The Trade Marks Rules, 2017 has been published by the Government of India, Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) by notification dated 06/03/2017 in Part II, Section 3, Sub-Section (ii) of the Gazette of India, Extraordinary and has been made effective from the date of publication i.e. 06/03/2017. The said rules are available on the official website of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion www.dipp.nic.in and of the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks www.ipindia.nic.in.
Some salient features of the revamped Rules are as follows:
- Number of Trade Mark Forms have been reduced from 74 to 8. New forms are TM-A, TM-O, TM-R, TM-P, TM-U, TM-C, TM-M and TM-G.
- Increased Statutory fee (Approx. 100 to 150%) for the registration of a trademark. However, to promote e-filing of trademark applications, the fee for online filing has been kept at 10% lower than that for physical filing.
- New rules divided applicants in two categories- individual/start-up/small enterprises and Others. A substantial rebate in the official fee (Approx. 50%) has been given to the individuals/start-ups/small enterprises.
- Under new rules it is mandatory for the applicant to file an affidavit testifying to the use of the mark in respect of all the goods or services mentioned in the application along with supporting documents.
- 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.
- The Registered proprietor can now file request for renewal of the registration of a trademark within one year before the expiration of the last registration the trademark.
- Hearing through video-conferencing has been introduced.
- New rules empower Registrar of Trademarks to include a mark in the list of the well-known trademarks maintained by the Registrar on the request of any person including applicant.
- In the matter of Opposition, the applicant can file counter statement on the basis of the copy of notice of opposition available in the electronic records on the official website of the trademark registry.
- Number of adjournments in opposition proceedings have been restricted to a maximum of two by each party and each adjournment shall not be for more than thirty days, which will help dispose off matters in time.
The New Trademark Rules, 2017, which replace the erstwhile Trade Mark Rules 2002, is enacted to streamline and simplify trademark registration procedure.