2017 (India): Govt simplifies rules for trademark registration, rates are revised & also reduced registration time
The government of India has recently announced the number of trade mark forms that are needed for filing an application. It has brought down the number of forms from 74 to just 8 and almost halved the application fees for e-filing.
The notification being passed has replaced the terms and regulations of Trade Mark Rules Act, 2002. The Commerce and Industry Ministry in a press release has spelled out to slash down the application fees for start-ups, small enterprises and individuals to Rs 4,500 which was earlier Rs 8,000 for e-filing of Trademark applications. The e-filing of TM applications fees for such entities have been reduced from that proposed in the draft rules- only Rs 4,500 as against Rs 8,000 based on the stakeholders’ feedback.
As proposed at the draft stage in the Trade Mark (TM) Rules, 2017, the Finance Minister- Mr.Arun Jaitly, mentions, that in order to encourage “electronic-filing” of TM applications, the fee for online registration has been kept at 10 % lower than that for manual paper filing. This is marked as another salient feature of the revamped TM rules, 2017.
Overall registration fees for TM have been streamlined by decreasing the number of entries in Schedule I from 88 to only 23. To promote ease of doing business with not much legal troubles and effortlessness, the mechanism to identify well-known trademarks has been clearly described for the first time. Also, terms and clauses relating to accelerated processing of an application for registration of a trademark have been expanded right up to the registration stage. It was earlier only up to the evaluation stage.
Steps for service of documents from applicants to the Trade registry office and vice versa by way of electronic medium have been introduced to boost the process. E-mail has been made an indispensable part of address for service to be given by the applicant or any party to the legal proceedings so that the workplace communication can be emailed.
In addition, the government has cut down the evaluation time period for an application from 13 months to just 1 month with effects from January 2017. Statistics indicates that filings have soared up to 35 per cent in financial year 2015-16 against the previous year.
“These rules, which replaces the former Trade Mark Rules 2002, will rationalize and simplify the processing of trade mark applications,” as directed by Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement. The ministry and Council of India have a belief that the revised TM rules should give a boost to the Intellectual Property Regime (IPR) in the country.
It further added, the introduction and amount of adjournments in opposition proceedings has been limited to a maximum of two by each party, which will in return help discarding of matters in time.
The finance Minister added that the government has made various provisions to put the Trade mark law in place and “Now in India, there is a powerful and very effective and trademark law in function. Earlier it used to literally consume a lot of time for getting the registration done and the newly activated plan will facilitate online applications in 2017. This move by the government is even perceived to bring down number of the pendency of applications. The total number of trademark registration requests and patent applications pending as on February 1, 2016 are 5, 44,171 and 2, 37,029 respectively.
Furthermore, on the National Intellectual Property rights policy (IPR), a substantial capacity would be developed to accomplish the set objectives of the policy. The idea is to maintain equilibrium in consideration of advancements with trade health so that cost of acquiring a Mark does not become out of bounds because Trademark may itself create a monopoly. The policy is clear that India shall remain committed to WTO norms and Healthy and productive Trade related practices in public interest.
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