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An Overview of Trademark Hearing

A trademark hearing is a process of appearing before the registrar (either physically or via video conferencing) for overcoming the objection(s) raised against the respondent's response given during the trademark application process. The trademark hearing is headed by the registrar where the concerned party is required to appear physically along with supportive evidence to bolster their case. A trademark hearing is a part of the registration process that comes into play when the registrar disapproves the applicant's response against the past objection.

Both administrator and applicant have the right to postpone the meeting. If the applicant wishes to adjourn the hearing, he would be required to file the TM-M application with the concerned trademark office. Likewise, the concerned administrator can postpone the hearing 2 or 3 times due to the unavailability of the applicant. However, in case of continuous absenteeism, the administrator will revoke the trademark application.

Benefits of Trademark Hearing

Following are the benefits of Trademark Hearing:

  • A trademark hearing can protect the owner from imminent losses triggered by the objection raised by any third party due to the similarity between the mark.
  • Allow the applicant to better understand the legal implications around the trademark.
  • Prevent the applicant from using the proposed mark, which is legally unfit.
  • Clear any confusion around mark or logo authenticity

Documents to be Arranged for the Trademark Hearing

Below are Some Common Documents That an Applicant must Arrange Before a Hearing Take Place:

  • Power of Attorney: If you opt to hire a trademark attorney.
  • Letter of Permission: To authorize an agent to address hearing formalities.
  • Affidavit of Practice: A legal Document reflecting the trademark uses since day one. Affix the supportive Documents such as business registration details, marketing materials, invoices, interviews, etc.
  • Document enclosing statement that assures the credibility and authenticity of the trademark in question.
  • Proof of Business.
  • Hearing Report and Notice.
  • Examination Report.

Trademark Hearing Process

  • The applicant will receive the show cause notice from the Trademark office enclosing the registrar's signature.
  • The applicant can directly or indirectly appear in the meeting as per the terms and date enclosed in the notice. (Note: Applicant can also hire an advocate for this purpose).
  • Arrange the Document or paperwork to support the case during the hearing.
  • Reach the respective trademark office and furnish the Documentary evidence with the notice for further proceedings.
  • After going through the case and Document, the registrar may reject or accept the response.

Note: Reaching out to an advocate or IPR specialist can prevent you from experiencing legal complications during the hearing. Choose to proceed individually only when you have adequate knowledge or experience in the field.

Designated Zones for Trademark Hearings in India

Trademark Hearing is convened jurisdiction-wise. Presently, there are five zones where a trademark hearing is convened. The list below reflects these five zones under which different states and UTs have been classified.

  • Mumbai: The State of MP, Goa, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh.
  • Ahemdabad: The State of Rajasthan &Gujarat and UTs of Dadra, Diu, Daman, & Nagar Haveli.
  • Kolkata: The State of Assam, Bihar, AP, Manipur, Orissa, WB, Mizoram, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Tripura, Jharkhand, and UTs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Nagaland.
  • New Delhi: J&K, Haryana, Punjab, UP, Delhi HP, UTs of Chandigarh and Uttarakhand.
  • Chennai: The state of AP, Telangana, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Lakshadweep Island & UTs of Pondicherry

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Why Avail of Corpbiz Expertise to Handle a Trademark Hearing?

Trademark Hearing seems to be a usual legal proceeding which otherwise is a misconception. It is a complicated procedure that revolves around plenty of legalities. It's easy for an applicant to fall into the trap of legal arguments while defending the mark. This is where you need an expert with b field knowledge who can get you through all the hassles of the hearing. Corpbiz has a sheer presence in the legal and IPR landscape. Our experienced Trademark specialists and advocates know what it takes to win a case. If your proposed trademark is invaluable to you, do not let a hearing subdue your dream. Let our experts deal with all the legalities on your behalf. We are here to help!

Frequently Asked Questions

Both director and applicant have the right to postpone the hearing but on different grounds. The director can postpone the hearing if for some reason applicant fails to register his presence. Similarly, the applicant can adjourn the hearing by filing the prescribed application-TM-M along with fees amounting to Rs 900. The application should be submitted 2-3 days before the hearing.

According to the governing legislation, the applicant or his agent qualifies to attend the hearing after receiving the show cause notice from the trademark office.

A trademark that entails anti-religious or offensive elements does not qualify for registration and hence its application shall stand rejected. The same is true for the proposed mark which is supposedly similar to other marks. Take note that the proposed mark should be in line with the norms cited under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, of 1950.

As soon as the hearing is concluded, the registration may either approve or reject the trademark application. In case of application approval, the authority will change the application status to Accepted and Advertised. Further, the proposed trademark will make its way to Trademark Journal to invite objections from the masses.

The continual absenteeism from the hearing can lead the trademark office to cancel the trademark application. In such an event, the applicant has to follow the entire process again.

In such an event, the application processing would come to a halt and a hearing will be convened in the trademark zonal office to reconcile the matter.

Registrar approval signifies that the proposed trademark is approved and the registration will be granted to the applicant.

If something like this happens, the registrar will revoke the application. However, you can avoid that mishap by hiring an agent or a CorpBiz advocate.

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