Recently, Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)) issued out Draft of proposed Rules for Trade Marks. The proposed draft rules are open as of now to receive objections and comments from the concerned person, which shall be taken into Consideration by the Central Government. The draft rules proposed significant changes in the Government Filing fees and the Format of Forms for Trade Mark Prosecution.
The Draft Rules proposes to increase the fees through Schedule 1, to mention a few, Trademark filing fees for each class is proposed be Rs. 8000/-, renewal charges to be Rs. 10,000/- each and request to make entry of the mark as well known mark proposed to be Rs. 100000/-. Schedule 1 of the proposed rules clearly mandates the preference to online filing instead of physical submission wherein the physical filing of forms would cost more to the applicants as compared to the online filing which indeed give rise to the online filing of the applications. Further the draft rules proposes significant change in the format and numbering of the Forms wherein the Form would be identified on alphabetical manner such as Form A, Form B instead of the present numerical as Form TM 1 and so on. The Format seems to be more systematic and seems to be a good move.
The draft rules also proposes the provision for Sound marks under Rule27 (5) which provides that the Sound marks are to be submitted in MP3 format along with the graphical notation of the same.
The draft rules also propose to provide discretionary powers to the Registrar under Rule 127 to determine a mark as Well Known mark upon application filed requesting for such determination. However it would be interesting to note that what will be the criteria to determine the trademark is well known, in the absence of any stipulations by the proposed rules and possibly it shall be governed by the precedents in that regard. Proposed draft rules may be accessed here.
Thus it can be concluded that the main highlight of the proposed draft rules mainly is the increase in fees and format of Forms to be filed. However it would be interesting to note the effect of such increase in fees upon the timeline of the prosecution and efficiency in quick disposal of the pending applications.
About the Author: Mr. Abhijeet Deshmukh, Trade Mark Attorney, Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys and can be reached at: Abhijeet@khuranaandkhurana.com.