Stringent Laws, Collective Application Vital to Protect IPR: CJI Dipak Misra

Intellectual Property

Former CJI (Chief Justice of India), Dipak Misra said that the business corporations in the current global economy focus on staying competitive by deeply managing Intellectual Property (IP). That is why; stringent laws and their collective enforcements are imperative for the security of Intellectual Property Rights in India.

Misra at a conference held in New Delhi delivered a speech on intellectual property through collective enforcement. In his speech on this topic, the justice emphasized that though the proprietary knowledge and possessions of mind are attaining recognition over centuries, IP gained importance in the present framework due to incessant advancements in trade and technology.

Continued speaking at the conference, Justice Misra added that the significance of intangible goods is increasing at a rapid pace, thus forcing businesses to create and manage IP conceptions as their keys for achieving competitive advantages and improved performances.

Continuing further, he came up with the following information:

In India, the ancient times were facilitated with the ideology that knowledge sharing is better than all other kinds of giving. However, today, IP is what acts as the planned alliances of growth in socio-economic and technology. It is the basic context of sustenance in the existing economically competitive era.

In the view to promote inventions, it is necessary to consider Intellectual Property Rights. Undoubtedly, the legislative system is not just in force but also in accord with a framework of developing countries but that’s not sufficient. Since India is moving ahead in the form of a developing nation, some other stringent laws are required.

Our country is advancing to such level of development that we need to have control, have a safeguard, and provide protection to those who are creating and inventing or actively involved in innovation.

Dipak Misra known as a former CJI was born on October 3rd, 1953. Being the 45th Chief Justice of India, he served the nation from 28th August 2017 to 2nd October 2018. He is also identified as the nephew of Justice Ranganath Misra who served the nation as the 21st CJI from 1990 – 91. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Geographical Indication and its Importance

 Geographical Indication

In earlier times, we were hardly available with more than one option for a particular thing. For example, there were very few varieties of tea grown in only some specific regions. However, with the advancements in technology and other sectors, people are persistently coming up with new ways to produce more varieties of tea. This continuous practice is giving rise to a competitive market, thus making it arduous for producers to acquire the precise cost for their produce. Geographical Indication (GI) is an essential tool that helps the growers in attaining the premium price for their products.

GI plays a vital role in the lives of both producers and consumers. Moreover, it adds to the nation’s economy. In short, there are a lot of benefits that make GI a considerable term. But before having an insight on those advantages, let’s go through some other noticeable facts regarding Geographical Indication.

Definition

Geographical Indication is a certification for agricultural, natural, or manufactured products that are unique originates of a specific area in a country. The products with GI tag are known for their quality and own a sense of trust and legitimacy.

Some products that have achieved the GI tag in India are:

  • Basmati Rice, which is famous for its long grains and matchless aroma, is unique to Indo-Gangetic plains. After a legal battle, seven states of India have attained the GI certification in 2016.
  • Darjeeling Tea was the first commodity that achieved a GI grant in India. Both the title and logo of Darjeeling tea were given fortification under the Intellectual Property laws.

Besides agricultural goods, the following sorts of products are also enjoying the merits of Geographical Indication:

  • Natural like Makrana marble
  • Handicraft such as Kashmiri pashmina
  • Foodstuff like Dharwadpedha

The purpose of providing the status of Geographical Indication to products is to stop the practice of unfair competition and prevent misstatement on the subject of the geographical origins of products.

Why Geographical Indication Protection is vital?

Most of us often doubt whether going for GI protection is worthwhile. Go through the following benefits that will aid you in figuring out the importance of geographical indication.

Boosts export

The essential purpose of using GI tag is that it provides a legal defense that encourages the producers to produce and sell more. More production results in the expansion of businesses worldwide. Hence, we can say that geographical indication protection boosts exports.

Increases Economic Wealth

GI tag rewards the products with a positive reputation that develops the producers’ confidence to ask for an optimum price for their produces. In other words, geographical indication boosts the economic wealth of growers, regions, and the entire nation.

Prevents misuse

The producer with the GI tag has the legal right to prevent unauthorized people who do not belong to his geographical indication region from using his certification. In this way, he can deter damages to his reputation. The farmers selling goods under GI safeguard seem to face fewer issues and competition from false sellers who vend bogus commodities.

Upsurges Tourism

Geographical indication bestows the commodities with a brand reputation worldwide. Alluring people with thoughts that the particular products hold a good reputation, GI tag motivates them to access those products in their original form by visiting the places of their origin. All these facts result in the remarkable growth of a nation’s tourism.

