The recent Trademark Rules as Amended in 2017, has come out as shock to IP practitioners. There has been observed a considerable increase in fee structure along with complete revamp of the Trademark registration process. Let us try to go through all the major changes that have been made.
1) Decrease in Number of forms:
The trademark registry has now reduced the number of forms to 8 unlike the previous act which had altogether 78 forms.
2) 8 forms are applicable for multiple actions:
These 8 forms are further categorized into n number of subsequent activities which can be done by under the single Form. For example TM-A is a form which can be used for filing Trademarks application, Convention application, Multiclass convention application, Multiclass, Series mark in a class or multiclass, Series mark from convention country in class or multiclass, Collective mark etc. The trademark ministry has tried to make the system easy to manage and more comprehensive.
3) Categorization of Applicants:
Initially, there was one form for filing a Trademark application that is TM-1 wherein we used to select the Applicant type, be it individual, partnership firm or a company, and there was no implication over the fees to be paid depending on the type of applicant. However, now broadly 3 categories of applicant are made and the applicable fees of each of the applicant type are different.
For instance, In case, you are filing an Trademark application as an individual, startup or small medium enterprise you now have to pay Rs 4500, in case you are filing an application for a company the applicable fee will increase to 9000, this fee is for e-filing and in case of physical filing the 10% additional fee over this fee will be applicable.
This segregation was initially present in Patent filing also, now same has been made applicable for trademark filing as well.
4) Change in Fees:
A significant increase in official fees has been made almost for all the actions in Trademark registration process and Trademark opposition as well.
You may access the revised fee schedule here.
5) Correction and Amendment has become expensive:
Any correction in the Trademark application filed will now cost you nearly double, initially the corrections or errors were rectified by way of TM-16 and the applicable fee was 500, the form to make correction has now been changed and renamed as TM-M Correction of clerical error or for amendment u/r 37 and fees is now increased to Rs 900.
6) Change in procedure of dealing with Notice of Opposition:
Initially the applicant had to wait for actual serving physical copy of notice of opposition in order to file for counter statement, now you may also file the counter statement even if the registrar has not served you the copy of opposition filed, and you have seen the change in online status of the trademark as opposed.
There are few significant amendments are being done, but we have for the time being have covered the major amendments as listed above.