Government Eases Rules To File Trademark Applications

The government has been trying to streamline processes & cut paperwork to make it easier to start a new business.

The number of forms to file a trademark application has been reduced to 8 from 74 as the Narendra Modi government continues to look at ways to ease rules for businesses.

Fee for an online filing will be 10 percent lower than that charged for physically submitting an application under the rules notified on Monday. The new norms will replace the Trade Mark Rules, 2002, a statement by the commerce ministry said.

India ranks behind its BRICS peers (Brazil, Russia, China, South Africa) at 130 on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index as multiple clearances and a maze of rules make it difficult to start and run businesses. The Modi government has been trying to streamline processes and cut paperwork to boost India’s rankings.

The commerce ministry’s statement said fee for individuals, startups and small enterprises to file a trademark application has been kept at Rs 4,500, lower than the Rs 8,000 proposed in draft norms. The new rules also lay out modalities for determining ‘well-known’ trademarks, the statement said without giving details.

In case of disputes, the new rules have introduced hearings via video-conferencing and each party will be allowed a maximum of two adjournments to help dispose of matters in time, the statement said.

While trademark filings jumped 35 percent in 2015-16 over the previous financial year, the ministry said the time to examine an application has been brought down from 13 to one month.

( The article was originally published at BloombergQuint.)

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