Have you ever applied for trademark registration? If you have, you know that the initial filing process is simple. You file the application online, submit the documents, pay the fees and wait. However, once the application reaches IP department, there is only a 40% chance for it to be accepted. Why the case of trademark application rejection so common? Is the government merely interesting in annoying you? Or is there another reason behind it?
While I agree with the “government-trying-to-annoy” part, I also have learnt that because applying for trademark registration is so easy, people tend to overlook things. Those things turn into mistakes and mistakes are always what the department watches out for. So through this article, I am going to tell you about 7 main reasons behind trademark application rejections
Reason Number One: Not attaching trademark form TM-48
Trademark application can be filed by a common man, but that doesn’t mean that it should be. To ensure that the application is accepted by the department, many of you make the wise choice to hire a trademark application expert or an IP lawyer. However, you cannot just hire them and make them file the application on your behalf; you have to give them the legal right to do so. That’s the purpose of TM-48 form, to give these professionals authorization to file the application as your representatives.
Reason Number Two: Putting the Wrong Applicant Name
Most of the applicants of trademark registration are not individuals, but companies or other business entities. When applying for trademark registration, such applicants make one major mistake: only state the name of the company. You cannot do that. When filing the application as a company, you have to input the name of the directors or partners, without it, trademark rejection is eminent. It’s a simple mistake that should not be made, but it happens more often than you realize.
Reason Number Three: Putting the Incorrect address on the application
It’s quite easy to enter the correct address in your trademark application. But more often than not, a little typo happens, and more often than not, the applicant doesn’t care. As a result, more often than note, his/her trademark application is rejected. Take trademark application seriously and if someone else is filing it on your behalf, tell them to take it seriously.
Reason Number Four: Applying in the wrong trademark class
A trademark class classifies the trademark based on the product or service it represents. For example, if you want to sell alcoholic beverages, you choose trademark class 33, for footwear selling you choose trademark class 25. Similarly, there are 45 trademark classes. If you choose the wrong class of trademark while filing the application, the department objects to its registration.
Reason Number Five: Not giving proper goods or service description
The 45 trademark classes are well explained. However, for a layman, they can cause a lot of confusion. Therefore, you need to provide proper goods or service description for your product. However, I’ve noticed that most businesses barely have the right idea of how to put the description of their product/service together. The result, the descriptions often are ambiguous, making the department more than happy to reject your trademark application.
Reason Number Six: Your trademark is trying to copy another
It’s quite easy to make a name for yourself by cheating your way into the hearts and minds of the people. How? By copying the trademark of a well-known brand and presenting that as your own. However, such fame is short lived. The trademark registration department despises similar trademarks, and such applications are not given even a single change.
Reason Number Seven: Issues with the trademark
A copied trademark is not the only type of trademark issue that’s at odds with the trademark law. If your trademark is sort-of similar to one that is already registered, it’s seen as an attempt by you to create a deceptively similar trademark. If you are using obscene or offensive terms in your trademark, it’s seen as one not fit for registration. If your trademark uses descriptive terms – describing the product/serve you want to mark, department rejects your application there as well. Trademark issues form the bulk of the reasons for trademark application rejection.
If you are trying to register your trademark, there are mistakes that you can’t make. Sure, at times that you’re going to hit a dead-end (trademark objection) even when you’ve done everything right but, such instances are rare. Therefore, it’s you who have to decide the trademark and file its application properly. If you are still worried about rejection, you can leave the application filing process to the trademark experts.