Legal AdviceTrademarks

When Can a Trademark Application Be Rejected?

There are several reasons to reject a trademark, so it’s vital that you do your homework before applying for one.

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A trademark is a brand name or logo which defines your product or service. It can be a letter, phrase, number, word, symbol, shape or combination of alphanumeric digits. A unique brand name or logo is used to differentiate your product or service from others in a particular industry. You need to register your brand name or logo to secure legal protection for it. On receiving ™ Application number you can start using the symbol ™. By registering for a trademark, you can assure your customers/clients that your product or service is unique in the market. It represents the source or acts as an identification for your innovation.

Before registering for your trademark, you will need to assess your work on determining which type of trademark suits the best for your product or service. Vakilsearch helps you in applying, filing and registering your trademark. You can also have a word with our expert lawyers before you decide to pick your type of trademark. Also remember that when you get a trademark registered in India, then it is valid only in India.

Benefits of Owning a Trademark

  • The first and foremost benefit is that a trademark acts as an exclusive right towards the ownership of your brand name or logo. You can stop others from promoting your brand or logo, without an authorized license
  • The holder of the registered trademark can sue a person if the person has infringed the same logo or name. The unauthorized user can be warned or stopped from using your trademarked name or logo
  • Your quality of product or services will be showcased to the world if you own your trademark. It resembles trust, goodness and conviction to the customers/clients in your field of business. Therefore, customer retention would be higher
  • Your customers or clients will be able to easily find your product if you registered your design
  • It helps people to distinguish between products with a trademark symbol and the one without it 
  • After registration of the trademark, you can print the ® symbol in your logo representing that your brand name or logo is a trademarked one
  • Online trademark registration is possible at a low cost
  • One can register the trademark in other countries too which will help them establish the brand globally. For instance, if you have registered the trademark in India, then you can use the registration certificate to register your brand or logo in other countries
  • It helps the franchise to seek the brand or logo since it would be a very established, renowned brand of name, logo
  • The owner can transfer his/her registered trademark. The same is not possible for a common law trademark, which can only be transferred with the business
  • Recognition of product’s quality
  • Protection for 10 Years at low cost.


Rejection of Trademark Application

Every month, a client’s application gets rejected for not fulfilling the requirements of the Trademark Registry. Some of the common reasons are: having the same trademark, having a misleading description of the product, containing immoral, scandalous words or pictures, including the national flag or the flag of other nations. Generic words are also rejected.

Of the several 100 trademark requests, we get every month, a sizable percentage would not pass the requirements of the Trademarks Registry. Many of these clients are willing to risk rejection and insist that their applications be filed anyway, only to receive an objection notice a few months later. This ends up being a waste of time.

Common Reasons for Trademark Application Rejection

The correct thing to do is to file only what is likely to be approved, particularly given that the Registrar needs only a flimsy reason to reject your application. So before you apply, do understand the common reasons for rejecting an application:

  1. The same or a similar trademark already exists and approval of the application would likely confuse consumers. You can check which trademarks have been approved here.
  2. If the proposed trademark is merely a description (or even a misleading description) of the product or service, it will be rejected. Therefore, Coconut Paste is unlikely to be cleared, in the case of a chutney product; Purified Water will not be cleared in the case of mineral water.
  3. In India, trademarks that contain immoral, deceptive, or scandalous words or images are certain to be rejected.
  4. A trademark comprising the Indian flag, or that of any other nation, or any state or municipality, will be rejected.
  5. Unless you get permission from the living person, you may not use the person’s name, portrait or signature.
  6. The proposed trademark is simply geographically descriptive of the goods or services. Therefore, trying to trademark Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder would face rejection.
  7. Generic words cannot be used, nor can adjectives. Therefore, ‘Best’ or ‘Quality’ would face rejection.

The clients have to face rejection and fill the application again. They will get an objection notice in a few months. This makes clients waste their time. The best thing is to do is to file which can be approved, especially to satisfy all the Registrar needs. So before applying for the trademark, understand the reasons for the rejection in the application.


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