An intending applicant for registration of a trademark shall first carry out a search to ascertain whether the trademark exists in the register (section 5).
The motive behind initial trademark search is to reduce the number of opposition to trademarks registration proceedings. It is also important to conduct a search prior to launching a new brand/ product into the market.
There are several grounds that a person making an opposition may rely on. First, Opposition may be made against registration of a trademark under s. 12 on ground that the trademark is similar or nearly resembles the trademark already registered and is therefore likely to deceive or confuse consumers; secondly, opposition may be brought under the provisions of s. 44 on grounds of prior registration in the country of origin. A person may also rely on such grounds as, prior application; prior use; mark not being distinctive; mark being deceptive; mark being generic. A person may also rely on any other ground of unregistrability, i.e. the mark not protectable in a court of law.