Recently the Indian Government took the bold decision of introduction of the new Trademarks Rules 2017 and the new rules came in to force from 06th March 2017, replacing the erstwhile Trademark Rules 2002.
According to the official sources there was an increase in the trademarks filing in India by about 10% over the past two years due to the significant increase in the manpower and better use of manpower and IT infrastructure.
The salient features of the new rules are as under:-
• Rules have been notified to improve the ease of doing business in the area of trademark applications
• The number of Forms have been reduced to 8 from 74.
• The new rules scrapped several redundant and obsolete provisions.
• The Fee schedule has been divided in two categories of the Applicants -
Individuals, startups and small enterprises
The other Entities
• The fees has been more than doubled for the application of a new trademarks (except for the Individuals, startups and small enterprises)
• The fees for the renewals has been doubled and now it is Rs.10000/- (appx. USD 150)
• To encourage the online filing the fees will be 10% lower than for the hard copy filings.
• Concept of determination of a trademarks as a Well known trademarks by The registrar has been introduced in the new rules. Rule 124 pertains to the same and states that on application alongwith the statement of case, evidence and documents relied upon by the applicant in support of his claim with the fees of Indian Rupees One Lakh (in USD approximately 1550), the Registrar has the power to determine the trademark as a well known trademarks. In case the trademarks is determined as a well known trademarks by the registrar the same shall be published in the Journal and included in the list of well known trademarks. Subrule 6 of Rule 124 of the rules provides the Power to the registrar on being satisfied that the trademarks has been erroneously or inadvertently included or no longer justified to be in the list of well known trademarks in the list of well known trademarks can remove the same after providing the due opportunity of hearing to the concerned party.
• The adjournments in the opposition proceedings have been restricted to two to expedite the decision in opposition proceedings. Further each adjournment cannot be for more than 30 days.
• Rule 155 of the rules provide an option of conducting hearing through the video conferencing or through any other audio visual communication devices.
• Email is now an essential part of the address for service in the forms introduced towards the Governments aim to digitize processes and go paperless.
• Now it is mandatory for the Trademarks Agents to provide their Mobile numbers registered in India compulsorily.
• Rule 25 of the rule has made it compulsion for the filing of the user affidavit by the applicant in case the user of the Trademarks in India is claimed by the applicant.
Hoping that the objective of the new rules to streamline and simplify the process of trademark application will be achieved.