Trademark Registration Process All Set to Become Expensive in India
Written By: Rojalin Dhal
It’s official now. From 1 January 2016 onwards, you have to shell more money if you want your trademark to have that (R) symbol on its top. On 19th November 2015, the ministry of commerce and industry (MCI) issued a draft to amend some of the trademark rules in order to make the trademark registration process simpler and expedite. Last year year only the filing fee was revised from INR3500 to INR4000. But this year’s surge is pretty remarkable one.
The proposed amendment in the fee structure of the trademark registration process is the most highlighted amendment, which would certainly prove a boon for the attorney and bane for the business and stakeholders. It proposes to increase the fee by doubling the amount stipulated in the schedule I of the 1999 Act. This means that once the amendment comes into effect, an applicant will be required to pay INR 8000 instead of INR 4000 for trademark filing and Rs 10000 instead of 5000 for its renewal. Well, it does not end here. This revised price is just for online filing and extra 10% would be charged if a person happens to file it physically.
Apart from this an interesting amendment has been made with respect to the recognition of well-known trademark. A well-known trademark registry would be maintained and a fee of Rs. 1 lakh is to be deposited to get the mark included in the registry. The registrar has been given a wide discretionary power to determine whether a mark is well-known or not. Previously it was the court who had the power to recognise a mark as well-known, but now the determination criteria would also vest upon the registrar. Also, a new provision has been added under section 27 for registering sound as a trademark. Previously, the Indian trademark office had granted registration of sound as trademarks, first being the yahoo! Yodle and then the ICICI bank Ltd jingle, but there were no specific provision of sound marks in the Act. But this latest amendment provides that where a trademark consist of sound the same can be submitted in mp3 format not exceeding 30 seconds length along with graphical representation of its notation. To make the trademark registration process simpler the number of forms specified in schedule II has been reduced from 75 to 8 forms. After the amendment an application to file a trademark claiming use of the mark prior to the application should be accompanied by an affidavit testifying to such use along with supporting documents (section 26).
Though the main highlight of the amendment is the increase in the fee structure which would probably cause disappointment among the concerned persons but as the draft is not yet enforced, the people who would like to protect their brand can go for it immediately. No doubt that the prices would be doubled but it is worth to spend money for obtaining registration rather than leaving the brand unregistered and later spending more money and time for proving your right against others.
It’s a welcome move from the registry. Critiques may argue that it will dissuade proprietors from filing trademarks, but at the same time it is also true that only those who are genuinely interested in protecting their brand will approach the Office.
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