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THE government has drafted a Bill to amend the Trademarks Act in order to bring international trademarks within its ambit. The Bill is likely to be tabled in the forthcoming Budget session. The Trademarks Act, in its present form, is equipped to deal with only domestic trademarks.
The amendment in the Act is being proposed in the wake of India’s accession to the Madrid Protocol that deals with international registration of marks.
Once the Bill goes through, the Indian registrar of trade marks will be empowered to take up applications from 71 countries that are part of the protocol. The registrar will not only be authorised to develop a procedure to deal with international applications, but also give them clearance. The Union cabinet approved the amendment last week.

Ministry officials said that they are moving fast to establish a network to deal with the filing of trademarks across the country. This implies that once in force, the new Act will allow foreignbased companies with R&D centres in India to develop and register their trademarks in India and yet have an international validity.
The amendment also aims at providing better protection to domestic trademark owners in other countries. The amendment will lead to the incorporation of a wide range of trademark definitions in the Act such as WIPO and international applicants.
To ensure that the application process becomes simplified both for domestic and foreign applicants, DIPP will embrace webenabled services at a cost of Rs 4.5 crore. Owing to these services, the applicants would be able to apply online and track the status of their application.

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