Conclusion

Nowadays, almost all states yield products unique to that specific area. There are a ton of products, which are continuously making their place in millions of hearts in the entire world by acquiring a GI tag. Ultimately, GI is another name to increase in the economic wealth of growers and nation. Hopefully, after going through the statistics above, you are left with no doubts about why and how a geographical indication is imperative. GI is essential for not just producers but for consumers as well. It enables the growers to avail the best possible price for their premium products. Besides, it aids the customers to buy optimal commodities. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

American Businesses want reforms in Indian policies on IPRs & e-commerce

intellectual property rights

An advocacy group at Washington-based USISPF (US-India Strategic Partnership Forum) thrown light on the American companies’ desire for the participation of new Indian government i.e., BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) in bold reforms in several areas encapsulating data localisation, intellectual property rights, e-commerce, land & labour laws and policies.

USISPF which had been established with an intention to uplift the commercial and economic status of nations functions to develop and maintain robust relationships amidst two countries by providing suggestions to drive employment-creation, entrepreneurship, economic growth, and more.

Mukesh Aghi who is the President of USISPF while communicating with administrators from different Departments and Ministries encompassing Commerce and other Industry revealed that they are working on a document emphasizing the changes and reforms American businesses want in some Indian policies. He added that they will hand over the modified document to the government of India.

Policy Changes

Earlier 2019, e-commerce policies in India underwent a revision that discontinued firms with foreign investments to vend products of businesses in which they put the equity. This alteration had shaken the professional life of many foreign investors, for example – US-based Company ‘Walmart’ that had acquired Flipkart, an e-commerce company based in India by investing $26 billion. As the abrupt alterations impacted the investments immensely, the GOI (Government of India) ought to gain investors’ trust.

Apart from e-commerce, US companies wanted the Indian government to work upon data localisation policies that banned transferring and storing customer-related information out of the country. Aghi continued that American businesses are interested to both invest and bring technology in India but for that, they want reforms in land and labour laws that often hinder operations.

IPR laws

US companies demanded modifications in laws related to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) also. The two alterations they want in relation to IPR include granting more security to patent holders and relaxation in cost for medicines and medical equipment.

In regards to the proposed withdrawal of GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) benefits, the advocacy group suggested the American government to continue allowing tax-free imports of near about 3,000 products to the US from India, as it was a sign of goodwill for years and helped in creating jobs for Indian people.  For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Metro Shoes files a Case against Flipkart Alleging Trademark Infringement

trademark infringement

Metro Shoes on Tuesday filed a case in Bombay HC (High Court) alleging Flipkart is selling under ‘Metronaut’, a brand name that is similar to the eponymous brand of Metro. Besides this, the complainant alleged that the e-commerce company is using the same brand name to sell shoes also along with other products.

Advocate Piyush Shah, representing Metro, said as the defendant is marketing the products with the brand name that is alike to Metro, it constitutes trademark infringement.

Flipkart spokesperson in an emailed response said that the e-commerce company was not aware of any such legal proceeding. If they are informed by a notice from any court or judicial authority, they will positively take the needed actions that will be in the best interest of the company.

Metronaut brand name is being used by Flipkart to sell:

  • Men wear and accessories that were launched in late 2018.
  • Denims, t-shirts, shoes, and shirts
  • Accessories such as belts, sunglasses, and wallets.

When it comes to Metro, the brand operates around 200 outlets in 100 cities and also sells through several multi-brand stores. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

5 Varieties of Coffee Acquire GI Tag

Geographical Indication

The government of India gave the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to 5 varieties of coffee being produced in the nation. The list of Indian coffee that achieved GI tag by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade beneath the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is as follows:

  • Coorg Arabica from Karnataka,
  • Wayanad, Robusta from Kerala,
  • Chikmagalur Arabica from Karnataka,
  • Araku Valley Arabica from Andhra Pradesh,
  • Bababudangiris Arabica from Karnataka

As expected, the step of providing the GI tag will prove beneficial for the coffee growers by aiding them in attaining the maximum possible price for their high-quality produce.

In India, almost 3.66 lakh farmers are engaged in cultivating coffee over a 4.54-hectare area.

Southern states encompassing Karnataka (54 per cent), Kerala (19 per cent), and Tamil Nadu (8 per cent) are accountable for producing the major percentage of the total production of coffee in India. In addition to these regions, non-traditional areas covering Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, and other north-east states are involved in coffee cultivation.

