Understanding the concept of Trademark Objection Reply

Published On: Jun 18, 2019Last Updated: Mar 4, 20245.2 min read

A trademark creates an identity for the brand and distinguishes it from other products/services in the market. Hence protecting it is crucial, if one wants to maintain its distinct identity. This protection over the unique brand identities can be obtained through online trademark registration in India. However, the process requires multiple steps and one such step is the trademark objection reply. An objection to a trademark application arises when the registry feels that either the mark or the documents are not in accordance with the prevailing laws. Hence,  it becomes necessary for the applicant to file a reply to examination report by trademark registry. In this blog, we discuss what trademark objection is, how to file a trademark objection reply, the applicable trademark objection fees and more. So, let’s dive in.   

What is a trademark objection? 

Trademark objection is one of the initial stages in the trademark registration process. In this stage, the trademark officer examines your application for errors and raises an objection through examination report. In order to proceed further, you will have to reply to examination report in trademark.  Do note that the objection is not a straightforward denial to your claim, but the registrar seeks valid reasons or explanations about the mark and its registrability. He gives the applicant an opportunity to explain how the said trademark fits the criteria to avail valid registration through filing a trademark objection reply. 

Reasons for Trademark Objection in India 

The need to file a trademark objection reply arises when the officer raises an objection to the registration of your mark. You will know this if you’re aware of how to register a brand name in India. Further, there are many reasons due to which the registry may raise trademark objections, so lets see them: 

Non Distinctiveness

Distinctiveness is an essential characteristic of trademarks in India. Hence, if your mark is not unique, you will have to file a trademark objection reply. The timeline for filing a TM objection reply is within 30 days of issuance of the examination report. 

Deceptive Similarity

reply to examination report in trademark.

From all the different types of trademarks, such marks that are deceptively similar to existing marks are not allowed for trademark application. If the registry feels your mark is a deceptively similar mark, then, you will have to clarify through the trademark objection reply. 

Descriptive Marks

Marks that are too descriptive of the products or services they’re related to cannot be registered as trademarks. Hence, if the registry deems your mark to be descriptive, you will have to provide reasons proving its uniqueness in the trademark objection reply. 

Offensive Marks

In India, any such mark that may be offensive or derogatory to a group of individuals, or to the public at large is not registrable as a trademark. However, the decision of this offensiveness is with the registry, you can try to convince them with your reasons through the trademark objection reply. 

Incorrect details in Trademark form 

If information relating to the applicant name, principal place or any other information in the trademark application is false then it is most likely to raise a trademark objection. Hence, it is important to understand all documents required for trademark registration in India

Grounds of Trademark Objection

The Trademark Act 1999 provides for two different grounds for refusal of trademark registration. Let’s discuss both in brief:

Absolute grounds of refusal

This is a trademark objection under section 9 of the Act. To overcome this objection, you need to file a trademark objection reply within the given timeline by the registry. These marks usually include generic or non distinctive marks. 

Relative grounds of refusal

The relative grounds for refusal of trademark registration are usually associated with the rights of existing trademark owners. 

Documents required for filing a Trademark Objection Reply

To file an examination reply, you will need the following documents: 

  • Power of Attorney (if Applicable);
  • Reply to examination Report;
  • Proof of Usage of Mark (snapshots of advertisements, products, packaging, marketing material, website details, and more. 

Also Read: Trademark Search Process in India

Process to File a Trademark Examination Reply

Based on the trademark jurisdiction in India, you will have to file your examination reply. Below is the process of filing the objection reply: 

Review the Examination report

To successfully reply to the examination report of your trademark, you need to review the query raised by the registry carefully. Examine all the points, see how you can counter the objections. 

Draft the Reply to Examination Report

Prepare a detailed reply addressing each objection raised in the examination report. Also, provide legal arguments and evidence to support the distinctiveness and registrability of your trademark.

Gather All Documents

With the reply, you can even submit all the documents to make your case stronger. 

Submit Form Mis – R

Submit the form and upload your reply and requisite documents. Also note that this for filing tm examination reply, no fees is applicable. However, there may be some professional fee associated with filing examination reply. 

Wait for Order

After submitting the final trademark objection reply, you will have to wait for the registry to go through all your submissions. The registry may issue a hearing notice, or accept your mark. You will have to proceed accordingly. Do read the trademark hearing process here. 

What is the trademark objection reply fees?

There is no government fees for trademark objection reply filing. However, the attorney you hire to draft your trademark objection reply, may have their own professional fees for trademark objection reply. Hence, this trademark objection reply fees is usually dependent on the Attorney or Services you choose. 


Maintaining the brand is as crucial as creating it.  The timely trademark objection reply filing online can save your time, money and brand. Failure to do so may lead to an abandonment of the trademark application. Make sure your brand name does not fall under the grounds of refusal scrutinize the brand name well before filing the registration application to avoid any hassle. 

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Kahini Jhaveri
About the Author

Kahini Jhaveri

Kahini Jhaveri is an IP specialist at LegalWiz.in, with a keen interest in content creation. She holds a B.A. LLB honours from Institute of Law, Nirma University, Ahmedabad. Kahini specializes in Intellectual Properties, specifically Trademark Law.

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