The Registrar of Trademarks, India has recently notified a new set of rules called the Trademark Rules 2017 concerning filing, prosecution and registration of Trademarks. They have come into effect from 6th March 2017.
The process of securing registration of the trademark is amended. Notably the government fees for filing trademark applications, amendment of trademark applications, filing of notice of oppositions, filing of counterstatements, seeking adjournments, renewal of registered trademarks, assignment of trademarks etc., is increased.
The salient features of the fresh set of trademark rules 2017 are :
- Difference in filing fee for an individual/startup/small enterprise and other entities.
- Incentivizing online filing by introducing reduced fee for online filing of applications, oppositions, counter statements etc.,. Physical filing of applications/forms will entail increased statutory fees.
- Consolidation of numerous forms into merely seven forms. The consequences of such consolidation, either positive or negative, are yet to be realized.
- Introduction of expedited process for registration of a trademark. Expedited process of registration entails additional government fee.
- Renewed emphasis on speedy disposal of trademark applications by introducing indicative timelines under which the Trademark Registry has to dispose of a particular application.
- Importantly, as part of the larger objective of digitizing the process of registration, a specific provision has been introduced wherein email communication is deemed as valid and sufficient without any postal communication. Further the Registry may conduct the hearings through video conferencing without the need to physically be present at the Trademark Registry. This is a step in the right direction however currently the Trademark Registry’s needs to build its infrastructure to fully conduct the hearings via internet.
- Specific request can be made to include a trademark in the list of well known trademark by filing relevant forms.
Broadly, we can safely assume that the Registry is going to function in a much more efficient manner by adapting themselves to the new technology.