In the entire world, it is India that seems to be the only republic where the complete coffee cultivation executes in a natural way like grown under the shade, picked by hands, and then, dried underneath the sunlight. Tribal farmers in the Eastern and Western Ghats, the regions recognized as the most important bio-diversity hotspots globally, are known for producing the best coffee worldwide. Highly-valued all over the world, Indian coffee is sold as the premium commodity in European zones.

The ministry said that the tribals who produce Araku coffee follow an organic method where they focus on using organic/green manures and organic pest control and eradication practices. It also puts light on Bababudangiris Arabica coffee by saying that it is hand-picked and managed by natural fermentation.

The ministry added that the protection and recognition that comes with Geographical Indication certification will enable the producers to invest in producing good quality coffee and maintaining the qualities of the products in that specific region. It will benefit both – the nation by enhancing Indian coffee’s visibility in the global market and growers by allowing them to gain the maximum profits for their first-class coffee.

A Geographical Indication refers to a name or sign used on natural, agricultural, or manufactured products like handicrafts and industrial goods that originate from a particular geographical location. Functioning as a mark of assurance of uniqueness and quality, GI tag provides the producers with justification and confidence that commands a premium price of their genuine products in all markets, no matter domestic or international.

Besides coffee, a large number of other products have attained the GI tag in India. For example – Darjeeling Tea, Kangra Paintings, TirupathiLaddu, Kashmir Pashmina, and Nagpur Orange.

NIPO (National Intellectual Property Organisation) President T.C. James said that the GI protection grant is the guarantee that no other grower can misuse the identity to sell similar products. It is advantageous from the customers’ perspective also as they don’t left with any doubt regarding the authenticity of that product.

GI tag distribution will motivate the producers to grow more and better quality coffee, which further leads to an increase in sales of coffee and the nation’s economy. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Margento opposes the patent application of an Indian Startup

Intellectual Property Rights

A Netherland-based mobile transaction solutions provider named as Margentofiled an opposition against a patent application on data-over-voice (DOV) technology provided by ToneTag.

FintechstartupToneTag is situated in Bengaluru and was founded in the year 2013 by Kumar Abhishek. Later, it had been allotted to its parent organization known as Naffa Innovations Pvt Ltd. The case had been put under the judicial consideration of the Controller of Patent, Kolkata.

Margento opposed the patent application mainly on the basis of the fact that the inventions are not found patentable when seen in view of previously published documents, incorporating two already approved patents of Margento.

The two granted patents of Margento are related to wireless mobile transaction solutions via a protected transmission of data-over-sound amidst mobile device and payment terminal safely without using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Internet Connection, or any other sort of connectivity.

The earlier publications bringing two patents of Margento into light revealed that the secure data travel between two devices. They disclosed that financial transactions and other confidential data transfer via sound waves safely, and thus, made it a patentable invention.

The similar previous publications also gave out the information about the system that enables the transmission amongst numerous devices via audio waves without including internet connection, thus making it patentable. In addition, it was contended by Margentothat the applicant failed to meet the requirements under section 8 of the Patent Act, 1970. Since, the applicant did not provide accurate details related to corresponding patent applications in regards to the same inventions being filed outside India from time-to-time, thus displaying deliberate concealment of material particulars. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Bombay HC imposed a fine of Rs 5 Croreon defendantsin IPR conflict

Intellectual Property Rights

Once Mahatma Gandhi, the father of our nation said, “There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed”. Invoking this impactful phrase in a dispute related to Intellectual Property Rights, the Bombay High Court (HC) fined Rs 5 crore on a group of people. The defendants were directed to pay the money to Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai.

A brief about the case

It was Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation who filed the case against the Kishor Jain and others.The case revolved around a complaint made to Nippon Steel by a Saudi Arabia based steel company questioning the quality of carbon pipes it purchased to use inoil plants. Nippon itself made inquiries and detected that the defendants were selling seamless pipes under the false direction. The purchasers were misguided that Nippon, the renowned companyin this niche had manufactured those pipes.

Justice SJ Kathawalla heard the dispute and passed an order,and added that this case is the perfect example to show the level to which some unscrupulous people likethe defendants here, can fall in order to make big bucks.Unfortunately, such sort of people doesn’t have any respect for principles or ethics. Moreover, they never mind putting the country’s reputation at stake by executing the unsolicited tasks.

