Left to right: Ranjan Narula, Murlidhar Balasubramanian, Rajiv Aggarwal (Jt. Secretary, DIPP and Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (India), Raghav Malik
On November 2, 2015, an INTA Delegation, which included Ranjan Narula (Managing Partner, RNA IP, India), Murlidhar Balasubramanian (Head of Trademarks, Castrol India Ltd., India), Raghav Malik (Partner, Singh & Singh Lall & Sethi, India) and Gauri Kumar (INTA’s India Consultant), met with Rajiv Aggarwal, India’s Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks in New Delhi for a very productive meeting.
The main purpose of the meeting was to express INTA’s interest in working together with India’s Trade Marks Office (TMO) to put in place management procedures that would increase the TMO’s effectiveness and help clear backlogs. The Controller General was briefed on INTA’s policy development and advocacy (PDA) work and memorandums of understanding (MOUs) executed all over the world with various trademark offices, as well as INTA’s work with trademark enforcement and customs agencies.
Introducing INTA’s Trademark Office Practices—India Subcommittee to the Controller General, Mr. Narula (Subcommittee Chair) stated that the subcommittee was formed keeping in mind the Indian government’s prioritization of its IPR Policy. The main objective of the subcommittee is to discuss and suggest ways to make the TMO processes more robust and efficient, with the participation of all stakeholders. On behalf of INTA, Mr. Narula then proceeded to present a paper titled “Suggestions on Opposition Proceedings at the Indian Trade Mark Registry.”
The paper proposes practical and feasible technical changes within the TMO. These changes would include: programing the online system to perform most of the functions (such as service of letters) that are presently performed by individuals; hiring law students as researchers for expeditious drafting of orders; opening mediation centers to facilitate settlements and reduce backlog; and methodically clearing up the backlog by assigning special drives to sort oppositions by stage and status.
Mr. Malik and Mr. Balasubramanian expressed INTA’s enthusiasm and willingness to support the TMO in making its systems more robust and standardized. They suggested partnering with INTA to offer training sessions and seminars on technical and other practical matters. The Delegation discussed INTA’s ability to support Indian’s TMO by sharing its experience working with trademark offices from around the world.
The Controller General was very receptive to all of the Delegation’s suggestions and plans to take into consideration all of the issues that were discussed. He informed the delegation about the changes going on at the TMO and invited INTA to submit comments to the forthcoming draft of its Trade Marks (Amendment) Rules. The Controller General was also very interested to have INTA collaborate with the TMO on Examiner Seminars in Mumbai and New Delhi.
Shortly after the meeting, on November 16, a new Controller General, Mr. O.P. Gupta, took charge of India’s IP Office. INTA will reach out to Mr. Gupta for an introduction and to ensure that the former Controller General’s offer for INTA-TMO collaborative Examiner Seminars is taken to its logical conclusion.
For more information on this Delegation, please contact INTA’s India Consultant Gauri Kumar, at firstname.lastname@example.org.