Patent Business Lawyer in Asia

Patent Attorney practicing Patents, Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions, Venture Financing, Startup Technology Law

Brand protection strategy in India includes strong trademark protection and proactive approach to prevent counterfeiting and infringement of trademarks.

trademark lawyer in India

Design Patents and Trade Dress

Trade dress is a type of trademark directed to the distinctive look and feel of a product or service which identifies its source. To be registerable, a trade dress needs to serve as a source identifier, be distinctive in the marketplace, be used in commerce, and be primarily non-functional. Trade dress could embody the look of a product or its packaging. If a product design is identifiable with a company or source, trade dress rights prevent other products from appearing confusingly similar to a consumer, whereas Design patents provide a limited term of protection for the visual, non-functional characteristics of a product. Design patents can cover a shape, color, and pattern of an entire product or only a portion of a product.

Design Patents

To obtain a design patent, the design must be an article of manufacture, ornamental, novel, and non-obvious over existing designs. Although the object can provide functionality, the segment of the design to be protected cannot be purely functional. If the design is the only way to uphold the functionality of the object, the design is not qualified for design patent protection.

A design patent may not be available if an object embodying the design was publicly disclosed prior to filing the design application. Design patents can be applied before even commencement of manufacturing. Therefore, ideally, an application should be filed as soon as possible, prior to sales or other revelation.

Trade Dress

To acquire trade dress rights, the design must be non-functional, and must have acquired “secondary meaning” such that the design is identifiable with the source. If the design entails product packaging, trade dress rights may take place from “inherent distinctiveness.” Trade dress protection can only be acquired for non-functional designs. For example, a “pink” colored bandage was not protectable because the color served the purpose of blending well with skin.

The shape of a musical instrument such as guitar was deemed too functional because it was advertised to have acoustical advantages. Demonstrating that a design has acquired secondary meaning can be difficult and requires evidence which may include testimony/surveys, or extensive marketing and/or sales of the product.

Trade dress rights do not run out as long as the design is used in commerce as a source identifier. Once a design obtains secondary meaning, future products can also benefit if they use the same protected design feature. Furthermore, a competing product infringes when it is deemed close enough to confuse a consumer regarding its source.

In contrast, infringing a design patent requires an ordinary observer to find the accused design substantially similar to the protected design, in context of prior designs in the field – generally a more difficult bar. Although not compulsory, registering a trade dress conveys a number of advantages that may serve as deterrents against copying; for example, a registered trade dress is presumed valid such that the burden of establishing invalidity falls on a copying party, whereas the owner of an unregistered mark must establish its validity.

Trade Dress Cases in India

Cadbury India Limited and Ors. v. Neeraj Food Products 142 (2007) DLT 724, MIPR 2007 (2) 269, 2007 (35) PTC 95 Del; Delhi High Court

A company by name Neeraj food products launched a food product similar to ‘Gems’, a popular chocolate product by Cadbury. The product was called ‘James Bond’. The colour schemes and nature of the foods were alike. This was opposed by Cadbury in whose favour there was a decree that restrained Neeraj Food Products from using trademarks and packaging similar to Cadbury.

Parle Products (P) Ltd. v. J.P. & Co., Mysore, 1972 AIR 1359, 1972 SCR (3) 289; Supreme Court of India

The defendants propelled a brand of biscuits similar to Parle G. Both the packs looked almost the same, with the same colour scheme, similar design and size. The Supreme Court said that in order to determine misleading similarity, both packages need not be placed side by side and compared, but a general similarity would suffice, and action was taken against the defendants.

Gorbatschow Wodka Kgv v. John Distilleries Limited Notice of Motion No 3463 of 2010 in Suit No 3046 of 2010; Bombay High Court

The Plaintiff is one of the finest brands of Vodka in the world. Its bottles have a unique round shape inspired by Russian Architecture. Whereas, the defendant, an Indian company propelled a product called Salute Vodka with a likewise shaped bottle, but a different trademark and colour of label. Though, the defendant argued that the consumers of Gorbatschow Vodka are well-off and can never get confused by an economic brand like Salute. The Bombay High Court decreed that the figure of the bottle is misleadingly similar and that it will tarnish the image of the plaintiff if the defendant is permitted to sell the same. Thus, the defendant was prohibited from using the shape of the bottle for selling their products.

