These days India has become a major business destination for a lot of brand owners and Bangalore is known as the new Silicon Valley. Unsurprisingly, trade mark filings in India grew from just above 61,000 new applications in 1999 to over 186,000 in 2011 – a staggering 300% increase in filings in 12 years.
That said, the trade mark registration process in India still leaves a lot to be desired. First, all trade mark filings had to be done through local lawyers. This meant that Australian brand owners had to either know a reputable Indian law firm or to rely on their Australian trade mark attorneys to liaise with Indian associates. This, of course, increased the cost of obtaining a trade mark in India. Secondly, the whole process was at least a two-year affair from filing to obtaining a certificate of registration (by comparison, in Australia it is usually possible to obtain a trade mark within seven months after filing a trade mark application).
But things are about to change. From 8 July 2013 India will join the so-called Madrid Union, an international trade mark system, which allows local brand owners to directly extend the protection of their local trade mark into most foreign countries (and into the European Union, which for the purposes of the Madrid Union is considered a single country).
A pending or registered Australian trade mark can now be protected in 90 overseas jurisdictions by filing just one application, which can be prepared and overseen by your Australian trade marks lawyer.
This means that, if you wish to protect your trade mark in India on or after 8 July 2013, the process will be cheaper, simpler and quicker.
If you have an Australian trade mark that you wish to protect overseas, please contact Mindaugas Skavronskas, associate and registered trade marks attorney.