IPO opens access to Indian TM database

In continuance of its efforts to bring transparency to its functioning and sevices, the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CG) has announced that the trademarks database will soon become openly accessible and freely available to the public for search and related services.

In a notification dated 29 September 2010, the CG has stated that on the finalisation of the draft notification published in the Gazette earlier in the month (which we posted on here), the services relating to official searches under the Trade Mark Rules will stand discontinued. The notification, which can be accessed here, says,

“Once, the notification comes into force the access to the trademark database will be made open and freely available to the public for search. This will bring greater transparency and facilitate business decisions to apply for a trade mark on an immediate basis from anywhere in the world. More similar measures to bring transparency and openness in the trademark administration is being initiated in the proposed amendments of Trade Marks Rules information regarding which can be accessed from IPO official website http://www.ipindia.nic.in

The opening up of the TM database adds to other services already having been made available, including online access to the entire file wrapper of trademark registrations, ranging from the application as filed, the representation sheet, examination report, and the registration certificate. Therefore, subsequent to searching for trademarks, it is now possible to freely study and learn about the entire history of a particular application.

The upshot also of this decision is that the Trademarks Registry will no longer earn revenues from searching, which, as a commentor on our previous post pointed out, is likely to be to the tune of Rs 4 crore. However, this will be made up for in considerable measure and more by the increased application fees.

We join other members of the IP community in celebrating the cumulative improvements in public services being provided by the IPO. And we hope to see several more improvements in procedures and facilities. Towards this, we would urge readers to provide the Intellectual Property Office with reasoned inputs for improving the Trademark Rules by 31 October 2010.

We would like to thank Karthik Murthy for having pointed us to this notification.


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