The Government of India announced broad changes to the Trade Mark Rules on 6 March 2017.

The changes came into effect immediately.

The relevant changes to the Rules are:

1. Increase in Official Fees:

Filing trademark application for one mark in one class: INR 9,000 (was 4,000)

Trademark renewal fees for one mark in one class: INR 9,000 (was 5,000)

Filing a notice of opposition: INR 2,700 (was 2,500)

Filing a counter-statement to notice of opposition: INR 2,700 (was 1,000)

2. Registration of Well-Known Marks

A trademark owner can now seek to have his mark to be declared “well-known” in India by submitting evidence in support thereof, for the Registry’s consideration.

3. Statement of Use

If a trademark application is being filed with a claim of use, the Applicant will be required to submit an Affidavit together with evidence in support of use of the mark in India.

4. Expedited Examination

An Applicant can request an expedited examination of the application, at any stage of prosecution, by paying additional fees.

5. Sound Mark

A sound mark can now be applied for by submitting the sound mark by way of MP3 format, together with a graphic representation of the relevant sound notes.

6. Renewal of Marks

A renewal application can now be filed one year before the expiry date, as opposed to 6 months previously stipulated by the repealed rules.

7. Association and Excess-character fees

There is no longer a requirement to pay association fees, nor excess character fees, under the new Rules.

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