When quizzed at the court, the second defendant named as JeetendraBuradinformed that he tends to purchase the poor-quality pipes from a local shop in the marketplace at Navi Mumbai. After that, HirenKamod, Nippon’s lawyer added that the trios (all three defendants) themselves have admitted their unlawful activity of selling on the name of others.According to the inspection report of offices and warehouses of suspects, it was found that they were indulged not onlyin trademark infringementbut also in forgery.

It was March 26, 2019, when the High Court had restrained the infringing undertakings and seized the goods pertaining to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) dispute. Moving ahead, Justice Kathawalla decided punishment that can prevent such conflicts in the future. The Court took this matter seriously and imposed a heavy penalty of Rs 5 crore to set a strong precedent. Defendants were directed to pay the amount to Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai as the litigant Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Corporation had no objection in giving away the money in charity. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Importance of Intellectual Property Rights in Modern Times

intellectual property right

In the 21st century, intellectual property rights have played a key role in indigenous and international trade of every country. With the advent of growing digitalisation, there is a huge risk of innovative ideas being stolen by an outsider, without any prior permission and consent.

The importance of intellectual property protection varies across the world. Almost, every nation which relies upon international trade is now taking strong action for intellectual property rights protection. A robust IP law structure is partly responsible for the overall growth of the economy of a nation.   Unlike any other tangible asset which can be secured by locking up or fencing up, intangible assets like IP, in contrast, is accessible to the common people and can be misused by anyone. In a few situations, self-protection is also done by integrating the IP asset and tangible asset.

Intellectual Property Rights enhance the intrinsic value of all kinds of goods and services, as a unique idea is the core and foundation of every business. If the business is not unique from others, it will be unlikely to be differentiated from the competitor’s product and services.  Nowadays, many cases of the unique idea being stolen by the third party are quite common. But, there are still so many people who do not deem it imperative to secure their distinct design or logo. Hence, it is important to secure intellectual property, which would otherwise perilous to business growth.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Intellectual Property can be defined as a set of intangible assets owned by any individual person or institution. Like various physical properties, intellectual property provides the same competitive advantage to a business.

The protection of intellectual property in a web-based environment is crucial for a business than ever before, as the unique designs and logos are more vulnerable and can be easily replicated by anyone.

THREE TYPES OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTIES RIGHTS:

An Intellectual Property right is majorly divided into three types- trademark, copyright and patent:

  1. TRADEMARK

A trademark can be a logo, design, or a mark of a business or an individual to distinguish his products and services from the competitors. A unique symbol enables a customer to easily recognize the product and relates to the brand value of a business.

  1. COPYRIGHT

Copyright protects a tangible creative expression like a painting, music compositions and a book.  It is one most used intellectual property rights given to the producers of an original creative piece, which includes both published and unpublished work.

  1. PATENT

A patent protects the unique and distinct creation from illegally sold, used by an outsider for a set time period. In other words, a sovereign authority grants the intellectual property rights to the inventor through a set procedure.

FOLLOWING ARE THE KEY ADVANTAGES OF PROTECTING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS:

 

  1. CONVERT THE CREATIVE IDEA INTO PROFIT

Generally, ideas do not possess any commercial value on their own. In the modern era, Intellectual Property rights have great untapped potential to convert your creative ideas into profit- yielding machine. IP registration through copyright, patent, or trademark will result in a steady stream of commercial gains and extra revenue, which will expand and improve the bottom line of business.

  1. TO EASE THE MARKETING PROCESS

The intellectual property acts a great tool for establishing the distinct identity of both brand and business. It helps to distinguish the products and services of one seller from the other in the market, which further helps in easily promoting them to their prospective clients.

  1. FOR RAISING FINANCE FOR THE COMPANY

Any IP right holder can monetize and commercialize the IP assets via licensing, sale and can use them as collateral for debt financing.  IP assets can also be used for raising public funding, loans and to get government subsidies.

  1. FOR PROTECTING THE CREATIVE IDEAS

There are so many cases of creative ideas being replicated through illegal means by an outsider for commercial gains. So, it is mandatory to secure the IP rights before it gets infringed by anyone. A person can take IP protection, irrespective of the kind and size of the business. So, evaluate the business needs and circumstances and take appropriate action for IP protection.

  1. IMPROVE THE EXPORT OPPORTUNITIES OF A BUSINESS

IP assets accelerate the level of competitiveness in the export market for goods and services. The IP right holder can protect brands and design to market and promote their products and service abroad, and can also take franchising agreement from the overseas companies.

