This morning, when I opened my inbox, one email in particular surprised me. The email contained our first ever “e-certificate” for a trademark application filed just about one year ago! In the past, such prompt action by Indian IP Offices was almost unheard of. But clearly, the technology-enabled procedural changes introduced over the past year or so have begun to bear fruit.
The issues faced by the Registry in printing and dispatching hard copy (Registration Certificates) are quite well-known. On many occasions, the certificates did not reach the intended recipients. This not only caused delay and inconvenience to stakeholders but also imposed needless cost on the Registry as well as Applicants (who had to apply for a duplicate certificate).
About a month ago, the Indian Trademark office, via its notification dated 28th July 2016, had notified the new system of sending only e-certificates (Registration), and doing away with the century old system of sending hard copies. This was made effective from 1st August 2016 for all trademark applications:
- published in the Trade Marks Journal on or after November 23rd, 2015;
- where no request for amendment filed on behalf of the applicant is pending disposal;
- where Trade Mark registry’s database contains the original application;
- where no compliance requirement is pending on part of the applicant; and
- which have not been specifically prohibited for registration by the order of any court, IPAB or any competent authority.
With the adoption of the new system it appears that the Registry is taking every possible step to eliminate the root cause for delay and thus expedite the registration process and deliver on the higher standards outlined in India’s new IP Policy.