Trade Marks
Posted on 3/3/2017

India adopts new trade mark rules 2017

The new rules will change the process for protecting trade marks.

On 6 March 2017, the Government of India replaced the Trade Mark Rules 2002 with the Trade Mark Rules 2017 in an effort to create a more efficient and streamlined framework.

The new Rules have introduced a number of significant changes regarding the various trade mark processes, as highlighted below:

Simplification of the processes

The new Rules have reduced the previous 74 forms for various trade mark applications, under the 2002 Rules, to 8 forms. This development will facilitate greater efficiency and simplicity within the various trade mark processes.

Implementation of digital use

The new Rules encourage use of electronic means of communication to simplify trade mark processes by, for example, requiring applicants to provide documents electronically and to include an email address as part of the address for service. The Rules also provide that hearings may be held through video-conferencing or through other audio-visual means of communication.

Furthermore, with regard to the registration of marks, applicants may register a sound mark provided it is submitted in MP3 format with graphical representation of the musical notations.

Increase in filing fees

The new Rules have increased the filing fees of trade mark registrations, oppositions, renewals and other processes.

Furthermore, the new Rules have introduced an additional 10% fee on each physical filing in a further attempt to encourage electronic filings and correspondence.

“Well-known” marks

Brand owners are afforded greater protection through being able to register their marks on the list of “well-known” marks, provided the marks are deemed “well-known” by the Registrar.

Thus, the predominant focus of the new Trade Mark Rules appears to be achieving greater efficiency throughout the various trade mark application processes through simplifying the processes and encouraging use of electronic means of communication.

If you would like any further information about the new Trade Mark Rules in India or you would like advice regarding seeking trade mark protection in India, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Wilson Gunn