The Trade Marks (Amendment) Act 2010 and the Trade Marks (Amendment) Rules, 2013 came in to force on July 08, 2013. In principle the amendment marks the official entry of India to the International Filing System under the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid system enables Indian businesses to file a single application in one language, one fee in one currency in India for registration of their trademark in all or any of the member countries of the Madrid Protocol.

The amendments are primarily to streamline the Indian Trademarks Law in line with the Madrid system.

  • Classification of goods and services will be as per the current edition of the NICE Classification as published by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). In addition to NICE classification the Registrar will also publish a class wise and alphabetical index of such goods and services, including goods and services of Indian origin.
  • Registration of trademarks in respect of textile goods (consisting exclusively of numerals or letters) has been done away with.
  • An opposition can be filed within 4 months from the date of advertisement/re-advertisement of the application in the trademarks journal doing away with filing of application for extension of one month before the expiry of the initial 3 months period.

Bringing in these amendments gets India to move a step closer to standard and a practice followed by other countries. Moreover it avoids conflict with the laws of other countries in which the applicant seeks to protect their trademark especially when the applicant maintains an international portfolio. In respect of the Madrid Protocol we will have to watch and watch how the Indian Trademark Office would handle the applications when they are already buried neck deep with tons of applications crying for attention.