Source: News Bharati English08 Mar 2017 10:21:51

New Delhi, March 8: The Government of India has simplified the process of Trade Mark applications as it has brought a gradual decrease in the number of Trade Mark forms from 74 pages to only 8 pages. Also in order to promote e-filing of trademark applications, the fee for online filing has been kept at 10% lower than that for physical filing.  
Notably, the Trade Mark Rules, 2017 have been notified and have come into effect from 06th March 2017. These Rules have replaced the erstwhile Trade Mark Rules 2002 and simplified the processing of Trade Mark applications.

Commerce and Industry Ministry said, based on stakeholders feedback, the fees for Individuals, Start-ups and Small Enterprises have been reduced to 4,500 rupees for e-filing of trademark applications. The number of adjournments in opposition proceedings has been restricted to a maximum of two by each party, which will help dispose of matters in time. The procedures relating to registration as registered user of trademarks have also been simplified.

Highlights of the Trade Mark Rules, 2017 are as follows:

  • The number of Trade Mark (TM) Forms have been reduced from 74 to 8.
  • To promote e-filing of TM applications, the fee for online filing has been kept at 10% lower than that for physical filing.
  • Based on stakeholders feedback, the fees for Individuals, Startups, and Small Enterprises have been reduced from that proposed in the draft Rules – i.e. only Rs 4,500 as against Rs 8,000 for e-filing of TM applications proposed at the draft stage.
  • Modalities for determination of well-known trademarks have been laid out for the first time.
  • The provisions relating to the expedited processing of an application for registration of a trade mark have been extended right up to registration stage (hitherto, it was only up to examination stage).
  • Overall fees have been rationalized by reducing the number of entries in Schedule I from 88 to just 23.
  • Modalities for service of documents from applicants to the Registry and vice-versa through electronic means have been introduced to expedite the process; e-mail has been made an essential part of an address for service to be provided by the applicant or any party to the proceedings so that the office communication may be sent through email.
  • Hearing through video conferencing has been introduced.
  • A number of adjournments in opposition proceedings have been restricted to a maximum of two by each party, which will help dispose of matters in time.
  • Procedures relating to registration as Registered User of trademarks have also been simplified.

Notably, it may be recalled that the examination time for a TM application has already been brought down from 13 months to just 1 month in January 2017; this is despite a stupendous 35% jump in TM filings in 2015-16 vis a vis the previous year. The new Rules should give a boost to the Intellectual Property Regime in India.