- Examination Procedure
After an application for a Trademark is filed with the Trademark Registry, a substantive examination procedure commences to examine whether the mark is admissible or not.
Applications are examined in respect of:
- formalities: i.e., for compliance with the filing requirements;
- classification: i.e., to ensure that the goods or services fall within the class(es) listed in the application;
- clarity: i.e., that descriptions are clear, and are understandable;
- descriptiveness: i.e., to check whether a trademark functions solely to provide information about the goods and services affiliated with the trademark;
- distinctiveness: i.e., to ensure that trademarks are capable of being represented graphically and of distinguishing goods or services of one individual or organization from those of other individuals or organizations;
- deceptiveness: i.e., to check whether a trademark is of such a nature as to deceive the public (for instance as to the nature, quality or geographic origins of the goods or services);
- conflict with prior registration, prior-filed application or earlier unregistered rights resulting from an official search.
A trademark application can be refused at the examination stage for the following reasons:
- If the filing requirements are not complied with;
- If the goods and services do not do not fall within the classes listed in the application;
- If the mark lacks clarity and distinctiveness and is descriptive;
- If the Trademark is of such nature that may deceive the public;
- If it conflicts with any prior registration, prior filed application, or earlier unregistered rights resulting from an official search.
If the examination report is issued, the applicant is required to submit a response within two months from the date of issuance of the same.
Once the application for registration of the mark has been accepted whether absolutely or subject to conditions or limitations as may be imposed by the Registrar, the same will be advertised in the Trade Marks Journal. An application is advertised in the Trademarks Journal so as to invite the public for filing opposition against the registration of a mark within a period of 60 days from the date when the said journal is made available to public.