Simplified Patent and Copyright Registration helping India become an innovation hub

Simplified Patent and Copyright Registration helping India become an innovation hub : Shri Piyush Goyal


Fees for Start-ups, MSMEs, Women Entrepreneurs reduced by 80%

India sees four fold increase in Patent and Trade Mark registrations during the last 5 years

India’s ranking in Global Innovation Index up from 81st to 48th position

Ministry of Commerce & Industry Press Release dated 01 Aug 2021

Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Textile, Shri Piyush Goyal has expressed satisfaction over the reforms introduced in examining and granting of patents, designs, copyrights and trademarks, saying the ‘ease of doing business’ will go a long way in catapulting India as an innovation hub.

The Minister reviewed the functioning of the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks in Mumbai yesterday and deliberated on ways to build a robust Intellectual Property Rights infrastructure.

Shri Goyal reiterated Government’s commitment to bolster the ecosystem of patents, design, trademarks, GI (Geographical Indication) systems; to encourage innovation, research & development in the country and bring newer inventions and knowledge from India’s heritage systems to global platform. 

He emphasized Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been closely monitoring developments in this field since 2014 itself.

Shri Goyal while speaking about the CGPDT’s speedy disposal of applications informed that, “The pendency in the IPR department has come down drastically. It has also been decided that any pending application should be completed within days and not months.”

Fees for Start-ups, MSMEs, women entrepreneurs reduced by 80%

Shri Goyal also mentioned about the reduction in fee allowed by the department in order to help and support Startups and Women entrepreneurs in the country. Filing fees for Startups, MSMEs, Women entrepreneurs has been reduced by 80%.

The Minister added that emphasis has been laid on using Digital means. Every application is now processed online from start to finish, hearings are conducted on phones, people don’t have to travel to patent offices now.

Shri Goyal also made a few suggestions to make the whole process more user friendly.  He called for more efforts to increase awareness about GI tag and its significance. He also asked to consider instituting scholarships for students studying the Intellectual Property law as well as engage faculty from renowned institutions on a part time basis to help in the patent examination process.

Simplified procedure, growing innovation

Officials of CGPDT briefed how the IP process has been simplified and streamlined than before and also about the re-engineering of the whole process including new timelines for disposal and shift to digital mode to promote ease of filing and obtaining services. For example, under Trade Mark Rules 74 Forms have been replaced by 8 Consolidated Forms.

They also mentioned that special care is being given to expedite examination of patents filed especially for applications filed by Startups, Women Entrepreneurs etc. While assessing impact of measures taken, it is noted that E-filing has increased from 30 % to more than 95%.

India has also seen a rapid increase in grant of patents, copyrights in the last 5-6 years. The number of patents granted has gone up from 6,326 in 2015-16 to 28,391 in 2020-21, while Trade Marks registration has shot up from 65,045 in 2015-16 to 2,55,993 in 2020-21.  Similarly, while 4,505 Copyrights were granted in 2015-16, a total of 16,402 were granted last fiscal.

These developments have reflected positively in improvement of India’s ranking in Global Innovation Index.  India has climbed 33 notches from 81st position in 2015-16 to 48th in 2020.

About the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks

The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM) is located at Mumbai. It functions under the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

The Controller General supervises the working of the Patents Act, 1970,  the Designs Act, 2000 and the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and also renders advice to the Government on matters relating to these subjects.

The Head Office of the ‘Patent office’ is in Kolkata, ‘Trade Mark Registry’ is in Mumbai and the ‘GI Registry’ is in Chennai. The Offices of ‘The Patent Information System’ (PIS) and ‘National Institute of Intellectual Property Management’ (NIIPM) are at Nagpur.

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World Intellectual Property Organization Bars Delhi-based Firm from Illegally Using Brand Name “Khadi”

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations for brand protection across the world, has ordered a Delhi-based firm against using a domain name www.urbankhadi.com, which illegally uses the  brand name “Khadi”.  The Administrative Panel of WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Center has ruled that the firm “Om Soft Solutions”, owned by one Harsh Gaba, had registered and used the domain name www.urbankhadi.com in “bad faith” and to gain benefit from the goodwill of Khadi.

The panel’s order came on a petition of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) against “Om Soft Solutions” which was indulging in the business of garments by misusing the brand name “Khadi”. The panel lent credence to KVIC’s contentions that “it was a systematic attempt by Mr Harsh Gaba to derive unfair advantage, wrongful commercial gains and to mislead the public into believing that www.urbankhadi.com is an associate of Khadi India.” “It is evident that the respondent can have no legitimate interest in the disputed domain name…nobody would use the word “Khadi” unless seeking to create an impression of an association with Khadi,” the panel noted.

“….the evidence submitted by the complainant (KVIC) leads to the presumption that the disputed domain name www.urbankhadi.com was registered and used by the respondent in bad faith….the panel orders that the disputed domain name be transferred to the complainant, i.e. KVIC,” the panel ruled.

The panel categorically rejected the arguments of “Om Soft Solutions” that the word “Khadi” enjoyed no protection and that nobody had an exclusive right to use the name “Khadi”. “…. the complainant (KVIC) is the owner of several KHADI trademark registrations. The complainant is also the owner of trademarks “Khadi” and “Khadi India”…the disputed domain name www.urbankhadi.com includes the trademark of KVIC and is confusingly similar or identical to the trademarks of the complainant (KVIC),” the panel observed.

KVIC Chairman, Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena said the WIPO’s order will bolster Khadi’s fight against violation of its brand name not only in India but also globally.He said KVIC will take all measures to protect the identity and global popularity of Khadi. He said KVIC has registered the trademark “Khadi” in several countries to prevent any misuse of the brand name “Khadi” as it has a direct bearing on the livelihood of our artisans.

It is pertinent to mention that KVIC, in recent times, has won several cases against violation of its trademark “Khadi”. On June 4, Delhi High Court barred a Ghaziabad-based trader JBMR Enterprises from manufacturing and selling counterfeit Khadi Prakritik Paint. On May 28, Delhi High Court restrained “Khadi Design Council of India” and “Miss India Khadi Foundation” from using “Khadi” brand name. On May 3, an Arbitration Tribunal in Delhi had said that “Khadi” was not a generic name to be used by private individuals or firms while permanently restraining an individual from using the brand name Khadi. In March this year, the Delhi High Court had also restrained a firm from using brand name Khadi and the Charkha symbol to sell its products under the name “IWEARKHADI”.

KVIC in the last few years has acted tough against such violators. So far KVIC has issued legal notices to over 1000 private firms including Fabindia for misusing its brand name and selling products under the name of Khadi. KVIC has sought damages to the tune of Rs 500 crore from Fabindia which is pending before the Mumbai High Court.

Click here to see WIPO Decision 

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Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises Press release dated 01st July 2021

MJPS