The Trade Mark Rules, 2017 came into effect on 6 March 2017. This newly notified trade mark rules will replace the erstwhile Trade Mark Rules, 2002 and streamline and simplify the processing of Trade Mark applications.
The best part of the revamped trade mark rules is that the number of Trade Mark (TM) forms has been brought down to eight from existing 74. Commerce and Industry Ministry said, the fee for online filing has been kept at 10 per cent lower than that for physical filing, this will help the government to promote e-filing of trade mark applications.
Highlights of the Trade Mark Rules, 2017
• The fees for individuals, start-ups and small enterprises were reduced to Rs 4500 for e-filing of trade mark applications. Under the proposed draft rules, the fee for application was kept at Rs 8000.
• The number of adjournments in opposition proceedings has been restricted to a maximum of two by each party, which will help dispose-off the matters in time.
• The procedures relating to registration as registered user of trademarks have also been simplified.
• It is the first time when the modalities for determination of well-known trademarks were laid out.
• The provisions in relation to the expedited processing of the application for registration of a trade mark were extended to registration stage (hitherto, it was only up to examination stage).
• Overall fees were rationalised by reducing the number of entries in Schedule I to 23 from 88.
• The modalities for service of documents from applicants to the registry and vice-versa through electronic means have been introduced; this will help in expediting the process.
• E-mail has been made an essential part of the 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.
• It introduces the process of hearing through video conferencing.
Earlier in January 2017, the examination time for the TM application was brought down to 1 month from the previous time period of 13 months. TM filings went up by 35 per cent in 2015-16 vis a vis the previous year.
It is expected that the new rules will give a boost to the Intellectual Property Regime in India.