“Maharashtra is the leading industrial state in the country and the MSMEs in the state are highly innovative and enterprising. The MSMEs must take advantage of the Madrid Protocol and protect trademarks of their products and services in 97 member countries by filing a single application in the Indian patent office. Protecting the trademark is a way of growing one’s business and it is the pathway for MSMEs to become multinational companies. Creating and protecting the brands of Indian companies is a pre-requisite for the success of Make in India programme,” said O.P. Gupta, IAS, Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks & Registrar of Geographical Indications while delivering keynote address at the event on ‘First in Series of ‘Make in India’ on Protecting Brands: Worldwide with the Madrid System’ at the World Trade Centre Complex, Mumbai on May 4, 2016. The event was jointly organised by World Trade Centre Mumbai and All India Association of Industries (AIAI).
R.A. Tiwari, Deputy Registrar of Trade Marks, informed that just by filing application in the Indian patent office, domestic companies can register their trademark in other member countries of the Madrid Protocol. India became a member of the Madrid Protocol System in April 2013 and the system came into effect in July 2013. However, so far the Indian patent office received only 385 applications from Indian companies to register their trademarks in the member countries, Tiwari added.
The Indian patent office has computerized the entire process for filing the application so that companies can register their trademark in foreign countries at minimum cost and efforts. Similarly, foreign companies can use the Indian office to protect their trademark in India. Tiwari pointed out that the Indian Patent Office has received around 12,000 applications from foreign companies to protect their trademark in India.
Earlier in his welcome address, Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, World Trade Centre Mumbai remarked, “Patent protection and access to finance are related issues as companies that own patented products have greater ability to raise credit from financial institutions. The session would create awareness among MSMEs on the importance of patenting to unlock their true business value.”
Kalantri also emphasised that the legal system in the country should be strengthened to handle the ever-rising complexity of patent regime.