  1. BOOSTS THE BUSINESS GROWTH

Needless to say that, Intellectual Property protection cannot be overlooked in the cut-throat competitiveness. There are huge chances that the unprotected creative idea can be used by the rivals, which will result in shrinking the market share and slow down of business growth. Shrinking of market share in the formative stage can be detrimental to the overall business growth and performance.

Furthermore, it is important to note that IP Protection is the sole responsibility of the owner to secure from any infringement, as no one else will make an effort to protect the idea from being copied by someone.

CONCLUSION

Thus, it can be concluded that IP protection is extremely significant, and there must be proper IP laws in each country to protect the indigenous manufacturers from the outside completion.

The government also needs to improve the overall structure of IP laws for forging a long-term social and economic development of a company. The government needs to formulate proper IP laws for individual and companies, as laws should neither be too strict or lenient. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Oil Proprietor Convicted in Intellectual Property Right Dispute

copyright infringement

The Bombay High Court has sentenced an oil proprietor of an edible oil firm for 8 weeks for blatant breach of the March 2017 order for copyright infringement of Cargil India Pvt. Ltd, an Indian arm of the US-based multinational giant. Justice SJ Kathawlla of Bombay High Court was hearing the Cargil Pvt. Ltd’s plea against Aslam Noor Siddiqui of MM Oil Enterprises.

The Plaintiff filed an IPR infringement suit in March 2017 and held that its Gemini oil well-known trademark rights were infringed by the defendant, which the latter launched in the market under the name of ‘Genuine’ oil. Rohan Kadam, Plaintiff’s lawyer stated that even the packaging was very similar and thus alleging “passing off” through a deceptively similar trademark “Genuine- Refined Sunflower Oil” and deposited those packets as evidence in the court.

The Court passed an interim order in April 2017, to restrain the owner from further manufacturing and selling of the product. Justice Kathawalla also stated that the accused at the initial stage tried to make a false statement through his lawyer that the huge jars and pouches which contained thousands of litres of edible oil were eaten by rats. The Court opined that any leniency in Intellectual Property Rights cases would send a wrong message across society at large that the court itself has zero regards to the flagrant disregard shown by the proprietor, and is embracing the forgive and forget policy. And such an accused should not be shown any mercy in sentencing.  In addition, it will also portray that any litigant can flout the Court orders with indemnity and still be conferred with leniency and compassion by the Court. Any such trend would set the wrong precedent and would demolish the principle of deterrence, which the court intended to serve.

Moreover, the Court also noted that apology rendered at the last juncture was neither in good grace, nor it was showing any sign of contrition, but the only purpose was just to avoid the punishment. It was after this that the accused and his advocate came forward and appraised the court and agreed that he has violated the law, and accepted the 8-week sentence, but pleaded to surrender after the holy month of Ramadan, i.e., June 14, 2019, at 10:00 am. The Judge agreed to his plea and ordered that the arrest warrant be executed only on June 14 by Azad Maidan police station.

However, the Court in the judgement asserted that he has observed the growing unhealthy trend being set up amongst a section of litigants, who often flagrantly violate the court’s laws and orders with impunity. At such juncture, the Court cannot be a mute spectator, and it needs to step in to stop the trends of brazenly flouting the IPR rules. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/

Google and IPRS Sign A Deal for Music Licensing in India

Copyright

The Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS) has issued a music license to Google, granting the company to utilize its members work collection across YouTube and other pertaining services in India. The IPRS is registered under the Copyright Act, 1957, is a representative body of the music composer, lyricists and music publishers, sanctioned for granting the music license to any person. Christophe Muller, YouTube’s Global Head of Music Licensing, termed this agreement as a positive step in the YouTube‘s ongoing commitment to  fairly pay to the music owners, including composer, lyricist,  songwriter for their  incredible contribution  and to protect their Intellectual Property Rights. This deal was also meant for ensuring that their valuable users are able to enjoy their favorite songs of artists and to discover all the latest songs on YouTube. He also said the deal will add more value to end-user experience across the country.

Javed Akhtar, Chairman of the IPRS, has called the agreement a historical one for Indian Authors, music owners for giving them more autonomy on their creative piece. He also added that IPRS is fully determined to make sure that this relationship goes well in future, and prove favorable to the creative fraternity in a more tangible and meaningful way. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com/