The much-awaited Trade Marks Rules 2017 has finally come into force as of March 6, 2017.

Although the new rules aim at simplifying the trademark prosecution as a whole by reducing the number of forms from 75 to 8, incorporating provisions for expedited registration of trademarks and so on, the massive escalation in the fee even more than the proposed amendments in 2015 is quite evident.

Some of the prominent changes in the fee are listed below:

As can be seen from the above table, with the sole motive of increasing the online filings of trademarks, the amended Rules provide for a 10% discount on the official fee for Applicants who file the applications online when compared to physical filings.

Blessing in disguise for certain applicants?

Furthermore, while the basic fee towards filing a trademark application has been hiked to over 100% of the earlier fee per class for most applicants, startups, individuals as well as small enterprises as defined under 2(v) and 2(x) by the Trade Marks Rules, 2017 have been given a considerable discount with respect to the same. As seen above, for these entities the official fee towards filing a trademark application per class would only be INR 4500 for online filings and INR 5000 for paper filings.

Furthermore, with respect to expedited examination wherein when an applicant paid five times the application fee, the trademark would be examined within three months under Rule 38 of the Trade Mark Rules, 2002 has now been replaced with a new provision altogether. Rule 34 of the Trademark Rules, 2017 provides for the expedited processing of application wherein an applicant can file an application to expedite the entire process until registration of a trademark application. Here, yet again the official fee for individuals, startups and small enterprises would be limited to INR 20,000 when compared to INR 40,000 for other entities. It is also pertinent to note that such a request can be filed only through the online filing system.

PS: However, these benefits are restricted to basic filing and request for expedited processing, with respect to all other applications, the fee would remain the same irrespective of the type of Applicant.

No phenomenal hike in respect of trademark oppositions:

It is pertinent to note the fee to file a notice of opposition has only been nominally increased from INR 2500 to INR 2700 if the notice if filed online and INR 3000 with respect to physical filings.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) on Monday notified the Trade Marks Rules, 2017 with a motive of simplifying and fastening the trademark registration process as a whole. Keeping aside the escalation in fee, the amended Trade Mark Rules, 2017 has dealt with in detail with various other aspects such as overall changes brought in by the Trademark Rules, 2017, the practical aspects of the trademark e-filing system, special privileges for startups/sme’s and journey of the trademark office from paper to electronic (#digitalIndia).

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