Defining trademark hearing
A trademark hearing is a run-of-the-mill suit hearing, but it is tied with the trademark officer. An applicant can appear in the hearing by himself/herself or via an agent or the attorney. It is
to substantiate the issues brought up by the examiner in the application.
Such type of cases might arise related to TM registration in India. One thing to keep in mind here is that when the registration process of a trademark is undergoing, you can use the ‘TM’ mark, once it gets done, you can use the ® mark.
Answering the when, why, and how
The trademark examiner inspects every trademark application with multiple parameters. If he/she locates any issue with the application, then they can object. There are two ways to reply to the report of examination. The first is to submit a trademark objection reply by answering all the concerns brought up in the report. The second one is to plea for scheduling a hearing directly with the trademark officer.
Another stage of hearing comes up when the applicant selects to submit a reply to the objection, then he/she must submit it within 30 days. If the reply is up to scratch, then the examiner would proceed with applying to the next stage. But if it is not up to scratch to the examiner or he/she needs additional information, he can schedule the hearing.
After the publication of the trademark in the journal, the applicant may receive hostility from the third-party. After submitting the required response and corroboration against the hostility, the examiner provides a chance to be heard to both parties. Therefore, the hearing is also arranged at the stage of hostility.
Place of hearing
The trademark hearings are arranged at the registrars of the trademarks’ office. There are a total of 5 jurisdictional offices located all over India. All the states and UTs are segregated into the five jurisdictions as given below.
Mumbai – the state of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, and Chhattisgarh.
Ahmedabad – the state of Rajasthan and Gujarat and UTs of Daman, Diu, Dadra, and Nagar haveli.
Kolkata – the state of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Manipur, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Sikkim, Jharkhand, and UTs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Nagaland.
New Delhi – the state of Punjab, Jammu, and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, and UT of Chandigarh.
Chennai – the state of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and UTs of Pondicherry and Lakshadweep Island.
Documents needed for hearing
The person who is going to appear in the trademark hearing has to carry the required documents. The set of documents varies from case to case. Essential needed documents are given below.
An applicant should give a power of attorney to the trademark attorney.
Letter of authorization.
An authorization letter is compulsory in favor of a person appearing in the hearing on behalf of the applicant.
If an applicant claims the prior user date in the trademark application, the application should give the deets of usage of the trademark in an affidavit.
Evidence for prior use.
An applicant should gather the shreds of evidence when he/she claims the prior user date. There have to be adequate shreds of evidence from the date of the claim to the current period, demonstrating that the applicant is in the persistent use of the trademark.
Process of trademark hearing
The trademark registration process is lengthy and trademark hearing takes place when the ministry sends the notice of hearing beforehand to the applicant. That the applicant or attorney should present in the hearing on a provided date and time at the jurisdictional office, respectively. An attorney or applicant should present the fact, case, and relevant submissions and proofs before the officer.
After hearing the case, the trademark officer might give the requisite order either with the trademark’s acceptance or rejection. If the officer considers reasonably, then he/she may arrange another date to explore more facts of the case, and he might adjourn the matter.
The directive ordered by the officer will be uploaded on the official trademark website. If the matter is adjourned, then the next hearing date will be given in a few days.
Adjourning the hearing
As aforementioned, the trademark officer might adjourn the trademark hearing. Or an applicant can also plea for the adjournment of the hearing. The applicant will have to submit TM-M for adjournment with payment of a fee of Rs. 900. The adjournment plea will be submitted beforehand; otherwise, the trademark might get forsaken because of non-attending the hearing on the arranged date and time.
Generally, the trademark hearing is demonstrating the case before the trademark officer. To demonstrate the case with necessary facts and to buttress it with the relevant case laws. It is requisite that a proficient trademark attorney attends the hearing. The officer might forsake the trademark application if the case is not demonstrated thoroughly or due to inadequate proofs.