In furtherance to the recent commotion caused by the Trade Marks Office abandoning more than 1,60,000 trademark applications overnight, the Office of the Controller General Patents, Designs and Trademarks has issued a Public Notice dated April 04, 2016 to apparently tranquilize the situation.

As discussed, our previous post, Indian Trademark Office abandons 1,66,771 Trademark Applications by the end of March 31, 2016 left numerous applicants and law firms around the country traumatized.

Post the abandonment, there was a surge of complaints, some stating that even though Reply to Examination Report was filed, the marks were abandoned, and some claiming that the Examination Reports containing objections were never received by the Applicant or their authorized agents.

Considering the humongous number of complaints and agitations and “in the interests of justice” the Trade Marks Office has decided to provide an opportunity to the affected Applicants or their authorized agents concerned.

The notice reads, “It is notified to all concerned that in case any applicant or his authorized agent considers that his/her application has been erroneously treated as abandoned, he/she should send a representation with all details along with sufficient documentary evidence substantiating his/her case. 

All such representations and reply to examination reports, if any, should be submitted to office of CGPDTM by email at, cc: before 30/04/2016. Appropriate action by the office will be taken in all such matters in which representation is received within the aforesaid period.

Prima facie the notice does seem like a ray of hope for all “erroneously” abandoned trademark applications but it also sprouts up various technical hitches, such as:

  • Sufficient documentary evidence: How would the Applicant or his authorized agent prove that they did not receive the copy of the Examination Report from the trademark office. Rather it should have been the trademark office to come forward and provide evidence of dispatch of the Examination Reports.
  • Time frame: Considering that 1,66,771 trademark applications were abandoned, how long will it take for the Trademark Office to “take appropriate actions” and bring back the files wrongfully abandoned.
  • Rights of the applicants: In the meantime while the representations are being processed and prosecuted the legal rights of the Applicants will stay in abeyance.
  • Misleading information: The trademarks search reports will still display the status of these marks as “Abandoned”, which is technically wrong and also misleading for other Applicants.

Keeping aside these “genuine” flaws, let’s hope the Registry imparts justice to the affected with the same promptness and accuracy it adopted to abandon the applications.

Update as on April 05, 2016: Delhi High Court grants stay on all trademark abandonment orders passed by the Indian Trademark Office after March 20, 2016.