The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has vide a notification dated 6th March, 2017 notified the Trademark Rules, 2017 (“Rules”). These Rules which will replace the erstwhile Trademark Rules, 2002 have helped to scrape several redundant and obsolete provisions and have streamlined and simplified the process of trademark applications.
The salient features of the new Rules are:
- Number of trademark forms have been reduced from 74 to 8.
- To promote e-filing of trademark applications, the fee for online filing has been kept at 10% lower than that for physical filing.
- The fees for individuals, start-ups and small enterprises have been reduced from Rs. 8,000/- to Rs. 4,500/- for e-filing of trademark 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 expedited processing of an application for registration of a trademark have been extended right up to registration stage.
- Over all 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 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.
- Number of adjournments in opposition proceedings has been restricted to a maximum of two by each party, which will help dispose off matters in time.
- Procedures relating to registration as registered user of trademarks have also been simplified.
- The examination time of a trademark application has on 1st January, 2017 already been reduced from 13 months to 1 month. This has been done despite a 35% jump in the trademark filings in 2015-2016 as against the previous year.
The new Rules have been introduced as they are expected to boost Intellectual Property Regime in India and help to substantially improve the ease of doing business in the area of trademark applications.