June 27, 2016

Trademark Protection In India

- Pulin Kumar, [ ]

Pulin Kumar

India’s IPR framework is robust, stable and well established from a legal, judicial and administrative standpoint and is fully in sync with the Agreement on Trade- Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. The commitment to international treaties and conventions relating to intellectual property rights with wide range of awareness programmes is a giant leap forward to enhance confidence within domestic and foreign investors...

The ‘Make in India’ campaign of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one of the most ambitious initiatives. A major national programme designed to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure. Numerous measures have been taken in order to instil confidence in both domestic and foreign investors. One of the key initiatives taken under this programme is complete revamp of the IPR protection mechanism. Many changes have been brought in at the legislative, administrative and policy level. As a result, the IP Office (IPO) has undergone a radical transformation through many initiatives that have immensely contributed to easing of access to the IP system, efficiency in processing of IP applications, uniformity and consistency in the examination of applications, transparency and dissemination of IP information, bilateral cooperation at the international level, and last but not the least, raising awareness level of public at large.

No regime is successful unless the administration is modernised and made at par with developed economies and the Government of India has identified this as a challenge. Resultantly, initiatives have been taken to create a highly transparent, e-enabled, efficient and accessible IP ecosystem in India that provides legal certainty to the industry.

Human resource is also being revamped. Many plan posts have been created, including 666 posts for Patents & Designs and 367 posts for Trademarks and GI at various levels. Already, recruitment is underway. Patent and Trademarks examiners are also being hired on contract to deal with the backlog. (DIPP Press Release)

Complete electronic processing of Patents and Trademarks’ applications through specialised modules has been introduced. Automatic generation of application numbers and automatic allotment of the request for examination is a major leap towards transparency and user friendliness of the system. Comprehensive online e-filing facilities for patent and trademark application have been introduced.

The e-filing facility and incentives have tremendously encouraged e-filers and recently it has witnessed a major surge in e-filing. The official website provides vast information relating to patents, trademarks, designs and geographical indications including the real time status of IP applications with entire file wrappers and e-registers. An innovative tool, showing the stock and flow of patents and trademarks applications at every stage of their processing, has ushered in transparency.

“The key to brand protection lies in maximum reach out to the people and spreading awareness by educating them about the counterfeit. A few FMCG companies have initiated such programmes and are successfully running them in order to make the consumers wiser.”

The operationalisation of the Madrid protocol for international protection of trademarks provides the user with the facility of protecting his/her trademark in member countries. Till June 2015, 13,666 international applications designating India have been received at the Trademarks Registry, India. (DIPP Press release)

India has been recognised by the World Intellectual Property Organization as the 17th International Search Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority in the world. India prides itself on providing quality reports at the lowest cost among international players like USPTO, EPO, JPO etc. At present, it has been recognised as ISA/IPEA for nationals of Republic of Iran.

Many awareness programmes have been introduced to sensitise enforcement agencies such as state police forces, and the judiciary. These programmes on IPR are organised by IPO as well as industry associations, Chambers of commerce, academic institutions etc. National and international symposia/seminar/workshops on IP are organised for potential IP users. To educate the public via internet media, a portal on the website of office of the CGPDTM has presentations uploaded on various aspects of IPR. A corner to educate and inculcate the culture of respecting and protecting IPRs among the next generation has been undertaken via uploaded comics which are based on basics of IPRs. Various corporate houses are also doing road shows and skits to educate people.

India is a member of the World Trade Organisation and committed to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property. India is also a member of World Intellectual Property Organization, a body responsible for the promotion of protection of intellectual property rights throughout the world.

India is also a member of the following important WIPO- administered International Treaties and Conventions relating to IPRs:

  • Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Micro-organisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure
  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
  • Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization
  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty
  • Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks-Madrid Protocol
  • Washington Treaty on Intellectual Property in respect of Integrated Circuits
  • Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol
  • Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms

The Indian IPR framework is robust, stable and well established from a legal, judicial and administrative standpoint and is fully in sync with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. The commitment to the international treaties and conventions relating to intellectual property rights with wide range of awareness programme is a giant leap forward to enhance confidence within domestic and foreign investors. Modernisation of the IP offices with state-of-the-art, integrated and IT-enabled infrastructure, simplified procedure for filing, E-filing facilities and incentives for SMEs are some of the other firm initiatives which have been taken in the area of intellectual property rights in India.


Disclaimer - The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the authors and are purely informative in nature.

Related Post

follow us

Publication & Enquiries

phone icon  +91 8879635570/8879635571

mail icon