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25 Aug 2014

Filing a trademark application gets costlier in India

The Government of India, vide its notification dated 1st August 2014 has amended the existing Trademark Rules, 2002, and the amended Rules are now referred to as the ‘Trade marks (Amendment) Rules, 2014’. The proposed amendments were initially notified and made available to public on 26th August 2013 inviting objection and suggestions from the public likely to be affected. Since, no objections or suggestions were received by the Govt. of India the proposed amendment were accepted and subsequently notified.

The salient features of the ‘Trade marks (Amendment) Rules 2014’ are:

1.The official filing fees for filing a trademark application in one class has been increased from INR ‘3,500.00’ to INR ‘4,000.00′ and

2.The official fees to expedite the examination of an application for the registration of a trademark, has been increased from INR ‘12,500.00’ to INR ‘20,000.00’.

It may be pertinent to note that during the Trademarks (Second Amendment) Rules, 2010, the application fee was increased from INR 2,500.00 to INR 3,500.00, however the fee for filing an application for expediting the examination which should have been proportionately increased five times of the application fee (INR 17,500.00), was inadvertently missed out which lead to a great confusion and until the latest notification it was not clear whether the fee was five times of filing fee i.e. INR 17,500.00 or INR 12,500.00 as mentioned in first schedule of the Trademark Rules.

Therefore, it may be seen that the current amendment is also to rectify the earlier mistake.

Since the notification came to effect since August 1st 2014, the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trademarks, India issued a public notice dated 7th August 2014 stating that any applicant/agent who has filed the application on or after 1st August 2014 and not paid the revised fee, shall have time until 30th September 2014 to pay the balance fee failing which the application shall not be processed.

It may further be noted that if the balance fee is not paid within the afore-mentioned date, the filing date shall shift to the date of actual payment of the balance fees. Needless to mention that the date of filing an application is crucial, however, it is further important that if the application has priority of a convention application, paying the balance fee on or before due date becomes more crucial.

It may be noted that only as recent as 2010, the Government amended the official filing fees from 2,500.00 to 3,500.00, therefore, this increase by the Government can only be seen as a measure for the Trademark Office to increase their resources to ensure the long pending backlogs of applications are expedited, and on the other hand to ensure that the applicants choose their trademarks more wisely, before filing the same and to further lessen frivolous applications.

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