the status of the application on the Trade Mark Registry Website will show “FORMALITY CHK PASS”, and if the formalities are not in accordance with the law, it will show “FORMALITY CHK FAIL.”
The second stage, “MARKED FOR EXAM” is when the application, only after passing the formality check, is assigned to an Examiner. The trademark would be examined as to its ability to be registered under the various Sections of the Trade Marks Act, 1999. An examination report is then issued either accepting the trademark for publication or raising objections as to its registrability. At this stage, the applicant needs to wait for the examination report to be issued. An examination report is usually issued within a period of one month to one year depending on the backlog of the registry.
The stage of “OBJECTED”. If an examination report has been issued raising objections, a reply has to be filed by the applicant with a period of one month from the date on which the examination report was received by the applicant, failing which the trademark application may be treated as abandoned by the Registry. If the Examiner is not convinced with the written response, a hearing is posted for allowing arguments to be put forth in person.
For more information on Trademark Examination/Office Action please Contact Us.