Toyota Vs. Prius Auto – Analysis On Permeation Of Goodwill And Reputation Of Foreign Marks Into India And Passing Off Such Marks

Trademark infrignement

The judgment of The Supreme Court of India in the matter of Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha Vs. Prius Auto Industries Ltd. & Ors is worth bookmarking for IP practitioners in India. The tussle between Toyota and Prius Auto has been going on since the year 2009. The initial matter concerned several trademarks, viz., TOYOTA, TOYOTA INNOVA and TOYOTA (device mark) and PRIUS. While the judgement (largely in favour of Toyota) of the lower court concerning the first three listed marks are not appealed in The Supreme Court, the judgment, which was in favour of Prius Auto and others (“Defendants”), concerning PRIUS, was appealed. The Supreme Court held in favour of Defendants, Prius Auto and others.

By way of background, the Defendants had obtained registration of the mark, PRIUS, in the year 2002, and has been using the mark since 2001. Toyota (“Plaintiff”) on the other hand launched the world’s first commercial hybrid car called Prius in Japan in the year 1997. In India however, the car was released in the year 2009, and the Plaintiff applied (as “proposed to be used”) for registration of the PRIUS mark on December 03, 2009, and followed it up with institution of suit against the defendants on December 21, 2009.

In the appeal, the Supreme Court set out to determine whether the defendants, by using the mark, PRIUS, to market the automobile spare parts manufactured by them, are guilty of passing off their products as those of the plaintiff, thereby injuring the reputation of the plaintiff in the market.

In order to address the issue at hand, Division Bench of the High Court considered two largely differing doctrines that have an impact on scope of trademark protection, viz., Universality Doctrine and Territoriality Doctrine. Universality Doctrine posits that a mark signifies the same source all over the world. In contrast, Territoriality Doctrine posits that a mark has separate existence in each sovereign country. In other words, under the Territoriality Doctrine, prior use of the trade mark in one jurisdiction would not, by that very fact, entitle its owner or user to claim exclusive rights to said mark in another dominion. The Division Bench held that Territoriality Doctrine holds, and the Supreme Court concurred.

In view of territoriality principle, the court had to determine whether there has been a spill over (by the time the Defendants started using the mark) of the reputation and goodwill of the mark used by the claimant who has brought the passing off action. The court considered the evidence, dated prior to first use of the mark by Defendants, supplied by the Plaintiff to assert spilling over of the reputation and goodwill of the mark to India.

The court noted that the car itself was introduced in the Indian market in the year 2009-2010. Further, the advertisements in automobile magazines, international business magazines; availability of data in information-disseminating portals like Wikipedia and online Britannica dictionary and the information on the internet, even if accepted, would not be a safe basis to hold the existence of the necessary goodwill and reputation of the product in the Indian market at the relevant point of time, particularly having regard to the limited online exposure at that point of time, i.e., in the year 2001. In view of these observations, among others, the Supreme Court agreed with the conclusion of the Division Bench that the brand name of the car Prius had not acquired the degree of goodwill, reputation and the market or popularity in the Indian market so as to vest in the Plaintiff the necessary attributes of the right of a prior user so as to successfully maintain an action of passing off even against the registered owner. The Supreme court further held that if goodwill or reputation in the particular jurisdiction (India) is not established by the Plaintiff, no other issue really would need any further examination to determine the extent of the Plaintiff’s right in the action of passing off that it had brought against the Defendants.

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Indian Patent Office stakeholders’ meeting and action taken

Statekholders meeting IPO

The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM), which is commonly referred to as the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), periodically invites stakeholders to share suggestions and issues concerning the operation of the IPO. Typically, IP practitioners attend such meetings and share meaningful views and suggestions. The IPO has been receptive of these suggestions, and in many cases act upon them.

One such stakeholders’ meeting was held on December 07, 2017. Several issues were raised, suggestions given, and clarification provided in the meeting. Subsequently, the IPO has summarized the issues raised and suggestions received from stakeholders, and the response from the Office of the CGPDTM. The summarizing document can be downloaded 

A total of 116 issues and suggestions have been listed with regards to patents and industrial designs, and a total of 37 issues and suggestions have been listed with regards to trademarks. Some of the noteworthy issues and response from the IPO are summarized below.

