On February 20, 2020, the Controller General of Patent, Design and TradeMarks issued a public notice that indicates steps being taken to further streamline the Registry’s functioning. These changes are a direct result of the suggestions made at stakeholder meetings held in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
Some key steps/proposed steps are as follows:
- Requests to amend information in applications to be taken up by personnel who handled applications;
- Email addresses provided by parties to opposition proceedings to be visible in order to facilitate communications between parties;
- Changes in procedures for uploading documents to enable comprehensive examination and more effective hearings;
- Streamlining of procedures to inform parties of hearing dates so that there is sufficient notice of hearings;
- Multi-class search facility to be available soon;
- Module for processing of requests to record partial assignments and registered users; and
- No issuance of physical copies of registration certificates.
The public notice also puts current timelines in perspective. For instance, presently, examination of an application takes less than a month and replies to Examination Reports are processed within around one (1) to two (2) months. Moreover, the pendency in issuance of registration certificates, processing of renewal requests and post registration amendments has also been reduced to a large extent.
All in all, the Public Notice encapsulates the progress being made to make the Registry a world-class institution. Such progress encourages both Indian and foreign businesses to consider investing in protection of their brand names and effectively realizing their brand values in India