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The Trade Mark Rules, 2017 have been notified by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion with effect from 06th March, 2017. These new Trade Mark Rules, 2017 have replaced the erstwhile Trade Mark Rules 2002. The new rule is introduced by the Central Government to simplify the registration of trade mark process and to expedite the overall process of trade mark.

The following are some of the salient features of new rules, "Trade Mark Rules, 2017":

  • The Trademark Rules 2017 has specified the Applicants for the purpose of the Trademark Application in two categories, Individuals/ Startups/ Small Enterprises and Others.
  • Number of Trade Mark (TM) Forms has been reduced from 74 to 8.
  • The fees for filing trade mark have been increased to Rs. 5000 for Individuals, Start-ups and Small Enterprises and Rs. 10000 for others from the fee of Rs. 4000.
  • Overall fees were rationalized by reducing the number of entries in Schedule 1 to 23 from 88.
  • To promote e-filing of TM applications, the fee for online filing has been kept at 10% lower than that for physical filing.
  • Under Rule 124 any person may request the Registrar in a prescribed form along with prescribed fee for the determination of well known trademarks along with statement of case, evidence and documents. The fee for the same is Rs. 1, 00,000.
  • Hearing may be held through video conferencing or any audio visual communication device.
  • Earlier, the examination of an application could be expedited only upto examination stage. Now the provisions relating to expedited processing of an application for registration of a trade mark have been extended right upto registration stage with the fee of Rs. 40,000.
  • Application for Renewal of registration of a trademark may be filed within one year before the expiration of the registration of the trademark under FORM TM-R with the prescribed fee. Earlier, the Application for renewal could be filed only six months prior to the expiration of the trademark.
  • 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.
  • Numbers of adjournments in opposition proceedings has been restricted to a maximum of two by each party, which will help dispose off matters in time.
  • Earlier, it was Examiner's discretion to call for Affidavit claiming the use of a particular mark. However, the new Rules have made it mandatory for the Applicant to file an Affidavit along with the supporting evidence to claim use of the mark. So, if an application is to be filed claiming usage in India, an affidavit with evidence of use has to be submitted along with the application.
  • The new Rules have an express provision for filing applications for sound marks which must now be submitted in an MP3 format, not exceeding 30 seconds in length. This is also to be accompanied with a graphical representation of the sound notations. In this regard, the definition of "graphical representation" has also been revised to include representation in digitized form.
8 March 2017
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