There were issues concerning examination reports not being emailed to the correct email address. The IPO has been sending examination reports and hearing notices via email. However, there were instances where these reports and notices were not sent to the correct email addresses. The IPO has acknowledged occurrences of such errors and has begun reissuing examination reports and hearing notices to rectify the errors that have occurred previously.

In case of industrial designs, there have been instances where line diagrams of the industrial design have not been accepted, and examiners have insisted on photographic representations. The IPO accepts that, in-principle, photographic representations are not mandatory to be filed, and has requested stakeholders to cite specific cases where photographic representations are being sought.

Further, in case of industrial designs, at present response to the examination reports must be filed offline. The IPO has informed that portal for submitting responses to examination reports has already been developed and is in the process of being implemented. Hence, we can assume that provision for online filing of responses is just around the corner.

With regards to examination of patent applications, the Act and Rules have been amended to enable expedited examination in certain scenario. One such scenario is when the patent application is filed by a legal entity, which can be considered a start-up. However, we have received contradicting opinion from Controllers of the IPO with regards to whether or not a Non-Indian entity can be considered a start-up. We are of the opinion that a Non-Indian entity can be considered a start-up. We have previously submitted exhaustive arguments in support of our views, and had a patent application from a Non-Indian entity examined under the expedited examination provision by the virtue of the applicant being a start-up. The IPO has now clarified that, applicants, irrespective of country of origin, are eligible for expedited examination under rule 24 (C).

The stakeholder meetings being organised by the IPO has had a significant role in refining the operations of the IPO and standardization of views and opinions across Controllers and offices of the IPO. We welcome suggestions or issues our readers would like to raise with the IPO, and we shall consider raising them in the next stakeholder meeting.

Hope this news was useful.

Regards,

Team InvnTree

Justice Manmohan Singh Appointed Chairperson Of The Intellectual Property Appellate Board

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Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) is a tribunal that adjudicates appeals arising from decisions of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM). The position of the Chairperson at the IPAB has been lying vacant since the retirement of the previous Chairperson Justice K M Basha in May 2016. Absence of a Chairperson, and the prevailing situation at the IPAB had resulted in substantial backlog, leading to the frustration among IP practitioners.

In this backdrop, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) had issued an advertisement on November 15, 2017, to fill vacant posts, particularly the posts of Vice-Chairman and Technical Members. The rules prescribed for such appointments have been embroiled in controversy, and we had expressed our views previously. Nonetheless, the Government of India has gone ahead and appointed Chairperson of the IPAB. However, we are not aware whether or not the rules mentioned earlier were applied for the appointment of the Chairperson.

The new Chairperson of the IPAB is retired judge of the Delhi High Court, Justice Manmohan Singh. Justice Manmohan Singh is currently Chairperson of the Appellate Tribunal for Forfeited Property (ATFP), and has been given additional charge of IPAB. Given the backlog at the IPAB, and the commitment required to dispose of pending matters, the dual responsibility given to the current Chairperson is a concern. Justice Singh is well known in the IP circuit, and has presided over several high-stake matters, including infringement litigation involving Ericsson and several India smartphone companies.

On behalf of Team InvnTree, we wish the new Chairperson the very best, and hope the appointment of the Chairperson is made in such a way that the appointment is not struck down in future as a result of the controversy mentioned earlier.

Banglar Rasogolla: a sweet (Geographical) Indication

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Geographical Indication (GI), as a form of intellectual property, has witnessed renewed interest due to the famous Indian sweet known commonly as “Rasgulla”. Until recently, GIs were in the shadow of their wider-known Intellectual Property family that comprises patents, industrial designs, trademarks and copyright.

GIs are a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. The GI tag assures the customer of the quality and uniqueness of the product due to its place of origin.

Coming to the GI grant for “Banglar Rasogolla”, the applicant is the West Bengal State Food Processing and Horticulture Development Corporation Limited (WBSFP & HDCL).

The examination report for the GI application raised several objections against the grant of the GI tag. The examiner submitted that the government may not be the applicant. Further, the examiner requested reports of the physiochemical and microbiological parameters of the product, along with its texture, viscosity and brix content in the syrup.  Further, the report suggested that the Association of Producers should be the applicant, with the West Bengal State Council of Science & Technology acting as a facilitator. The examination report asked for a logo of the GI product for better identification and protection of GI rights. The examination report also requested for the demarcation of the area of production of the product which indicates a map of the territory, region or locality wherein the product is manufactured.

