India Stays Among Challenging Economies Concerning IP Protection, Says USTR

India remains among the most challenging economies worldwide concerning the protection, management, and enforcement of Intellectual Property (IP). The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) said the same in a recent report as it decided to retain the nation on the Priority Watch List 2022.

The USTR designated seven nations, including Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, and Venezuela, on the Priority Watch List under its 2022 Special 301 Report.

The USTR mentioned that Ukraine’s review has been suspended, keeping in mind the unprovoked and premeditated invasion of the nation.

In one of the sections of the report dedicated to India, the USTR said that the nation has remained at odds with its progress on the protection, management, and enforcement of IP. It further stated that although India made significant progress in some areas over the past year to promote IP protection, management, and enforcement, it couldn’t resolve the recent and long-standing challenges and created new matters of concern for the rights holders.

The report even specified that India’s accession to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, together known as the WIPO Internet Treaties, in 2018 and the Nice Agreement in 2019 were undoubtedly positive steps towards the ultimate path of IP Protection.

On the contrary, the USTR mentioned that the potential threats of narrow patentability criteria, lack of presumption of patent validity, and patent revocations under the Indian Patents Act affect business companies and brands across different industries.

The USTR stated that in spite of India’s repeated justifications for limiting the IP protection as a way to encourage and promote access to technologies, the nation imposes pretty high customs duties on IP-intensive products, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, solar energy equipment, information & communication technology products, and capital goods.

The USTR also said that it is continuing to monitor closely the restriction on the patent-eligible subject matter under Section 3(d) of the Indian Patents Act and its impact specifically on the pharmaceutical industry.

The report even mentioned that pharmaceutical stakeholders also express their concerns and issues time and again as to whether India has an efficient mechanism for the early resolution of potential patent disputes and lawsuits, specifically the shortcomings in notifying interested parties about marketing approvals. For more visit:

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Australia Supports Waiving Intellectual Property Protection for Covid-19 Vaccines

Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism, and Investment, Dan Tehan, said in a statement delivered that the nation will support an international push to waive the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) for Covid-19 vaccines. The decision came as the rising infection rate across the globe is prolonging the pandemic and creating new deadly variants of the virus.

Both South Africa and India have led the campaign and put in a lot of effort to change the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and make it convenient for the low and middle-income nations to manufacture and sell affordable generic copies of the COVID-19 vaccines, which are produced by pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer.

Even the United States threw its weight behind the proposal earlier this year by saying that extraordinary measures were required to boost the global production of Covid-19 vaccines for helping fight the spread of the virus.

Australia’s position, in this scenario, has slightly always been more ambiguous. Although the federal government appreciated the announcement made by Biden’s administration and has time and again expressed its support for negotiations on the matter, it has fallen short of expressing its support for the waiver itself. Various advocacy groups that have been urging the government to back the waiver for quite a while now met Mr. Tehan recently and said that he made a private commitment concerning the nation supporting the proposal. Mr. Tehan seemed to confirm that position publicly when the reporters asked about clarifying Australia’s stance. He said that when it comes to Covid-19, the nation will always support the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver. He further said that Australia would continue working efficiently in Geneva for expanding the global production of vaccines, which would make everyone across the globe have access to the vaccine and keep them safe.

The human rights and advocacy groups campaigning on the issue stated that the government’s position shifted in this case. For instance, this year, in June, Mr. Tehan stated that the Australian government wasn’t opposed to the proposal and was well prepared to look at the vaccine waiver; however, it went no further on the matter.

The Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, Patricia Ranald, welcomed Mr. Tehan’s change from support on the matter to actually supporting the TRIPS waiver by saying that “actions speak louder than words.”

The WTO meeting is making progress as a critical one for the nations promoting the waiver. The waiver has received immense support from the less wealthy, developing countries; however, many European countries blocked the proposal earlier this year at a WTO meeting as they thought that waiving IP Protection might discourage the pharmaceutical companies from investing money into R&D.

The Australian federal government has also drawn attention to the fact that the waiver might not be sufficient in itself to increase the production of Covid-19 vaccines across the globe, primarily because most nations don’t have production facilities at an advanced level and skilled labor required to produce them.

