After the notification of Trademark rules 2017, there has been observed few major changes in Trademark Application, which are pertinent to mention. Let us go through what are the changes that are now accorded in new Trademark Application .
The new Trademark application is now filed through a new form TM-M that has replaced old form for Trademark Application TM-1.
The new form TM-M has 3 categories mentioned, which are opted before the filing of form for Trademark application. These categories are namely individual/sole proprietor, start-ups/SME and others.
You have to opt one category before the proceeding to filing of TM-M form as the fees will depend on the category of the Applicant you choose. The Government fees for individual/sole proprietor and start-ups/SME is 4500 and for others it is 9000.
The trademark category other is opted for body corporate(s) such as companies, LLP , partnerships firms etc.
Once you select the appropriate category of the applicant and the class the trademark application TM-M will be displayed.
In older version of Trademark application the attorney or the agent filing for the application was required to generate the proprietor code, which was a time consuming process, however, in the new Trademark application for TM-M , as soon as you enter the requisite trademark details the proprietor is added and code is visible in the column present at the TM-A form, but the old system of having a single proprietor code that can be added to the application has now been forfeited.
The other details in the new TM-M form remains the same like provided in initial TM-1, but certain categories such as Trading as column, Proprietor description etc, are not scrapped of.
Apart from the above listed changes, a very important change that has been incorporated is the mandatory requirement of filing of affidavit of usage.
Affidavit of usage is applicable where the applicant of the trademark application is claiming a prior user date , which basically a priority date from which the applicant has starting using the brand name he/she has filed for the trademark.
Suppose an applicant files an trademark application today i.e March 18, 2017 , but he claims that he has been using the trademark since 2016, in that case the applicant is required to give a declaration by way of affidavit along with some substantive proofs that he is honestly using the trademark since the claimed date.
Initially, the applicant was not required to file the affidavit with the trademark application and it was entirely the prerogative of the Trademark examiner to ask for the proof of usage.
But now in case you are claiming any date before the filing of the Trademark application, you are required to file for an affidavit.
The date you mention in the affidavit cannot be changed later on. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your attorney or agent carefully before proceeding to filing of Trademark application.