The Applicant, WBSFP & HDCL, submitted a response for the examination report wherein it stated that it is an autonomous body registered in 1986 under the Registrar of Companies. It also stated that its main objective is to help in promoting the development of Food Processing Industries in West Bengal through support to entrepreneurs and artisans.

The Applicant also responded that it felt that the Association of Producers group is not capable of handling critical issues of GI registration and implementation. Hence, it chose to remain as the GI applicant, along with authorizing the Patent Information Centre of West Bengal State Council of Science & Technology for the filing and prosecution of the GI application for “Banglar Rasogolla”.

The Applicant collected samples from three shops in West Bengal and provided them to examining bodies for analysis. The Applicant submitted analysis reports that described the physiochemical and microbiological parameters of the “Banglar Rasogolla” that were provided by the West Bengal Public Health Laboratory, Kolkata. The Applicant also attached analysis reports of the texture and brix content (sugar content) of the sugar syrup, which was examined by the West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Science, Kolkata. According to the reports, no starch was found to be added to the chhana (curdled milk) as an adulterant, thus ensuring the unique quality of Banglar Rasogolla. Further, the sucrose content of the sugar syrup was found to be within the range of 34-45% by weight. The “Banglar Rasogolla” was also found to be softer, with a soft texture and better chewiness when compared to Rasogollas originating from other states.

The Applicant submitted the logo and geographical origin of the “Banglar Rasogolla”. The Applicant also submitted that nearly one lakh shop keepers manufacture a total of close to two crore (twenty million) “Banglar Rasogolla” per day.

Subsequently, after submitting the response to the examination report, the GI for “Banglar Rasogolla” was granted to the WBSFP & HDCL on November 17th, 2017. News reports has cited a “feud” between two states over the GI for Rasogolla. However, it is to be noted that West Bengal received a GI only for “Banglar Rasogolla”, namely, Rasogolla from Bengal. Hence, other variations of Rasogolla originating from other states may still get a GI tag based on their product.

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“Barbie girl”: Mattel Trademark Infringement case

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The Delhi High Court was recently approached by toy-maker Mattel Inc. (the Plaintiff), the manufacturer of “Barbie” dolls. It had come to their notice that the makers of the Hindi movie “Tera Intezaar” had included a song called “Barbie girl” in their movie. Consequently, Mattel sued the producers of the movie for Trademark infringement of “Barbie” and requested the High Court for an ex-parte injunction to restrict the release of any version of the movie that includes the aforementioned song.

Mattel is the owner of the “Barbie” trademark in India for multiple classes of goods. The issue pointed out by Mattel in their allegation is two-fold. One issue is the alleged trademark infringement by the use of the word “Barbie” in the song. The second issue put forth by the Plaintiff is the alleged dilution of the Plaintiff’s “Barbie” trademark.

The Plaintiff alleged that their trademark was repeated multiple times in the song while the actress performed dance steps inspired by a Barbie doll. Further, the Plaintiff alleged that their trademark was included in the song merely to increase the commercial aspects of the movie. The Plaintiff also alleged that dilution of their trademark had occurred through the suggestive lyrics of the song, which feature an actress who is a prominent figure from the adult entertainment industry. The Plaintiff further contended that the contents of the song and its video are provocative, inappropriate and unsuitable for children, especially young girls, which has resulted in the tarnishing and degrading of the quality of the trademark “Barbie”.

The Plaintiff requested the Delhi High Court to grant an “in-camera” ex-parte hearing, wherein the case would be recorded instead of taking place openly. This request was refused by the Court on the grounds that ultimately, the dispute would become public and media reporting cannot be prevented.

The Delhi High Court also advised the parties to chill. This rather informal suggestion was replicated from a 2002 United States Court of Appeals judgement, regarding a similar infringement allegation of the “Barbie” trademark. This case involved the famous song “Barbie girl” from the Danish band “Aqua”. The Plaintiff, Mattel, had sued the Defendants, a music company, over allegations similar to the current case.

