Trademark is an integral part of brand management policy of any organisation. Most of the startups and entrepreneurs are not aware about the importance of a brand name and trademark. They seldom apply for trademark registration though it is one of the most significant requirement in the long term. Trademark registration in India is governed by the Trade Marks Act, 1999 of India.
Trade mark law of India has been changed from time to time. New rules have also been introduced from time to time. In one such move, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, has issued the Draft Trade Marks Rules, 2015 (PDF) for public consultations on 17th November 2015. An analysis of the proposed Trade Marks Rules 2015 Of India (PDF) has been provided by Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) and Perry4Law Law Firm.
Readers of our blogs can accessed this analysis from the above mentioned link. However, some of the significant proposed rules are as follows:
(1) The forms relating to trademarks have been significantly reduced. This would help in reducing the unnecessary documentation and their conversion into electronic format.
(2) The filing fees have been doubled with little correlation with the proposed trademark services. There seems to be no direct relationship between the increased fees and the nature and quality of services proposed to be offered by the trademark registry.
(3) Time bound performance on the part of trademark registry is missing from the proposed rules.
(4) The proposed rules have not given emphasis upon e-delivery of trademark services in India. This would be a serious jolt to the Digital India project of Indian government that is already suffering from many shortcomings and weaknesses.
(5) Fees concessions for e-filings have been suggested by the proposed rules. This is an indirect method to force the stakeholders to adopt e-filing instead of paper filing. However, Indian government needs to spread awareness about e-filing along with providing better e-filing facilities.
(6) Well known trademarks have again been recognised by the proposed rules. However, there is an urgent need to draft suitable guidelines to deal with well known trademarks in India.
(7) More stringent requirements have been prescribed for establishing prior use by the trademark applicants.
(8) Provisions for expeditious disposal of applications with additional fees has been retained. However, expeditious disposal of trademark applications must be the norm irrespective of the fact of additional payment of fees. The same is missing as on date.
We hope our readers would find this update useful.