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Intellectual Property Rights: A Crucial Need for Present MSMEs

MSMEs or Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises that play a vital role in growing a country’s economy often lose out when it comes to the safety of their ideas and strategies. Hence, it is imperative to look for something that can protect the creations and innovations of MSMEs. Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are the best source adept in keeping the unique and original assets of companies safe in the current highly competitive world.

Intellectual Property (IP) industry nowadays is accessible with many types of IPRs, like trademarks, patents, etc. Nevertheless, MSMEs can opt for any of these IP rights, but sometimes one kind of IP can protect a particular asset better than others. For instance, a trademark is an exclusive IPR that suits best when it comes to secure the unique name, logo, or other assets of MSMEs. By providing a unique identity to a product, the trademark helps its owner to gain credibility amongst consumers, which ultimately serves him with financial profits. On the other side, to protect the unique and new designs that form the base of business models of some MSMEs, the enterprises’ need could not depend on a trademark. They need an IPR that is known for securing designs. Since the requisites vary as per the nature and assets of MSMEs, there is a need to implement IP protection after understanding it appropriately.

Sources to be Aware of IP

IP awareness programs are the best way to be familiar with IP. Including the Intellectual Property Facilitation (IPFC), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), National Institute for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and National Institute of Intellectual Property Management, several other institutions are famous for organizing IP awareness programs. Some of the programs with which these institutions attempt to make MSMEs aware of IP encompass:

  • Seminars,
  • Workshops,
  • Short-term and long-term training.

Need for IP Framework

With the continuous and rapid emergence of new products and businesses, the market is turning competitive. The worst fact is that to stay ahead of others in such a challenging era, many big firms don’t hesitate even in exploiting the smaller companies, thus making it crucial for the MSMEs to get familiarized with the IP protection available for their assets. That’s why it is of paramount importance for MSMEs to have an appropriate IP framework that prevents them from losing the game in the hands of big players.

An appropriate IP framework is beneficial for MSMEs in not just defending their innovative products or works but also enhancing their market value amongst the potential investors, shareholders, and consumers. Note that the IPRs, if valued, maintained, and utilized strategically can undoubtedly increase the MSME’s reputation and competitiveness.

The Present Situation

MSMEs, in the present scenario, are contributing to around 50 percent of the total manufacturing industries and 45 percent of the overall shipments in India. That’s what makes these enterprises a noticeable source adding much to the Indian economy. However, to pursue playing a role in growing the country’s economy, MSMEs have to stay away from legal issues, including trademark infringement cases, patent violation lawsuits, etc. Assuredly, the high costs, required documents, and many other things associated with IPRs turn it a bit complex for MSMEs to obtain and enforce IP protection. Nonetheless, if obtained precisely by understanding all the facts related to the IP system, the IPRs can undoubtedly bestow the owner, i.e., MSMEs with fruitful outcomes. Are you also an owner of any minor, or small, or medium-sized enterprise? It is time to secure your business with suitable IP rights that will not just keep your assets protected but also provide you with fruitful advantages for years. For more visit:

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Role of Copyrights in Social Media

Intellectual Property Rights

In today’s digitally equipped world, social media plays a significant role in the success of businesses. Having many existing users, along with adding more regularly, it provides the companies with remarkable opportunities to get more traffic and customers. Undoubtedly, by sharing images and content on social media sites such as Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, businesses can make considerable profits. However, to keep everything going smoothly, the firms need to be cautious while posting on social media; else Copyright Infringement can bother them.

The blog includes many facts regarding social media sites, copyright policies of these platforms, and tips to keep copyright infringement issues away.

Copyrights and Social Media

A few years ago, the copyright process was easy. However, with the advent of the internet, advancements in cyberspace and social media that made stringent laws to settle down at a back seat for controlling businesses’ progress, the process turned difficult.

Are you an entrepreneur and want to stay away from online embarrassment and costly litigation when you use social media sites to promote your business? You need to have a precise and comprehensive idea about Copyright Laws and what you write or post online.

Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and others may let you proceed with the copyrighted material. But, as these platforms don’t own the content or image you post, rights related to copyrights lie with the owner. Agreeing to the terms and policies shows that you are giving license to the sites to use your works. Each site is available with different agreements.

The below examples of Facebook (FB) and Pinterest will help you in getting a clear idea of how copyrights work with social media.

Facebook: FB’s service terms explain that all rights to your post lie with you; no matter whether it holds an image or content or both. Just by enabling the privacy and application settings, you can control how the posted content will be shared. FB offers terms and conditions even for the content protected by Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Pinterest: Policies of this site state that it can use your content if you agree to its terms and conditions. Pinterest copyright statement includes a link that facilitates you to file a complaint or case against people who violate your copyright.

Tips to evade copyright infringement on social media

  1. Receive permission

The safest way to use copyrighted content or image is to get permitted by its owner. Once allowed, you are free to utilize the image or content without any fear.

  1. Prefer public domains

Selecting images from sites that are free from copyright restrictions is also a fruitful way to keep infringement away. On the internet, a plethora of websites are available with images that you can use without facing any legal issue.

  1. Give credit

If you are not able to reach the owner and seek his permission for using the content, it is better to give credits by attaching a link tothe source in your post.

  1. Overview ownership rights

Going through all the ownership rights on social media sites is essential. Apart from these rights, you should also overview the guidelines on safe usage of the copyrighted material.

  1. Believe in purchasing

There is no harm in paying some cents for purchasing copyrighted content as it will keep you far from expensive legal problems. iStock, Shutterstock, and Bigstock are a few websites offering good images at reasonable charges.


Social media posting is one of the trendiest strategies that can make your brand visible worldwide. However, if you want to avail the best possible advantages from this advanced strategic approach, you need to be meticulous about the most common issue – copyright infringement. Moreover, you have to be familiar with all the essentialities for safeguarding your material from its unauthorized use. For more visit:

IBM Patents a Smartwatch that Transforms Into a Tablet

Patent Application

The famous tech giant IBM has acquired a patent for its foldable smartwatch that transforms into a smartphone or an eight-panel tablet. The Patent Application includes a concept that appears implausible today but could become real in the upcoming years due to continuous advancements in display technology.

The company filed the patent application with the title “Variable display size for an electronic display device” three years ago in 2016 but obtained the grant in the mid of June 2019.

The patent showcases a rectangular shaped watch having a thick case under the display. The thickness is because the case consists of a slot including seven more display panels. Users will be able to open and use as many display panels as they want, say one, two, or all eight. Since each display panel is of 3-inches by 2-inches size, opening the whole device results in a tablet having a screen measuring 12-inches by 8-inches. By opening four panels, the user can transform his smartwatch into a smartphone with the proper reform in UI (user-interface).

The smartwatch includes many other considerable features. Some of them are as follows:

  • At least one speaker.
  • Minimal seams on display.
  • Ability to work with a physical keyboard and an optional mouse.

According to IBM, the concept is to make the screen more abundant by employing a set of slides that create a storage slot within the case. The case is capable of recognizing the display size when the users open up additional panels. However, the main emphasis of the concept is to expand the watch display to tablet size, but IBM also focuses on helping people to increase watch display to smartphone mode.

At present, IBM is focusing on quantum computing, consulting, and artificial intelligence (AI) rather than the foldable smart gadget. Moreover, the concept seems implausible today but could be possible with display technology advancements. Hence, no one can predict when the giant will pull such a smart device out of its technological hat. For more visit:

Prime Inc. files a case against Amazon alleging Trademark Infringement

trademark infringement

Prime Inc. filed a trademark infringement case against Amazon in the US Federal Court situated in Missouri’s Western District. Located in Springfield, Missouri, the trucking troop claimed that the e-commerce giant is creating confusion by using the word prime on its shipping trucks.

In the application, Prime Inc. contends that it suffered a lot due to the past and present unfair competition and trademark infringement by Amazon, thus entitled to get more than three times of its profits or losses.

