NIPR Policy – Action points on Geographical Indications, Trademarks and Designs

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The National IPR Policy for India, released on 13th May 2016 outlines seven broad objectives laid down by the policy, as discussed in the earlier posts accessible here and here.

This post will focus on the aspects of Geographical Indications, Designs and Trademarks dealt by the new IPR Policy.

The policy highlights the lack awareness of IP benefits and rights among possible IPR generators and holders. The Policy addresses the concern that Geographical Indications (GIs) needs to be promoted especially in rural and remote areas, which can tap the commercial benefits of the rich heritage in India. GIs can make a difference by extending their protection to a number of hand-made and manufactured products, especially in the informal sector.The Policy also seeks to encourage the registration of GIs through support institutions, assist GI producers to define and maintain acceptable quality standards, and providing better marketability.The policy promotes the strategy to identify opportunities for marketing Indian IPR-based products, especially GIs, and services to a global audience. The policy also suggests encouraging enterprises to create brand equity from their IP rights, such as trademarks and GIs.

According to the new IPR Policy, India is considered among the top five filers of Trademark in the world. The policy promises to implement different measures with respect to trademark registries for the smooth processing of trademark applications. Some of the measure include removing any disparities that may exist, among different branches of the trademark registries and to adopt standardized procedures in examination/grant of applications including maintenance of rights; conducting trademark agent examinations at regular intervals; arranging  training programs and involving them in capacity building activities; to implement the definition of “counterfeit trademark goods” under the TRIPS agreement which will help in curbing the counterfeiting of trademark goods.

According to the new IPR policy, India is not exploring the potential of design industry. Despite a huge pool of designers, artisans and artists, the number of design applications filed in India is significantly low. The policy seeks to increase the number of design applications by adopting digitization of the Design office to enable online search and filing and to liaise with the concerned Group in the Patent office and Design wing under the CGPDTM for further working. The policy also suggests roping in NIDs, NIFTs and others institutions in sensitization campaigns which will help to encourage creation of design related IP rights by identifying, nurturing and promoting the aspects of innovation protectable under the design law and educating designers to utilize and benefit from their designs.

The New IPR Policy seeks to revamp and re-designate the office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Government of India Department of Industrial Policy (CGPDTM) & Promotion Trademarks as Controller General of Intellectual Property Rights (DIPP), which administers patents, designs, trademarks and GIs, to implement the proposed changes and make use of Information and Communication Technology more efficient.

Authored by Sambhabi Patnaik.

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