Parliament panel against India accepting Madrid Protocol yet

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (UNI) A Parliamentary panel wants India not to accede to the Madrid Protocol till the country's Trade Marks Registry was ready with adequate and skilled manpower and the required infrastructure to handle doemestic and international trade mark applications within 18 months.

The panel has recommended a slew of amendments in The Trade Marks (Amendment) Bill, 2007. The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha last year with the objective of enabling Indian and foreign nationals to secure simultaneous protection of trade marks in other country. The Bill was also aimed at accessing the Madrid Protocol.

The Madrid system offers a trademark owner the possibility to have his trademark protected in several countries by simply filing one application directly with his own national or regional trademark office. The protocol is administred by Geneva-based international bureau of World Intellectual Property Organisation(WIPO), a United Nations body.

The panel, headed by BJP's Murli Manohar Joshi, recommended that proposal to amend section 23 in the 1999 Act through the Bill pending in Lok Sabha should be deferred. It said section 23 should not come into force till the Trade Marks Registry is sufficiently and adequately equipped to dispose of both domestic and international trade marks applications within 18 months of their filing.

While recommedning withdrawal of discretionary power of Registrar of the Trade Marks Registry to grant one more month to filing of opposition to registration of a trade mark, the panel suggested that time for submitting objection to a registration should be four months instead of three months provided in the Bill.

The panel said the Registrar should get time of two months in forwarding India-based international applications to WIPO instead of "as soon as may be" as provided in the Bill.


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