The Registrar may accept or refuse the application subject to the provisions of the ordinance. A trademark application in Pakistan can be refused / objected by the Registrar on relative or absolute grounds of refusal:
Relative Grounds for Refusal in Pakistan: A mark is similar/ identical to an earlier trademark for the same or similar goods/ services. A mark which is similar/identical to an earlier trademark in respect of different goods/services.
The above categories of marks may however be registered if the proprietor of the earlier trademark consents or there has been an honest concurrent use of the later mark.
Absolute Grounds of Refusal of a Trademark in Pakistan: If the trademark is devoid of any distinctive character, that is to say, not capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others.
If the trademark consists exclusively of the marks or indications which may serve in trade to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, values, geographical origins or the time of productions of the goods or rendering of the service or other characteristics of the goods services.
If the trademark consist exclusively of marks or indications which have become customary in current language or in the bona fide and established practices of the trade. However, a trademark which may be initially refused on absolute grounds can be registered if it acquires a distinctive character as a result of extensive and continuous use by virtue thereof, it being associated with the trademark owner alone. Further the objections raised by the Registrar with regard to an application, is forwarded to the applicant and the applicant has to file an appropriate reply with the supporting documents to the official objections within one month. The Registrar may accept the application on the basis of the reply and documents filed or may list the application for hearing. When an application for registration of a trademark is accepted, the Registrar advertises it in the official Trademarks Journal, which is published and available on Registry’s website.