Leading Indian Practitioners Headline INTA Educational Sessions
Two sessions at INTA’s 2011 Annual Meeting in San Francisco provided attendees with the latest insights into
trademarks in India. In Facing up to the Middle East Challenge
, Rajendra Kumar, K&S Partners, highlighted
developments in well-known marks, customs practices and geographical indications in the country. Particularly, compared to other jurisdictions in the region—UAE and Pakistan—India was the most advanced.
At The Effective Use of Trademark Office Websites and Online Tools
, Chander Lall, Lall & Sethi Advocates, presented the results of an Internet survey of online resources provided by national trademark offices. Using the USPTO as a benchmark, it was found that three other countries provided a similar level of services: Armenia, Germany—and India! Commonly provided services include search and application systems and electronic document retrieval, usually at no cost to users.
Contacts Galore: Introducing Speed Networking
One of the highlights of the Annual Meeting is undoubtedly the networking opportunities. With over 9,100 attendees this year, the Annual Meeting provides so many opportunities that making a genuine connection in just a few days can be challenging. To help facilitate meeting potential business contacts, INTA introduced speed networking, which allows attendees to meet a dozen new contacts in a 60 minute session.
Pankaj Kapoor from Vikram Kapoor & Company was featured on INTA-TV in San Francisco. A strong supporter of Speed Networking, Pankaj explained, “you get to meet a lot of people without fixing any appointments.”
India’s Progressive Protection and Enforcement Initiatives
At “Another BRIC(S) In The Wall”
(Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), panelists provided an overview of protection and enforcement developments in their respective emerging economies and shared tips on litigation procedures.
Pravin Anand, Anand & Anand Advocates, informed the audience of recent changes in India—increased speed of enforcement, improved remedies, special protection to well known trademarks as well as unconventional trademarks. There have been notable developments at the registry as well where the trademark offices have been decentralized and facilities for online examination have been provided. However, he noted that despite this progress, challenges still remain. For instance, although an online search is now available on the IP office’s website, it is neither an official nor an accurate search. Later on in the session, Anand also provided useful strategies for litigation, including submitting Internet downloads as evidence, registering more than one trademark as a backup and finally getting a well known mark registered.
The Annual Meeting and Beyond
Nearly 200 individuals from India were present in San Francisco, making India the 7th largest national contingent at the 2011 Annual Meeting. Murlidhar Balasubramaniam, Castrol India Pvt. Ltd. had a lasting impression of his first Annual Meeting: “I gained timely updates by attending the educational sessions and found the networking opportunities, especially amongst industry peers, very beneficial.”
Ashok Jain, Balkrishna Industries Limited, attended the Annual Meeting specifically to interact with and meet foreign counsel. “My company was looking for representation in a number of jurisdictions and I was able to meet with representatives from all over the world in one location, saving my company time and money!”
Between now and the next Annual Meeting in Washington D.C., we will continue to keep our members and the local trademark community engaged through INTA’s educational programming in India.