INTA, India Government Officials Hold Bilateral Meeting

Published: February 24, 2021

INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo and India Consultant Gauri Kumar met on February 10 with top officials from India’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to explore new areas of collaboration and present the IPO of the Future Think Tank Report, released by INTA recently.

The DPIIT, a central government department under India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, handles matters related to protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and administers related acts, regulations, and rules.

In previous years, INTA’s leadership has led high-level delegations to India to strengthen the Association’s existing robust partnerships with Indian officials and relevant IP constituents, and to identify new and effective ways to work together to advance trademark and related rights in India. Since a physical delegation was not possible this year, the meeting was held virtually to carry on the tradition of cooperative dialogue. Representing DPIIT were Joint Secretary Mr. Ravinder and Deputy Secretary, Mr. Karan Thapar. This was Mr. Sanz de Acedo’s first meeting with these officials.

Mr. Ravinder reiterated the Indian government’s commitment to the effective protection and management of IPR and its open-door policy for dialogue with stakeholders. “Dialogue, interaction, and understanding the views of each other, and the effort to do that, is the very basis on which democratic and modern societies carry on their business,” he said.

Highlighting some of the National IPR Policy’s triumphs, Mr. Ravinder spoke about IP process reengineering and a pan-India IPR awareness campaign in schools. He praised the efforts of the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) and acknowledged their regular collaboration with INTA, especially in CIPAM’s IPR awareness project in schools.

Mr. Ravinder said that the government of India believes that “counterfeiting is something that should not at all be tolerated.” While Indian laws and mechanisms provide for robust mechanisms to deal with this issue, there is a need to instill respect for IP rights at a young age, he noted.

To aid in this effort, Ms. Kumar introduced INTA’s Unreal Campaign, which informs young people ages 14 to 23 about the importance of trademarks and brands and the dangers of purchasing counterfeit products. The Campaign is successful in India thanks to active volunteers, and Ms. Kumar suggested including it in CIPAM’s school initiative.

Turning to the IP Office of the Future Think Tank Report, INTA’s presentation touched upon the Report’s three key themes: (i) the evolution of the IP system; (ii) future challenges and opportunities; and (iii) the key features that an IP Office (IPO) of the future should have.

Facilitated by INTA, the IPO of the Future Think Tank is an independent group of 14 current and former heads of IPOs from Australia, Canada, Chile, Europe, France, India, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda, and the United States. India’s former Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks, Mr. O.P. Gupta, was part of the expert group.

INTA began this initiative in early 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic would accelerate the world into the future, causing IPOs to pivot perhaps more quickly than anticipated. “The prevailing situation has highlighted the vital importance of preparing for the future,” Mr. Sanz de Acedo said.

The participants discussed INTA’s goal to spread the Report to IPOs across the globe and use it to trigger exchanges and reflections among IPOs about their role in the future. INTA offered to assist the DPIIT or Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks with a “deep dive” into the Report.

Concluding the meeting, Mr. Sanz de Acedo expressed hope about being able to resume INTA’s delegations to India later in the year. He and Mr. Ravinder agreed that the successful cooperation between DPIIT, CIPAM, and INTA should continue in the years to come.

“We very much look forward to working with DPIIT and CIPAM,” said Mr. Sanz de Acedo. “We have been extremely successful in the past, and I expect that we will be as successful, maybe more so, in the future.”

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