Prime Inc. further alleged that it informed Amazon regarding the unlawful infringement two years ago, through written notifications and proceedings at Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. It added that Amazon still continued to use one or other accused marks on its shipping trucks and moving trailers in commerce. The plaintiff also asserted that the trademark infringement by Amazon is wilful, malicious, and intentional.

In short, Amazon continued exercising unfair competition and infringing rights of Prime Inc.

Some tried to explain that the two prime words are quite different. Clarifying the facts, they said that the prime in Amazon includes small-case letters, and in the case of Prime Inc., it consists of upper-case letters.  However, Prime Inc. was still not satisfied and responded that when compared with each other; both the words appear identical in looks, commercial impression, and meaning.

Reports by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) revealed that prime is the dominant word in the markings of the two companies and thus, holds more weight than other differences. The applicant claimed that since Prime Inc. and Amazon deal in similar transportation channels, customers might confuse and associate transportation, trucking, and shipping services under the logo of the applicant with Amazon. It continued that the misconception that Amazon’s services are associated with Prime Inc., at the point of sale and after, leads to its loss. For more visit:

Why protecting Intellectual Property is critical for Startups?

Intellectual Property

Are you an entrepreneur and passionate to grow your startup to a remarkably fruitful extent? In today’s highly competitive market, there are many factors, which could lead to a downfall in your business. Don’t be apprehensive as nowadays, even innovators, investors, and the government, are making efforts to facilitate the growth and success of newly established businesses in India.  The chief reason found resulting in failure or ineffective performance of startups is that their owners often overlook the need to safeguard Intellectual Property (IP) while crafting initial strategies that include significant demands and priorities.

Advanced searches concerning several IP assets, including designs, patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc., provide entrepreneurs with the idea of probabilities of the triumph of their business. For example, the owner will come to know whether a similar patent or design that is the base of his business corporation, already exists or not. The information obtained in this manner will help the entrepreneurs in making the essential modifications well in advance, thus preventing them from future conflicts.

What are the advantages of Intellectual Property Protection?

IP assets’ protection benefits a business in many ways like it:

  • Gives legal security
  • Avoids future litigations
  • Allows effective management of resources
  • Establishes a secure environment to let entrepreneurs focus on promoting their products without any hassle.

Businessmen often ask IP lawyers to protect their concepts, which is hardly possible. Well, there will be no need to ask anyone for preventing other companies from copying their business ideas if they implement an effectual strategy for IP protection.

IP is not limited to legal aspects, it holds noticeable importance in numerous other aspects such as entrepreneurs can monetize, and custom IP as a safety net for their enterprises during challenging times. Some avenues in regards to which a business can monetize IP are as follows:

  • Selling
  • Licensing
  • Franchising
  • Earning royalties

Well-organized IP protection develops businesspersons’ self-confidence to demand a suitable cost for their products and avail the expected benefits. It also plays a vital role in persuading the investors’decisions associated with raising funds.

With a thought of bestowing the startups with a positive and inspiring ambiance, the Indian government made many efforts. It began with a scheme called Startups’ Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) depicting that the Startup Certification Board certifies any startup when:

  1. It has a unique business model
  2. Its yearly turnover doesn’t exceed ₹250 million in any fiscal year
  3. Its incorporation or registration in the nation is less than 7 years old.

What benefits does a Startup enjoy after getting certification from the Startup Certification Board?

  • Full support from facilitators who hold responsibilities for delivering general advice, filing or completing prosecution of applications for patents, copyrights, trademarks, and designs.
  • Provisions to quick actions for patent applications
  • Preferential fee for Intellectual Property application
  • Fixed facilitators’ fees with no additional charges involved for engaging IP lawyers.


In today’s highly competitive world, new firms are more susceptible to get hurt due to losses in businesses. Therefore, it is crucial for startups to prioritize protecting Intellectual Property in the initial planning so that their businesses turn safe, right from the time of inception. Considering the IP protection cost as an optional charge, people often underestimate their needs and have to face negative results. Although, the government and many other representatives have taken initiatives relating to the cost concerns, however, the responsibilities for exploiting or maintaining the existing IP assets rest with corporations. For more visit:

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:

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.


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.


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:

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: