Lucknow, September 10, 2017

Huge qualitative improvement seen in filing of trademark applications by firms, says senior official

While the jury is still out on the effects of demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the Indian economy, the two steps seem to have fostered awareness about the protection of trademark and intellectual property (IP) by businesses.

Since, demonetisation and GST are intended to move the domestic economy from cash to digital and formal ecology, Indian business establishments are now realising the long term benefits accruing from protecting their trademarks, brands and IP, deputy registrar Trademarks and Geographical Indication (GI) R A Tiwari told Business Standard here.

“In the aftermath of demonetisation and GST, there has been a marked qualitative improvement in the filing of trademark applications by business entities,” he said.

Tiwari claimed the ‘acceptance rate’ of trademarks being filed has improved from 5-7 per cent earlier to 35-40 per cent now. Acceptance rate refers to the approval of trademark applications by the Trademarks and GI office.

“The acceptance rate has improved due to a higher level of awareness among traders and business community about trademark and IP. The instances of frivolous applications or objections are fewer now. Only genuine applications are being filed,” Tiwari added.

At the same time, trademark applications were also being filed even from smaller towns in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Jharkhand, among other states.

Meanwhile, Tiwari was in Lucknow for a capacity building seminar under the aegis of IPC-EUI (Intellectual Property Cooperation-EU India), a project between EUIPO (EU Intellectual Property Office) and India within the framework of the European Union programme ‘Capacity Building Initiative for Trade Development’ (CITD).

The programme supports India in sustainable development and furthers its integration into the global trade system and protocols.

While these events were earlier organised in the metro and tier-I cities, IPC-EUI is now holding such sessions in tier-II towns such as Vishakhapatnam, Lucknow and Bhopal to expand the sphere of such capacity building among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

“We focus on enhancing the capacity of the Indian productive sector to compete in different markets, especially at the international level,” IPC-EUI associate and international IP consultant Ernesto Rubio said.

The programme also aims at improving the capacity of the manufacturing sector, especially SMEs to create, protect and manage their own brands by using IP as a tool for development.

“India has made a lot of progress with regards to IP in the last few years and the latest IP policy spells out the clear strategy of the government. It has acknowledged the direct connect between IP and innovation,” Rubio noted.

He, however, said more awareness needed to be created among the businesses, particularly smaller companies regarding IP and brand protection. “The export oriented sectors, such as the IT, textiles, fashion, pharmaceutical, food processing etc. would benefit immensely with trade mark and IP protection.”

[The Business Standard]