Until a few years back, the Indian Trade Marks Office was confronting what some might describe as an insurmountable pendency.  Due to inefficient mechanism prevalent then, the Trade Marks Office was facing an uphill battle.  It was in this scenario that the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM) took charge and introduced the much welcomed initiatives to streamline as well as expedite the trade mark registration process. These ardent steps have gone a long way in tackling the backlog. Resultantly, we have witnessed remarkable speed in the registration of trade marks filed in the recent past, when at the same time the Trade Marks Office is also striving to counter the subsisting pendency. Case in point, the examination of trade mark application, which could earlier take up to several months, is now being undertaken within 10 days of filing the application.  

Although the Trade Marks Office is doing its utmost best to counter the backlog, delay from applicants’ end is hindering such efforts; applications remain pending on account of inaction from the applicants.  The Office of CGPDTM has issued a Public Notice, dated August 14, 2017, which sheds light on more than 1,00,000 applications, wherein the applicants have defaulted in filing the responses, even though the examination reports have been dispatched by the Trade Marks Office. The Notice also highlights the availability of examination reports on the website www.ipindia.nic.in for ease of access.

The provisions of Trade Marks Act, 1999, clearly state that a response to the examination report must be filed within one month from the date of receipt of the report or else the application may be treated as abandoned.  The listed applications serve as proof of applicants’ procrastination. To propel these impending matters forward, the Office of CGPDTM has provided these applicants with one last opportunity to file the responses against the objections raised in the examination reports by September 15, 2017. In face of failure to do so, these applications will be deemed abandoned. This is not the first time when the Office of CGPDTM has proffered such an opportunity. In January of 2017, a similar Notice was issued, listing trade mark applications, wherein the replies to examination reports were pending.

These assiduous initiatives to combat the backlog and ameliorate the overall efficiency of the Trade Marks Office have been met with widespread approval. Such actions will ensure that the pendency, which has been plaguing the Trade Marks Office, no longer remains an impediment in the way of smooth and time efficient trade mark registration process.