India became a member of the Madrid Protocol on July 8, 2013 and since then has received about 13768 applications designating India and has filed 155 applications under the Madrid Protocol. While there have been several debates on the best route to take in terms of protecting international brands in India, and both have good arguments, there is one issue that I would like to deal with today – the claim of use of your trademark in India.
When it comes to international treaties and agreements, India generally signs first and thinks later. We sign on fast and then push the limits of implementing and amending our national laws until the last possible day. India’s accession to the Madrid Protocol was done in a rather similar manner. Either way India is a part of protocol which is touted as the international registration of trademarks. A little over a year down the line and the scenario is rather interesting: the Trademark Office in conjunction with several business organizations keep hosting seminars and conferences on using the Madrid system and yet as on date, there have been only 76 trademark applications filed using the system from India against 6660 trademarks filed through the system into India.
The Trade Marks (Amendment) Act 2010 and the Trade Marks (Amendment) Rules, 2013 came in to force on July 08, 2013. In principle the amendment marks the official entry of India to the International Filing System under the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid system enables Indian businesses to file a single application in one language, one fee in one currency in India for registration of their trademark in all or any of the member countries of the Madrid Protocol.
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