Trademark and Patent Attorneys

Patent attorneys with broader scope of expertise provide legal advice and consulting on issues related to intellectual property rights and technology laws. Core practice areas include trademark filing, domestic and international trademark prosecution, trademark enforcement and trademark litigation, researching relevant trademark case laws, trademark portfolio management, trademark clearance searching, trademark valuations, brand valuations, trademark due diligence, and trademark licensing.

Law Office of Patent Attorney Rahul Dev offers high value software patent drafting and patent due diligence services to clients by using proprietary and efficiently proven process along with a fixed fee costs, for performing comprehensive patent investigations and providing clients with strong patent reports for decision making.

We provide comprehensive Patent and Trademark legal services via our global network to create valuable patent portfolios and resolve complex patent disputes by providing patent litigation support services.

Our team of advanced patent attorneys assists clients with patent searches, drafting patent applications, and patent (intellectual property) agreements, including licensing and non-disclosure agreements.

Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter.

Quoted in and contributed to 50+ national & international publications (Bloomberg, FirstPost, SwissInfo, Outlook Money, Yahoo News, Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard, Quartz, Global Legal Post, International Bar Association, LawAsia, BioSpectrum Asia, Digital News Asia, e27, Leaders Speak, Entrepreneur India, VCCircle, AutoTech).

Regularly invited to speak at international & national platforms (conferences, TV channels, seminars, corporate trainings, government workshops) on technology, patents, business strategy, legal developments, leadership & management.

Working closely with patent attorneys along with international law firms with significant experience with lawyers in Asia Pacific providing services to clients in US and Europe. Flagship services include international patent and trademark filingspatent services in India and global patent consulting services.

Global Blockchain Lawyers (www.GlobalBlockchainLawyers.com) is a digital platform to discuss legal issues, latest technology and legal developments, and applicable laws in the dynamic field of Digital Currency, Blockchain Patents, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and raising capital through the sale of tokens or coins (ICO or Initial Coin Offerings).

Blockchain ecosystem in India is evolving at a rapid pace and a proactive legal approach is required by blockchain lawyers in India to understand the complex nature of applicable laws and regulations.

International Trademark Filing in India – The Madrid Protocol

  1. India adopted Madrid Protocol in 2013
  2. The Madrid Protocol is a WIPO administered treaty to simplify the process of filing trademarks across multiple jurisdictions
  3. Trademark applications can be filed in India under the Madrid Protocol when India is either the origin country or the designated country
  4. If India is the origin country, the Indian Trademarks Registry (TMR) will receive the applications for international registrations of trademark
  5. If India is the designated country, the international trademark application is filed with WIPO selecting India as the designated country

trademark attorney lawyer law firm in india

Replying to Provisional refusal in India under Madrid Protocol

International Trademarks and Brand Protection

Provisional refusal in India under Madrid Protocol Services

Provisional refusal in India under Madrid Protocol: Although, it is not possible to register a particular brand as “International Trademark”, the Madrid Protocol system provides an easy solution to the companies and individuals if the country in which they want to register their trademark has signed up the Madrid Protocol.

India signed up for Madrid Protocol With WIPO in the year 2013. Madrid System, including Madrid Agreement and Protocol relating to Madrid Agreement, is an international treaty to facilitate international registration of trademarks and management of trademark applications worldwide.

How Madrid Protocol Trademark System Works in Favour of  Brand & Trademark Owners

It can be used to file and register the trademark in the home country, for example, resident of India will file trademark in India first and subsequently be able to secure wider trademark protection globally. Once the Indian trademark application is filed before the Indian Trademark Office, one can extend the trademark registration in other countries by using a single trademark application. The details of the single trademark application should include desired countries in which you want to seek trademark protection.

Overall costs for filing trademark under Madrid protocol will depend on the applicable official government fees of the designated countries in which you are applying to register your trademark brand, and the number of trademark classes.

