Eye on India: INTA’s 2022 Policy Priorities and Key Activities

Published: January 19, 2022

The year 2021 was a tumultuous year for India, rife with challenges relating to COVID-19 that were exacerbated by the pandemic’s tragic second wave that swept the country. These health-related concerns posed difficulties for most of the country’s population. Naturally, this also meant that the Indian government diverted its resources and attention to focus on a robust response to the health crisis.

Nevertheless, national developments took place in the realm of intellectual property (IP) during last year and others are on tap for 2022. INTA, through its robust network of members in the country, has been keeping a watchful eye on vital ongoing and emerging issues for timely intervention through its representatives and committees. Coming off a strong year in terms of its presence in India, the Association is poised to be proactive again this year.

In 2021, INTA held various virtual activities, policy events, and interventions that engaged corporate and associate members, government functionaries, and other organizations.

Among them, INTA made new headway in terms of local collaboration with a World IP Day Flagship event that brought together the largest international IP associations for the first time in India. The Association also conducted its first-ever virtual customs training pan-India with a three-part series in partnership with Indian Customs, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), and the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM).

In addition, INTA made many submissions and detailed commentaries on key policy issues. Its engaged membership in India ensured that the Association was a frontrunner in responding to various critical developments, such as the abolition of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), and proposed legislative amendments in trademark laws and on the Intellectual Property Rights Division Rules, 2021.

Stepping into the new year, INTA’s presence in India remains extraordinarily strong, thanks to several main factors. The Association’s agile response to the pandemic globally and in India has prepared the organization to be effective both online and offline. As well, almost 200 members from India are participating across committees in the 2022‒2023 Committee Term—second only to the United States. The impressive number of committee participants and INTA’s engaged membership base in India will actively help the Association effectively navigate policy developments and diversify its advocacy activities.

In 2022, INTA plans the following policy and advocacy initiatives and responses:

  • A primary focus will be to scale up engagement with various new and existing stakeholders in the Government of India, including Niti Aayog, the public policy think tank; the Department of Consumer Affairs; Rajya Sabha or Upper House of Parliament; and enforcement agencies. A big message that INTA will emphasize to government agencies is to involve INTA and other IP associations in regular stakeholder consultations.
  • INTA’s collaborative activities with the government have been acknowledged in the 2021 Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) Review of the IPR Regime in India. The report also cites  INTA’s study on economic benefits published in 2017, The Economic Contribution of Trademark-Intensive Industries in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. INTA will continue to look for opportunities to offer substantive input and collaboration.
  • Association leadership will engage with diverse stakeholders in the Indian government through a virtual delegation in the country in the first quarter of 2022.
  • INTA will continue to advocate for key legislative changes in trademark and related laws in the country and keep a close watch on the Ministry of Commerce’s E-Commerce Guidelines, data protection legislation, and laws for the protection of trade secrets and traditional knowledge/Indigenous Rights.

Finally, and most importantly, INTA’s leadership will continue to remain engaged with its expanding membership base in India to ensure the Association provides them with the opportunities, support, information, and the skills to successfully address the issues and challenges they face.

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

© 2022 International Trademark Association