The International Trademark Association (INTA) has said that the number of applications for trademark from India is on the rise, with more companies seeking brand protection.

The lobby body said trademark is becoming a global issue and countries should put a thrust on speedy dispute resolutions to promote fair and effective commerce. Etienne Sanz de Acedo, CEO, INTA, told Business Line that enforcement of trademark-related issues are a matter of grave concern.

“IPR and trademark matters are not a matter of priority as there are other pressing issues for the Government to address. Empirical evidence, however, shows that companies that have adopted stringent trademark rules have seen significant growth. Therefore, it is in the interest of businesses to have a strong judiciary support.”

de Acedo said of the 1,80,000 application received globally, about 90,000 are from India. “Trademark-related issues are becoming critical among key Indian corporations and several big names such as Reliance have joined our body,” he said, adding that sectors such as automobile, apparel and consumer brands are the front runners in protecting their brands.

INTA has 6,400 trademark owners, professionals and academics from more than 190 countries.

Madrid Protocol

It may be recalled that India joined the international trademark registration treaty – the Madrid Protocol – in 2013. India became the protocol’s 90th member.

The treaty paves way for local businesses to protect their trademarks in multiple jurisdictions by filing a single application with one set of fees. de Acedo said INTA was founded in 1878 by 17 merchants and manufacturers who saw a need for an organisation “to protect and promote the rights of trademark owners, to secure useful legislation and to give aid and encouragement to all efforts for the advancement and observance of trademark rights.”

The New York-headquartered body has offices in Shanghai, Brussels and Washington and representatives in Geneva and Mumbai. “We opened a Mumbai chapter as trademark related issues were gaining prominence in India.” The INTA CEO said India should widen its law to ensure better enforceability in trademark-related issues.