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05 April 2016

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The Indian Trademarks Registry has devised a new way to reduce its backlog of trademark applications: abandoning outstanding applications. In an exercise carried out in the last week of March 2016, it is estimated that more than 100,000 applications were abandoned by the registry.

04 April 2016

Outcry as India’s trademark office reveals mass abandonment of applications

India’s trademark office has revealed the abandonment of tens of thousands of trademark applications. The move, which was followed by reports that a large number of files had been abandoned incorrectly, caused concern in the trademark community, with INTA urging the reversal of the abandonment orders with immediate effect. Today the office announced that affected applicants have until April 30 to evidence that an application has been erroneously treated as abandoned.

02 March 2016

India’s IP office to pilot mediation programme in effort to clear opposition backlog

The Trademarks Registry in India is trialling a mediation initiative aimed at reducing pendency, with the test cases including oppositions that have been held up for nearly 20 years. Meanwhile, efforts to improve efficiency in the courts are continuing apace – a ruling last week clarified a key jurisdictional question about which IP cases will be heard by the country’s new commercial divisions at the High Court level.

12 January 2016

Trademark Registry official convicted of graft in India, ending five year case

The five-year investigation and prosecution of a former registrar accused of accepting bribes to speed up trademark applications has finally ended with a guilty verdict and a prison sentence. How much has changed in India since the high-profile takedown made waves around the IP world?

06 January 2015

Proposed India IP rights overhaul will require strong political will

India’s IPR Think Tank has made a series of recommendations designed to establish the country as, in the words of its proposed national slogan, ‘Creative India; Innovative India’. Making these plans a reality will require both political momentum and, crucially, significant funding.

03 March 2014

Trademarks registry revamps its online platform

With India now a member of the Madrid Protocol, it is imperative for the Trademark Office to clear its backlog and speed up its digitisation drive. The office has recently taken several steps to improve its functioning - in particular, it has improved its web portal by introducing several new services for the benefit of brand owners and practitioners.

10 July 2013

India’s franchising industry could be worth $50 billion by 2017

A recent report estimates that the $13.4 billion Indian franchising industry could grow almost fourfold by 2017. The findings suggest vast opportunities for brand owners to take a stake in the country’s booming consumer market – but trademark counsel will have to be vigilant to ensure that brands are protected when entering into franchise relationships.

08 June 2013

India’s accession to the Madrid Protocol may result in serious confusion, warn trademark counsel

Set to accede to the Madrid Protocol on July 8, trademark counsel point out that India’s ratification could result in marketplace chaos due to an overlooked provision in the legal framework. International brand-owners that plan to apply for trademark registration are counseled to specify a jurisdiction in their applications to avoid potential confusion.

21 February 2013

Trademarks Office initiates special project to clear backlog

Close on the heels of a drive to clear oppositions which have been settled by the parties, the Controller General of Trademarks has initiated a new project to clear the backlog of requests pending before the Trademarks Registry relating to post-registration changes. This ambitious project aims to clear all requests filed up to December 31 2012.

22 June 2012

Measures taken to streamline functioning of Trademarks Registry

The controller general of patents, designs and trademarks has issued a series of notices to ensure the smooth functioning of the various departments of the Trademarks Registry and the prompt disposal of pending cases. Several teams have been set up in order to clear the backlog in the main sections of the registry.

04 November 2011

New procedural guidelines to facilitate appeals from administrative decisions

India’s Intellectual Property Appellate Board has issued procedural guidelines that aim to streamline the appeal process and reduce the backlog of cases. Among other things, the guidelines provide that pleadings must be brief, not argumentative and not repetitive. Pleadings must be verified by the party itself, not by counsel.

13 October 2011

Divide and conquer? India revisits plans to spin off the trademark office

India’s Office of the Controller General of Patents, Design and Trademarks has asked for feedback on plans to spin off the trademarks registry in a government consultation paper launched this week. The concept was first rumoured more than a year ago and received a mixed reaction – so how will industry respond now, after a turbulent 12 months at the national office?

08 March 2011

The Indian trademarks registrar, 3.8kg in gold and “deep-rooted” corruption

Just when you thought that the head of the Indian patent and trademark office had chased away the last odours of corruption from the office, one of his trademark registrars is arrested by government investigators for possessing 3.8kg of gold and ten million rupees, assets that are allegedly disproportionate to her known income. What are foreign brand owners to make of this?

11 June 2010

Indian IPO speaks out against fresh corruption allegations

For the first time since his successful modernizing reform process began 18 months ago, the head of the Indian patent and trademark office has a tricky PR situation on his hands. PH Kurian's office is under fire for allegedly "spinning off" its trademark function, with one attorney arguing that this "will shift the system back to its inefficient past". To find out what was going on, WTR spoke to Kurian.