In my previous post I put up information about the examination process that I received from the Trademark Office in response to an application under the Right to Information Act. Today’s post is going to deal with the aspects of a trademark lifecycle when the mark is still pending registration.

If at any point after filing a trademark application, you realise that there has been a mistake or there is some change that has occurred, you can amend the application. This change could range from a simple spelling mistake as a clerical error to change in ownership which has to be recorded. If your company has applied for a trademark and has changed its registered address, you would have to amend the application details accordingly. If your company or you have bought a trademark you can change the ownership details of the trademark. If you filed the application on a “proposed to be used basis” but have actually used the mark in India, then you can file a request to amend those details.

Whatever the request for amendment, there is a section in the Trademark Office that processes such requests, by analysing the request and seeing if there is documentary proof supporting the change.

According to the information in the RTI reply, each of the Offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Kolkata receive and process their own applications (unlike examination where it is all done in Mumbai). In each office there is one person handling this.

The graph below shows the half yearly average (May 2012 to October 2012) of the applications for pre registration changes received against those that are processed.

This graph, I have to admit looks much better than the previous week’s examination process graph and it does look like the Office seems to be more or less on top of things; but before you nod in approval and decide to give our officials a pat on the back, the data above only  shows the number of applications that they receive and the number that they process. What they are processing, is applications from years ago!

The Trademarks Journal which comes out regularly every Monday carries notifications of all these pre registration changes. First up the number of applications you see recorded in the journal every week is in the twenties and thirties and not hundreds per week asmentioned in the reply.

More importantly despite carrying information that applications for pre registration changes are processed serially, one can’t help but notice that within the same jurisdiction, files are processed at different speeds. The most recent Journal carried the recordal of two amendment requests filed in Kolkata. One was filed on  March 29, 2011 (2 years ago) and the other  on November 02, 2012 (2 months ago). However both of them were recorded in January 2013.

The bottom line however is that they are being processed and we are thankful for that. I just hope the requests I file end up being processed two months later rather than two years!

After reading this post, if some of you are of the opinion that the Trademarks Registry is doing a good job as compared to other government-run offices; I’ll only say hold your horses and wait for the post next week. For now let’s give the officials a breather and allow them to get back to their mundane tasks of examining applications, recording changes, etc. so that atleast someone’s application filed from years ago, moves a step closer to that coveted Certificate of Registration!

This article has been authored by Navarre Roy, an IP Law practitioner.