In an effort to streamline, simplify and expedite the trademark registration processes, the Government of India has replaced the Trade Marks Rules 2002, with a forward looking and more progressive Trade Mark Rules, 2017.
Some of the salient features of the new rules as reported by Indianceo are:
- Reduction in the number of trademark forms from 75 to 8: while earlier there used to be one form for each type of application, it is now a single form for requests related to each separate stage of the application life cycle, such as filing, search, opposition, and renewal, among other types; trade mark applications, whether single class, multi-class, collective marks, can now be done now through the same form; contested proceedings such as oppositions or rectifications may be registered through a single form.
- Hearings in connection with proceedings, will now be allowed through video conferencing or other audio-visual communication devices. The 2002 rules did not have this feature.
- Sound marks and three dimensional marks will now be accepted for registration. This is a new provision. For registering sound marks, the rule states, “Where an application for the registration of a trademark consists of a sound as a trademark, the reproduction of the same shall be submitted in MP3 format not exceeding thirty seconds’ length and recorded on a medium which allows for an easy and a clearly audible replaying, and which is accompanied with a graphical representation of its notations.” Registration of 3-D marks includes the shape and packaging of goods.
- Electronic filing and service of documents is encouraged. A fee that is 10% less than for physical filing has been provided for e-filing. Communications which are sent by the Trade Mark office through email will be accepted as completed service. It will not be required to serve documents through the post.