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February 1, 2019 Vol. 74 No. 2 Back to Bulletin Main Page

Corporate Members Address Data Protection Regulation and India Trade Marks Registry at INTA’s Quarterly Meeting


Thirty representatives from a dozen companies in India convened to discuss common issues and concerns related to their intellectual property (IP) practices at INTA’s final quarterly Corporate Member meeting of 2018. The event, which was held on December 14 in the convention center of INTA member Khaitan & Co., in Mumbai, included an educational presentation on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and issues related to the WHOIS domain name registry, as well as discussion about both improvements and ongoing challenges related to the India Trade Marks Registry.

INTA has been holding these quarterly corporate meetings in India for the past several years, and incorporates input from these discussions with brand owners into the Association’s advocacy efforts and other initiatives.

In the first presentation, Lori Schulman, INTA’s Senior Director of Internet Policy, provided a crash course on GDPR, which regulates data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area, and discussed its implications outside the EU.

Ms. Schulman then turned to GDPR’s impact on the WHOIS database, which has been significantly modified to mask important contact data of the registrant of a domain name. She took attendees through general measures to overcome any hurdles they might face as IP counsel as a result of these changes, and introduced them to INTA’s useful WHOIS Challenges Toolkit.

Next, Samta Mehra (Remfry & Sagar, India), Chair of the Trademark Office Practices—India Subcommittee, focused on the Indian Trademarks Office. Her presentation captured the story of 60 years and 6 amendments at the office, initiatives by the government, and improvements in administration, including human resource augmentation, digitization of records, increased speed of registration, and the use of advanced technological tools to conduct day-to-day business.

In addition, there was a discussion about areas that still need attention. Attendees raised challenges such as a backlog in opposition matters and delays in the correction of registration certificates, and they offered suggestions on how to address these issues.

After the meeting, INTA asked its Corporate Members to submit stories of challenges they have faced with the WHOIS blackout, and with the trademarks registry. This information will be used to support INTA’s advocacy efforts. If you have a story or solution to share regarding WHOIS, please submit it to WHOISchallenges@inta.org.

INTA Attends IP Attachés Roundtable with the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office

INTA India Consultant Gauri Kumar attended an IP Attachés Roundtable in New Delhi on December 13 along with 18 IP attachés and representatives from organizations in various countries, including the EU. Adam Williams, Director, International Policy Directorate, United Kingdom (UK) Intellectual Property Office, chaired the roundtable.

Ms. Kumar and the other participants spoke briefly about their missions and priorities in India, and any upcoming projects there in 2019. Everyone acknowledged the progress made in the Indian IP ecosystem after the launch of the National IPR Policy. The attendees also discussed exploring avenues of cooperation and information sharing.

Mr. Williams concluded the roundtable by updating the attendees about Brexit and IP rights in the UK in the current scenario. He said the UK Intellectual Property Office will continue taking all necessary steps to inform users as much as possible about all relevant developments. More information on IP and Brexit can be found here, and on INTA’s Brexit resources page. If you have any questions, please write to Strategic.Comms@ipo.gov.uk.

INTA Member Informs University Students About IP Rights as Part of Government Initiative

As part of its ongoing efforts to create awareness around IP rights in India, the Indian government organized an IPR Awareness Program for university students on January 10. INTA Member Shwetasree Majumder (Fidus Law Chambers, India), led the well-attended session.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India has established an Innovation Cell to systematically foster the culture of innovation among all higher education institutions (HEIs). The primary mandate of the Innovation Cell is to encourage, inspire, and nurture young students by supporting them to work with new ideas in their formative years.

The Innovation Cell recently launched the Institution’s Innovation Council (IIC). More than 1,000 HEIs have already formed IICs and enrolled in the IIC network to promote innovation through multitudinous modes that will lead to an innovation promotion ecosystem on their campuses.

To follow through with this objective, the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in association with IIC, organized the two-hour digital IPR Awareness Program held at the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in New Delhi for students and faculties of colleges and universities under the AICTE. This initiative aims to reach more than 500 HEIs to instil respect for IPRs among the younger generation.

CIPAM kindly invited INTA to nominate an IPR expert to conduct this session, and the Association was pleased to nominate Ms. Majumder. She explained various IP rights and ways to protect them. The session was conducted live on Facebook and has garnered more than 8,000 views.

INTA has been a dedicated supporter of the government’s efforts to successfully meet the objectives of the National IPR Policy, and continues to actively collaborate in creating content for CIPAM-DIPP’s nationwide IP Awareness and Education Campaign for schoolchildren.

INTA would like to thank and congratulate CIPAM-DIPP and Ms. Majumder for a successful session.

INTA India Consultant Gauri Kumar supports the Association’s 147 members in India. In collaboration with the staff at INTA’s headquarters in New York City and Representatives Offices around the world, Ms. Kumar works on the Association’s policy, membership, marketing, and communications initiatives throughout India. To learn more about INTA’s activities in India, please contact Gauri Kumar at gkumar.consultant@inta.org.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2019 International Trademark Association