Filing International Trademark Applications Under Madrid Protocol With WIPO – Procedure, Cost and Requirements for Indian Trademarks

[slideshare id=44827865&doc=internationaltrademarkapplicationmadridprotocol-150218064234-conversion-gate01]

Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol – Governing Treaties

The treaties provide an easy and cost effective way of filing international trademarks. Once the trademarks are registered by respective designated offices, the Madrid protocol further provides simple procedures to manage international registrations.

Provisional refusal in India under Madrid Protocol: Office of Origin

The trademark office that receives application under Madrid protocol is known as office of origin.

Provisional refusal in India under Madrid Protocol: Designated Offices

The trademark applicant can designate one or more trademark offices as contracting party, which is then notified about filing of trademark application under Madrid protocol by WIPO.

Provisional refusal in India under Madrid Protocol: Madrid Protocol Application – General Procedure

Usually, once the international trademark application is filed with designation of countries with the office of origin, the contents of said application are verified by said office of origin. Once done, the application is forwarded to WIPO, which is then published by WIPO and subsequently, WIPO notifies all the designated offices. Thereafter, each designated office examines the trademark application as per respective trademark laws, rules and procedures.

Madrid Trademark Application in India

The Indian Trademark Office is authorized to receive an international trademark application under Madrid Protocol.

Madrid Trademark Application in India – Requirements

The basic criteria to file Madrid Trademark Application in India requires applicant to be eligible to file said trademark application, which essentially requires the applicant to be an Indian national or having a place of business in India. In addition, the Indian trademark office requires an existing trademark application, known as the basic application, and designation of one or more countries wherein international trademark protection is required.

Documents Required for Filing Trademarks in India

The Indian Trademark Office requires an international trademark application under Madrid Protocol to be accompanied by an application form, power of attorney, payment of handling fee, and payment of international designation fee (in Swiss Francs) payable to WIPO.

Madrid Trademark Application – Role of Office of Origin

During the process of receiving an application for international trademark registration under Madrid System, the office of origin plays an important role. After receiving the application, the office of origin verifies the contents, certifies the application and forwards it to WIPO for publication and notification to designated offices. Subsequently, the office of origin receives details of irregularities in the application, if any, and further communicates with WIPO regarding status of basic trademark application.

Responding to Provisional Refusal from the Indian Trademark Office under Madrid Protocol

The Indian Trademark Office examines every international trademark registration designating India received from the International Bureau of WIPO. An International Registration Designating India (IRDI) number is allotted by the Trade Marks Registry to every International Registration in which India has been designated. The trademark examiner examines the Brand trademark on the ground of non-distinctiveness and similarities to registered trademarks and pending trademarks before the Indian Trademark Registry.

While examining the trademark application, if there is any objection for protection of such trademark registration in India, a provisional refusal is notified to the International Bureau of WIPO within 18 months from the date the international registration was notified to India.

General objections raised by Trademark Registry in India | Trademark Objections under Provisional Refusal In India

9(1){a) under Indian Trademark Law- The objection is raised under S 9(1) (a) of the Trade Marks Act 1999, as the mark is non-distinctive and as such it is not capable of distinguishing the services of one person from those of others.,
11(1) under Indian Trademark Law – The objection is raised under S 11 (1) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, as the mark is identical with or similar to earlier marks in respect of identical or similar description of services and because of such identity or similarity there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public.

The provisional refusal includes an Examination Report containing objections. The International Bureau records the provisional refusal in the international register and provides the details of such provisional refusal to the trademark applicant of the international registration.

The provisional refusal is recorded in the International Register, together with an indication of the date on which the notification was sent. The provisional refusal is also published in the WIPO Gazette, with an indication as to whether the refusal is total (i.e. relates to all the goods and services covered by the designation) or partial (i.e., relates to only some of those goods and and services covered)

Responding to Provisional Refusal Issued by the Indian Trademark Office under the Madrid Protocol

The trademark applicant can respond to the provisional refusal by engaging a trademark agent or an  Indian trademark attorney having address in India by executing a Power of Attorney in the favour of the agent/attorney.

Follow the Deadline Dates | Trademark Response Deadline to Respond to the Objections:

The normal deadline to respond to trademark objections raised by the Indian Trademark Office is 1 month from the date of receipt of the provisional refusal notification by the trademark applicant. Technically, once the trademark applicant receives the provisional refusal notification from the International Bureau of WIPO the last date to respond to provisional refusal can be calculated.