Initially, the United States District Court denied relief to the Plaintiff by reasoning that the use of the “Barbie” mark in the song was not an infringement of the toy manufacturer’s trademark associated with the doll. The District Court further stated that trademark rights do not entitle the owner to nullify an unauthorized use of the trademark by another entity who is communicating ideas or expressing points of view using the trademark. Further, the District Court stated that the trademark owner does not have the right to control public discourse merely because the public imbues the mark with a meaning beyond its source. Hence, the music company’s use of “Barbie” was not an infringement of the trademark. Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals requested the Plaintiff and Defendants to chill, or calm down in other words.

The Delhi High Court too stated the abovementioned matter. Further, it also quoted the Supreme Court’s decision in Nachiketa Walhekar Vs. Central Board of Film Certification as follows: “It is worthy to mention that freedom of speech and expression is sacrosanct and the said right should not be ordinarily interfered with. … An artist has his own freedom to express himself in a manner which is not prohibited in law and such prohibitions are not read by implication to crucify the rights of expressive mind. …. The Courts are to be extremely slow to pass any kind of restraint order in such a situation and should allow the respect that a creative man enjoys in writing a drama, a play, a playlet, a book on philosophy, or any kind of thought that is expressed on the celluloid or theater, etc.”.

Interestingly, the Delhi High Court also mentioned that granting an ex-parte order may send a wrong signal to the public at large. The Judge kept in mind on-going issues concerning another movies, which have been in the news recently over demands by one section of the society for banning it. Additionally, the Judge concluded the matter by stating that the plea may be considered at the notice stage. Thus, it remains to be seen what further steps are taken by the Plaintiff in this regard.

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Filling vacant posts in the IPAB – a double-edged sword

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The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) in Chennai made an announcement on November 15, 2017, regarding filling up vacant posts. The positions are for a Vice-Chairman and for Technical Members for Trademark, Patent and Copyright.

The IPAB was set up for a speedy disposal of Intellectual Property disputes by transferring the jurisdiction of High Courts on certain matters to the IPAB. It is under the administrative control of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), which falls under the ambit of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The IPAB is responsible for hearing appeals from the decisions of the Controller of patents and trademarks, among others. The Technical Member of patents aids in adjudication of appeals against the decision of the Controller, and resolves patent revocations along with a Judicial Member.

On one hand, the filling of these posts will result in increased appointments for hearings and faster disposal of disputes that reach the IPAB. However, the filling of the posts may also turn out to be a double-edged sword due to current issues related to the appointment and removal criteria of the IPAB and other tribunal boards.

The crux of the issue arose when the Department of Revenue of the Ministry of Finance notified in the Gazette of India, the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2017. These Rules stated new processes for the appointment and removal criteria of persons in the IPAB and other Tribunal Boards.

As per the Rules, the selection committee for posts of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Judicial Members of the IPAB consists of the Chief Justice of India or his nominee, Secretary (DIPP), a Secretary to be nominated by the Central Government, and two experts to be nominated by the Central Government. The selection committee for the posts of Technical Members (Trademark, Patents or Copyright) on the IPAB consists of a member who will be nominated by the Central Government to act as the Chairperson of the Selection Committee, Secretary (DIPP), a Secretary to be nominated by the Central Government, and two experts to be nominated by the Central Government.

As evident, the selection committee for the IPAB posts of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Judicial Members and Technical Members comprises a majority of government-elected executives. Additionally, the removal criteria stated in the Rules places the power of removing the Judges of the IPAB into the hands of the Central Government.

The controversy lies in the fact that, despite the IPAB being a judicial body, the judiciary does not have a considerable role in appointments or removal of persons from the IPAB. The lack of judiciary independence in the running of the IPAB and other tribunals due to the Rules, has resulted in about six challenges before the Supreme Court and four challenges before the High Courts at Delhi, Madras, Bombay, and Gujarat regarding the same.

In past judgements, the High Court and the Supreme Court have repeatedly clarified that the selection committee for appointing persons to the IPAB must be balanced with members from the judiciary and executive, instead of a majority from the executive. Further, any Legislation that does not comply with this decision would be struck down as unconstitutional.

