May 1, 2012
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INTA Delegation Meets with India’s New Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks
Since the announcement in June 2011 of the resignation of P. H. Kurian as India’s Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, the trademark community has been awaiting the news of his successor. INTA was privileged to meet with the new Controller General, Chaitanya Prasad, soon after he assumed his post in mid-March. Mr. Prasad, like Mr. Kurian, is an Indian Administrative Services officer. Before this appointment, he was a Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. As a result, the Controller General position has been elevated to the Joint Secretary level.
Although this is his first exposure to intellectual property, Mr. Prasad says he has found the subject to be extremely interesting and is developing a vision for the Controller General’s Office that he and his team can work to realize. As a start, he is holding a series of stakeholders meetings across India for practitioners (the first was scheduled in the state of Maharashtra in early April). Communications with users will be enhanced through information cells at each of the five branch offices, which will serve as the main points of contact with practitioners. All grievances or suggestions that come through these cells will then be shared among the offices. Mr. Prasad is well aware of the tremendous backlog in trademark applications and is developing strategies to maximize the Office’s resources to resolve the issue in anticipation of India’s accession to the Madrid Protocol this September.
INTA used this opportunity to introduce Mr. Prasad to the work of the Association and outlined several ways that INTA might assist the Office. The delegation presented a number of documents, including INTA’s Guidelines for Trademark Examination, the India report from INTA’s trademark office benchmarking database project and the Board Resolution regarding well-known mark registries. Mr. Prasad subsequently indicated that he would appreciate INTA’s input on such matters as improving Office procedures and the online filing system.
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© 2012 International Trademark Association