What are the various grounds for refusal of trademarks?

Various grounds for refusal of trademarks:

Absolute grounds:

Section 9 of the Trademarks Act, 1999 sets out the absolute grounds for refusal of trademarks, which can be grouped under following heads:

(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;

(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.

Prohibition:

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;