How to Raise Objections in Trademark
A trademark for a product is like its unique identity. It imparts personality to it and there is provision in law that when this unique identity is infringed upon, the trademark holder can raise objection with the registering authorities.
A company or an individual can use the ™ symbol after it gets initial approval from the trademark registration authorities in India. Existence of the ™ symbol beside the product’s name means that trademark application is under review. Final approval for any trademark takes around 12-14 months and when it is finally approved, the ® sign would appear beside the product’s name.
During this whole registration process, a period is given for objections to the registration of a trademark. One can file objection to a trademark, if his or her right over an already owned trademark is violated. This is just one of the many grounds on which trademark objections can be raised. Trademark objections can be raised after a particular trademark is published in the trademark journal when it is accepted for registry. In fact, even if the trademark is not registered, it gives the owner right to take legal action against any illegal infringement. Using a distinctively similar mark to an existing trademark to misguide the public is also considered infringement.
Under the Trademark Act, two types of remedies are available. They are:
- One can approach the court when his or her trademark is registered and it is being infringed upon by a third party. In this case, the person taking action has to prove that the infringing mark is similar to the registered mark. No proof of registration on part of the plaintiff is required since his is already trademarked. In these cases, normally courts protects the rights of the plaintiff simply because he has a registered mark.
- Second remedy is available when a trademark is not registered. This remedy is known as passing of action and it is sought to be taken when someone is passing off goods and services in the name of another. In this case, the person filing the case has to prove that this infringement is actually causing harm to his brand and is leading to a dame in reputation in the market. In this cases, either the government stops the infringer further infringement or the courts can order compensation against damages caused and/or confiscation or destruction of infringed materials.
Other reasons for trademark objects include use of incorrect trademark form, incorrect applicant’s name, incorrect address, lack of distinctive character in the trademark and deceptive nature of the proposed trademark.