En Masse Abandonment of Trade Mark Applications by the Indian Trade Mark Office


It has been brought to the notice of SiNApSE Team that  numerous trade mark applications have been abandoned by the Indian Trade Mark Office in one shot. One person estimates the number to be more than 1.5 lakh applications. The reason as stated by one source is that the trade mark applications  are showing as abandoned because examination responses were not filed on time.

One lawyer reports that the Trade Mark officials are claiming that all examination reports, which have been uploaded online, for which responses have not been filed have been abandoned because of non-compliance. As per Section 18(4) of Trade Marks Act, 1999 and Rule 38  of the Trade Mark Rules the Trade Mark Office is required to communicate the examination reports to the applicant or  his attorney in writing. As a standard practice, the Trade Mark Office sends examination reports  by  mail or email. The Trade Mark Office now seems to be claiming that online publication amounts to such communication in writing. But, the Trade Mark Office’s website disclaimer indicates that the information on its website may not be accurate. Even assuming that all information is accurate, it would be a stretch to argue that publication on a portal amounts to communication in writing as required under the law.

SiNApSE Team performed a review on the portal and noticed that several applications are displayed as abandoned. Many of them do not have orders associated with the status. On its face, the reason for the abandonment seems to be a technical  or system error, rather than a conscious measure. It seems that a machine has abandoned several applications in one shot. Some applications infact went from objected to abandoned within minutes.

Trade mark attorneys are disappointed with Trade Mark Office’s seemingly arbitrary and wrongful action. They are contemplating on appropriate legal actions ranging from PILs  and writs to petitions and RTIs, to address the issue. The mass abandonment has surely  caused a stir among trade mark attorneys. If this is an error, it surely is a grave error, and will  reflect very badly on the IP Office’s capabilities. As such issues prop up, one cannot help but wonder if our IP Office  is going through a very rough phase at the moment.

Image Source/Attribution here, this image is in the public domain.



  • April 2, 2016 Posted
    Girija Deshpande

    Hi There,
    We, River Intellect Solutions Pvt. Ltd, have taken up the matter with PMO and Ministry of Commerce, as the reckless decision of the trademark office has affected thousands of our clients.
    Unified action against such reckless decision should give positive outcome.
    Adv. Girija Deshpnde

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