The Trade Marks Registry has recently released a notification on July 15, 2016 stating that no reply has been received for 9578 Examination Reports out of 13,062 Examination Reports which were dispatched during the month of March and April, 2016. These staggering figures released by the Indian Trade Marks Registry highlights some important issues.
After applying for a trademark, there are chances that the particular trademark for which registration is sought for may face objections from the Examiner of the concerned Trademark Registry, who generates an Examination Report containing all the objections. The objections are generally made under Section 9, Section 11 and other relevant sections of the Trade Marks Act, 1999. It is to be noted that as per the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the Trade Marks Rules, 2002, a response to the Examination Report needs to be filed within 30 days of receiving the physical copy of the Examination Report by the proprietor of the trademark or by its authorized agents/attorneys.The responses which need to be filed by July 31st, 2016 amounts to more than 70% of the total Examination Reports which were dispatched during the above mentioned two months.
This notification came as a surprise for many as the Indian Trade Marks Registry had earlier also released an order in the month of March, 2016, abandoning more than one lakh trademark applications. However, it was later stayed by the Delhi High Court, providing an opportunity for reinstating those applications. It was expected that the trademark Applicants/Attorneys would take Examination Reports seriously but the recent notification puts forth a different picture altogether and highlights that the Indian Trade Marks Registry is very stringent about complying with deadlines for filing responses to the Examination Reports.
The Indian Trade Marks Registry through its notification, however, has given a second chance to the Applicants/ Attorneys to file responses for 9578 applications by mailing scanned copies of the responses to email@example.com, by July 31st, 2016. The list of these applications has been published in the Trade Mark Journal No. 1753 from pages no. 7100 to 7276. If the Applicants/Attorneys fail to file the responses within this extended deadline, those applications will be treated as abandoned. It is highly recommended that the Indian Trade Marks Registry should intimate the Applicants/Attorneys about the Examination Report through email also, in addition to dispatching the physical copy through post, which would make the whole process more transparent.
Authored by Nikhil Kumar
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