What are the various grounds for refusal of trademarks?

(i) Trademarks or signs that is customary in current language and in the bona fide and established and customary practice of the trade;

(ii) Trademarks comprising scandalous or obscene matter or likely to hurt religious susceptibilities in India;

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(iii) Trademarks consisting of shape which are purely functional or are necessary to obtain a technical result or give substantial value to the goods; or

(iv) Trademarks whose use is prohibited under Emblems and Names Trademark is devoid of distinctive character;

(v) Trademarks that is descriptive;

(vi) Trademarks likely to deceive of cause confusion;

(vii) Trademarks (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.


Section 13 of the Trademarks Act, 1999 prohibits registration of any word as trademark which is:

Commonly used and accepted name of any chemical element or any chemical compound (as distinguished from mixtures) in respect of a chemical substance or preparation; or

Declared by the World Health Organization and notified as such by the Registrar, as an International non-proprietary names.

Relative grounds of refusal:

Section 11 of the Trademarks Act, 1999 sets out the relative grounds for refusal of trademarks, which can be grouped under two heads:

(i) Identical or similar to a previous mark with and/or without similar or identical goods;

(ii) Prohibition of use of the trademark under passing off or law of copyright;