Trademarks registration is done by filling an application in the Trademark Office. After registration, if any changes are to be done, an application is given to the Trademark Office. This application is to be given along with the required documents or forms to the Trademark Office. If the Trademark Office needs any additional clarification regarding the documents or forms filed or if the appropriate documents are not given, they issue a notice with the details of the deficiency. This notice is commonly known as a scrutiny report or discrepancy notice (“Notice”). The applicant or applicant’s agent receives this notice.
The Trademarks Act,1999 (“Act”) and the corresponding Trademarks Rules,2017 (“Rules”) provides details and rules for the filing of applications to the Trademark Office. After filing the applications, scrutiny takes place to check if they are as per the Act and Rules. Upon finding any deficiencies regarding compliance, the Trademark Office issues the scrutiny report or discrepancy notice.
Instances Of Scrutiny Report Or Discrepancy Notice
Issuance of discrepancy notice or scrutiny report relates to deficiency or discrepancies found in respect of trademark application. There are several instances which provide for issuing of the scrutiny report or discrepancy notice. They are-
- Deficiency In Payment Of The Fees For Forms
The Act prescribes filing applications to the Trademark Office for various purposes like registration, transmission, assignment etc. The rules provide the list of applications along with fees to file before the Trademark Office. The Trademark Office issues discrepancy notice to the applicant upon finding any deficiency in payment of the fees prescribed for the application.
- Assignment Of Trademarks
Assignment of the trademark is done by the proprietor (owner of a trademark) in favour of another person. When the assignment takes place, an application is filed to the Trademark Office for registering the name of the assigned person. The application filing is along with the duly certified copy of the original documents or instrument or deed of assignment. When the Registrar of Trademarks has doubts about the genuineness of these documents, he requires additional proof of such assignment. In such a case, the Trademark Office issues a scrutiny report or discrepancy notice to the person whom trademark is assigned.
- Transmission Of Trademarks
When the transmission of a trademark takes place between one person to another, an application is filed before the Trademark Office. This application is to be filed along with a duly certified copy of proof of such transmission. After scrutinizing the documents, if the Registrar of Trademarks has doubts pertaining to the correctness of documents, he issues a scrutiny report or discrepancy notice to the person to whom the trademark is transmitted.
- Alteration In Address Or Goods In The Register
When the registered proprietor makes an application for change in the address, the Registrar of Trademarks scrutinizes the application. Upon satisfaction of the correctness of application, he shall change the address. If he requires any additional clarification or documents for the same, he issues a scrutiny report or discrepancy notice to the proprietor.
The registered proprietor may apply for correcting, changing, cancelling or striking out the goods or services relating to the entry of a trademark in the register. There may be a requirement of further evidence or clarification regarding changing or correcting or cancelling or striking out of the goods and services by the Registrar of Trademarks. In such a case, he might ask for additional evidence from the proprietor by giving a scrutiny report or discrepancy notice.
Effects Of Scrutiny Report Or Discrepancy Notice
The Trademark Office can issue the notice at any stage where deficiency arises. When a person receives the notice, he has to reply to it addressing the deficiency usually within 30 days of receipt of the notice. Responding to the notice within the time given in the notice is essential. If there is no reply on time, the application regarding which notice is given may be rejected. If notice is received, it is advisable to consult an advocate or trademarks agent.
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