In Shamnad Basheer vs Union Of India, the High Court stated: “the selection process has been left entirely to the Executive, though the functions of the Tribunal are judicial. This act is a direct affront to the basic structure, which is fundamental to the Constitution of India. The 1st respondent has totally overstepped and acted in disregard to the law laid down by the Supreme Court in Union of India Vs R Gandhi, President, Madras Bar Association, [(2011) 10 SCC 1] by turning a blind eye. The directions issued therein are meant to be applicable to all the Tribunals…. It has been consistently held that the judiciary should have a substantial role in the selection. It was also held that the process of appointment should substantially be that of members of judiciary.

Thus, any appointments to the IPAB by the current selection committee according to the Rules would seem unconstitutional and may result in the subsequent overturning of the appointments. Further, since such appointments may be unconstitutional, the cases adjudicated by the appointed persons may face litigation from the involved parties that may allege injustice. Hence, the DIPP would be well-advised to carefully consider whether the time is right for making the appointments for the above-mentioned vacant posts in order to prevent further troubles.

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Relocation of copyright office to DIPP

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The Copyright Office recently announced the relocation of their office to Boudhik Sampada Bhawan, which is home to the Indian Patent, Trademarks and G.I. offices. It appears that the Copyright office has completed the physical and logical transfer to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

The Copyright Office until recently was under the jurisdiction of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry. However, the IPR policy released in May 2016 announced that the administration of the Copyright office was to be brought under the aegis of the (DIPP).

The DIPP was previously responsible for Intellectual Property Rights relating to Patents, Designs, Trade Marks and Geographical Indication. Hence, it seemed logical to consolidate the administration of all IP-related offices under a single administrative entity for uniformity in decision-making and administration. However, the real effects of this transfer on the Indian IP scene remain to be seen.

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Non-payment of Copyright royalties – raids on Indian music companies

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided the Mumbai offices of major Indian music companies – Universal, T-series, Sa Re Ga Ma and YRF Music, on Friday the 3rd, for non-payment of royalties and laundering the royalty money into investments.

The raids were made in relation to a case against two entities that handle licenses in the Indian music industry, namely, the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) and the Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL). Chitra Singh, widow of ghazal singer Jagjit Singh, had filed an FIR with the ED naming IPRS and PPL. Script writer Javed Akhtar too had made a complaint about non-payment of royalties. The ED began investigations into allegations of money laundering derived from non-payment of license royalty.

IPRS is a copyright society that issues licenses for public performances, while PPL is a copyright society dealing with sound recordings. The two copyright societies are embroiled in various legal issues. One of them concerns the legality of these companies being allowed to issue licenses under the Indian Copyright Act. Another legal issue concerns the non-payment of royalty and subsequent money laundering. According to investigations made by the ED, IPRS had assigned their rights to issue licenses and collect royalties to PPL to share revenue. However, PPL allegedly indulged in fraudulent activities and did not pay IPRS their due royalty.

The ED is a specialized financial investigative agency that enforces the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). The music industry companies collected royalty from consumers and were entitled to pay 50% of the collected amount to music composers and lyricists. However, this money was supposedly used by different people in other investments. What makes the case noteworthy is that the fraudulent activities concerned are said to involve amounts up to Rs 1,500 – 2,00 crores (USD 230 million to 307 million).

The ED teams have apparently seized several incriminating documents pertaining to the records of royalty collections over the period and its fraudulent use. These documents will be gathered from Kolkata and Delhi to identify a money trail. It remains to be seen whether these companies will be allowed to continue issuing licenses, and what happens of the royalty that is rightfully owed to the composers and lyricists.

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Workshop on patenting computer related inventions in India

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InvnTree and Computer Society of India (Bangalore Chapter) have come together to conduct a workshop that addresses various nuances involved in patenting computer related inventions in India.  The details corresponding to the same are provided below.

Introduction

The number of software companies in India has been consistently increasing over the years. In the past, most of these companies provided software services. However, India has steadily moved up the value chain, resulting in a plethora of software product companies. Consequently, companies have been concentrating on innovation gain competitive edge over products of local and global competitors.

Competitive advantage based on innovation largely depends on how well the innovation can be protected, and there lies opportunities and challenges. Patent protection is one of the most preferred options, and in many cases the only practical option to protect innovation in the computer and software domains.

