IP protection in IndiaYou can register IP protection in India for patents, trade marks, designs and copyright.
The office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks is the government body responsible for the administration of patents, trade marks and designs in India, which are registered through the Indian Patent Office (IPO).
Trade mark and patent applications can be filed online but designs can only be filed manually.
The IPO provides searchable trade mark, patent and design databases.
Domain names are monitored by the National Internet Exchange of India.
Legal procedures in India can take some time, however the costs of filing, registration and litigation are relatively low compared to Australia.
Applicants who do not have a place of business in India are required to file applications through an Indian attorney or agent.
- India has a first-to-use rule for obtaining trade mark rights. This means the first person to use a mark in India will generally have superior rights to a person who files a trade mark application at a later date.
- A trade mark may be cancelled if it is not used within five years from registration and a third party brings an action for removal of the mark.
- Protection is available for non-traditional marks such as three-dimensional signs.
- Customs regulations provide cross-border measures to protect IP rights.
- India intends to shortly become a signatory to the Madrid Protocol, which will permit the filing of a single trade mark application with the effect of potential protection in multiple countries.
- Only one type of patent is available in India.
- Indian patent examiners commonly raise clarity objections, which means that a higher number of modifications may be required to make patent specifications compliant with Indian practice.
- Some things cannot be patented in India.
- Design protection is available in India for a 10-year period, with renewal possible for a further five years. Applications must pass a substantive examination and the process usually takes six to nine months.
- Registration of copyright is possible in India.
- Plant variety rights can be protected in India for up to 18 years depending on the type of plant.
- Geographical indications are registrable for a term of 10 years, with 10-year renewal options. The applicant can be any association of persons or an authority established by law that represents the interests of producers.
If you are considering exporting to India, it is recommended that you contact an IP professional experienced in Indian IP law and trade to advise on local IP, customs and other laws regulating imports and trade in India. Australian IP professionals can facilitate such contact.
This information has been developed in conjunction with Griffith Hack Lawyers and S Majumdar & Co (India).
- India IP Passport PDF [273 KB]
Last Updated: 06/12/2012