Note:  If you have opted to receive notifications from the International Bureau of WIPO by paper mail, it is advisable to retain the postal receipt. So, if there is a delay by the post the date of receipt of the provisional refusal from WIPO, the postal receipt will act as documentary evidence.

What to do if you miss the deadline / extension of timeline to respond to trademark objections raised by the Indian Trademark Office?

The Indian trademark attorney can file an application for extension of time and the same is at the discretion of the trademark office. The Trade Marks Registry (TMR) office of India then considers the response of the trademark applicant of the international registration and may either confirm the refusal or move for advertisement of the international registration in the Trade Marks Journal.

Amending detailed description of different trademark goods/services:

Any amendments in goods/services in respect of the Indian trademark application needs to be made only at the International Bureau of WIPO and the same needs to be notified to the Indian Trademark Office by the International Bureau of WIPO.

Relevant legal provisions in Indian Trademark Law for International Trademark Applications Filed under Madrid Protocol

A new interpretation/definition clause has been inserted in accordance with the Madrid Protocol in Indian Trademark Law (S.36B read with Rule 67A).

Applicant or registered proprietor of trademark under section 18 or under section 23 (‘basic application’ or ‘basic registration’) of the Act may make an international application in Form MM2 (E) along with prescribed fees in Swiss francs.

The Registrar shall certify & forward it to the International Bureau within two months from the date of receipt of the said application & for this, a fee of INR 2000 is payable to the Registrar towards handling charges (S. 36D read with Rule 67E & 67F).

A separate record for international registration where India has been designated shall be kept by the Registrar called the ‘Record of Particulars of International Registration (S. 36E read with Rule 67G).

For a period of five years from the date of an international registration, if the initial basic national application/registration ceases to have effect, through a withdrawal, refusal, cancellation following a decision of the Office of origin, or Court, or voluntary cancellation, or non-renewal, the international registration will no longer be protected. After the expiry of a period of five years from the date of international registration, the registration becomes independent of the basic registration or basic application (S.36D & S.36E).
Provided that, where an appeal is made against the decision of registration nd an action requesting withdrawal of application or an opposition to the application has been initiated before the expiry of the period of five years of an international registration, any final decision resulting in withdrawal, cancellation, expiration or refusal shall be deemed to have taken place before the expiry of five years of the international registration. (Provision of Sub-section 5 of Section 36D).
The Registrar shall examine the application within 2 months where India has been designated. If grounds for objection are found during the examination by the Registrar, or if an opposition is filed, the Registrar can declare a provisional refusal (within 18 months of receipt of the application’s notification from the International Bureau for India) for protection of the mark in that member country (S.36E read with Rule 67H).

The international registration of a trade mark at the International Bureau shall be for a period of ten years and may be renewed for a period of ten years from the expiry of the preceding period and subject to payment of a surcharge prescribed by the rules, a grace period of six months shall be allowed for renewal of the international registration (s. 36G).

Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyerpracticing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter

Quoted in and contributed to 50+ national & international publications(Bloomberg, FirstPost, SwissInfo, Outlook Money, Yahoo News, Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard, Quartz, Global Legal Post, International Bar Association, LawAsia, BioSpectrum Asia, Digital News Asia, e27, Leaders Speak, Entrepreneur India, VCCircle, AutoTech)

Regularly invited to speak at international & national platforms (conferences, TV channels, seminars, corporate trainings, government workshops) on technology, patents, business strategy, legal developments, leadership & management

Working closely with patent attorneys along with international law firms with significant experience with lawyers in Asia Pacific providing services to clients in US and Europe. Flagship services include international patent and trademark filingspatent services in India and global patent consulting services.

We represent our clients as leading patent lawyer in Gurgaon and patent attorney in Gurgaon for providing various patent services in India.

 

Contact Us

Contact

+91 96502 47494

Contact

Level 18, One Horizon Centre,

Golf Course Road

DLF Phase 5, Sector 43

Gurgaon, Haryana 122002

India

Business Hours

Mon: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Tue: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Wed: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Thu: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sat: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sun: Closed