The Government of India has been taking significant steps to develop favorable arena for Trademark filing. With registered trademark, one can stop others from using the trademarked business name/logo/word with respect to goods or services. Trademarks serve as a mark for identification of good or services and provide a better way to reach out to the huge audience. Trademarks influence the customers’ purchasing decision, reputation and acceptability such brands represent. Trademarks function as a valuable asset as they serve as a life-long support for business expansion. Even the giant companies like Apple protect their important assets for the business by means of trademark.
Recent amendments in Trademark Rules 1999, notified in March 2017, not only simplified the trademark registration process but also removed a number of redundant provisions thus making the overall process extremely user-friendly. Major changes that were brought in by Trademark Amendment Rules 2017 include – 1) reduction of number of Forms needed to be filled from 74 existing forms to 8 consolidated forms; 2) Single application form isrequired to file all type of trademark applications; 3) inclusion of online mode of service; 4) concession in fees to start-ups, individuals and small enterprises.
Due to the procedural reforms, pendency of examination of trademark applications has reduced from around 14 months to less than 1 month; consequently publication of trademark applications has increased from less than 10% to about 40% in 2017.
According to the latest industry trends for trademark, it gives a clear association between industries’ trademark activity and their innovation. During the year 2016-17, in terms of goods and merchandise, highest number of trademark applications were filed for medical and pharmaceutical goods (Class 5) followed by clothing goods (Class 25) and scientific, nautical and electrical apparatus (Class 9) constituting 14.5%, 6.6% and 5.1% of the total trademark applications respectively. In terms of service providers, maximum number of trademark applications were filed in the sector of advertising and business management (Class 35) followed by education and sports (Class 41), constituting 9% and 5.4% of the total trademark applications.
It is interesting to note that during the past two years, the number of filing of trademark applications has increased drastically, however there is only a nominal increase in the number of trademark application by foreign applicants.