Patent protection of innovations in the computer and software domains has its peculiar challenges. These peculiar challenges have given rise to misconceptions, largely in the tech community, that inventions in the software domain cannot be patented. Adding to the challenges, different jurisdictions including India, US and Europe have developed varying frameworks for determining subject matter eligibility of software inventions.

In view of the foregoing, the workshop aims at providing an in-depth knowledge about eligibility criteria for patenting software inventions. Further, the workshop will provide a comparison between India, US and Europe in the context of software patenting. 

Workshop overview

The workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Overview of patents and its advantages
  • Overview of patent system and processes
  • Discussion on criteria to obtain a patent
  • Detailed discussion on software patentability in India
  • Detailed comparison between India, US and Europe in connection with software patentability
  • Role of copyright in software protection
  • Role of trade secret in software protection

Key take away

  • Good understanding of the patent system and its implication on business
  • Strategies for obtaining patent protection in different countries
  • Preliminary capability for scrutinizing innovations for the purposes of patenting
  • Understanding of the challenges, opportunities and framework for software patenting in India, US and Europe  
  • Understanding of supplemental means for protecting IP in software

Key speaker

Kartik Puttaiah | Founder | Patent and Trademark Agent | InvnTree IP Services Pvt. Ltd.

Kartik is the co-founder of InvnTree. He has over eleven years of experience in patent consulting and is proficient at providing patent services in technologies related to manufacturing, automation engineering, medical devices, software engineering, and telecommunication engineering.

His decade-long patent practice has made him an expert in securing patents, advising on patent portfolio development and mitigating IPR related risks. His counsel is especially sought after in hearings before the Indian Patent Office due to his impressive track record of successes there.

Kartik is a popular speaker at IP conferences and often delivers instructive talks on topics ranging from IP policies to the practical aspects of patent practice in India. Apart from delivering talks at conferences and seminars in India, he has enjoyed delivering speeches at conferences in the USA, Japan and South Korea.

Date and venue

  • November 18, 2017 (Saturday)
  • CSI Bangalore Chapter, Unit No.201, 2nd Floor, MB Center, 134, Infantry Road, Bengaluru – 560 001.

Registration Contact

  • Telephone: 080 22860461 / 40906171 / 09448905268 (mobile)
  • Email: bangalore.csi@gmail.com | mailto:manager@csibc.org
  • Website: www.csibc.org

Registration fee and account details

  • CSI-Member Industry: INR 3,000/- | Non Member-Industry: INR 4,000/-
  • CSI-Member Academic: INR 2,500/- | Non Member-Academic: INR 3,000/-
  • CSI-Student Member: INR 1,500/- | Other Student: INR 2,000/-
  • CSI Bangalore Chapter
  • A/c No. 33762189110,
  • Payable at State Bank of India, B1, Cross Road, MIDC, Andheri(E) Mumbai – 400 093.
  • IFSC Code / NEFT / RTGS Code: SBIN0007074,
  • MICR : 400002057, IFSC :SBIN0003298,
  • SWIFT Code :SBININBB363

India can now access WIPO’s file transfer systems

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The Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM) signed a Cooperation agreement with the Director General of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on October 5th, 2017 at Geneva, Switzerland. This Cooperation treaty enables the exchange of data such as priority documents between the Indian Patent Office (IPO) and the WIPO, using WIPO Centralized Access to Search and Examination (CASE) and WIPO Digital Access Services (DAS).

The WIPO CASE system enables patent offices to share search and examination documents related to patent applications in a secure manner. This allows patent examiners from different offices to share examination results and thus increase the efficiency and quality of their work for patent applications that are filed in multiple offices.

The WIPO DAS system enables IP offices to securely exchange priority documents and certified documents through an electronic system. Traditionally, while filing applications in multiple offices, applicants had to request certified paper copies of documents from one office and submit them to another. However, the WIPO DAS allows applicants to a) request the first office to make the priority documents available; and b) request other offices(s) to retrieve those documents using DAS. The offices can then use DAS to electronically transfer or exchange the required priority documents. The DAS provides an easy, secure and inexpensive system to quickly transfer documents between offices.   

Once implemented, this agreement will greatly benefit the IPO as well as patent applicants by streamlining the process of getting a patent.

I hope you found our article informative.

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Best regards – Team InvnTree   

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