MARKETING CAMPAIGN IN INDIA FOR INTERNATIONAL REGISTRATION OF TRADE MARKS

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This report has been prepared by the IIMB study team based on a pilot survey of 30 firms in India, the majority of which fall in sectors under the ‘Make in India’ Programme. The Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) sector accounted for 53% of the pilot sample. Our pilot sample had five companies that had used the Madrid System, of which one company fell in the SME Category.

Findings

The principal findings yielded by the pilot survey are as follows:

• More than 73% of the sampled companies/SMEs indicated awareness about Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks.

• Nearly 59% of the sampled companies have decisions on Trade Mark Registration taken by the top Management i.e. the Board and the CEOs.

• However when it comes to decision making on Madrid System related registrations, it is seen that 57% of the companies indicated that decision making vests with Directors (Legal Services).

• Amongst those companies who have gone for international registrations (11 in number), seven went for the Madrid Route and the remaining took to the direct filing route. Majority of the Companies (including those that have not gone for international registrations) attributed non awareness of procedure (33%), costs (27%) and non interest in overseas operations (16%) as the reasons for their indifference to the Madrid System.

• Nearly 65% of the sampled companies rated ‘Product Visibility’ to be a critical factor influencing trade mark registrations, while 65% of the sample considered ‘Brand Loyalty’ to be the important factor driving registration of Trade Marks. Interestingly, nearly 73% of the surveyed companies considered ‘infringement’ to be main reason for trade mark protection. Only 53% of the sampled companies considered ‘Corporate Value impacts’ to be an important factor driving Registration of Trade Marks. Indeed few of the sampled companies considered Trade Mark protection as contributing to ‘sales revenues’ or increased ‘Willingness to Pay’ for their Products. The surveyed companies also rated ‘Recall Value’ or ‘Goodwill’ to be major factors governing their decisions on Trade Marks Registration.

• It is obvious from the above pilot findings that there is an information asymmetry problem for Indian Companies when it comes to the benefits of trade marks in general and the Madrid Protocol in particular. This is a critical constraint that needs to be addressed by any National level Marketing Campaign in India that is designed to promote Madrid Protocol based registrations. The accent of the Madrid Protocol marketing campaign should not just be to promote general awareness about the Madrid Protocol amongst target industries but also to facilitate greater awareness of the branding prospects entailed by Madrid registrations. Indeed it is even more critical to bring to the attention of the target groups, the deeper strategic economic benefits that the Madrid Process can offer them. Apart from the early brand building advantage offered on new and innovative products, we argue that the Protocol has the potential to offer Indian companies (including SMEs) deeper and more fundamental economic advantages. The deeper strategic economic benefits of the Madrid Protocol mentioned in this Report, include the access of Madrid registered companies and firms to transnational incubation systems, their smoother integration to the global supply chain of international Companies functioning in India and abroad, increased contribution to domestic content by India’s SMEs that have gone for Madrid registrations and lastly increased franchising opportunities afforded by Madrid • Registrations. All the four trademark attorneys interviewed by us as part of the pilot survey considered Centralized filling of applications, Centralized management of trademark rights, Cost savings, speedier process to be the superior strengths of the Madrid System. They were of the view that the Madrid system helped Export Oriented Indian Companies to optimize their brand value both within India and abroad. One of them felt that the protocol entailed higher costs for individual registrants

• Registrations. All the four trademark attorneys interviewed by us as part of the pilot survey considered Centralized filling of applications, Centralized management of trademark rights, Cost savings, speedier process to be the superior strengths of the Madrid System. They were of the view that the Madrid system helped Export Oriented Indian Companies to optimize their brand value both within India and abroad. One of them felt that the protocol entailed higher costs for individual registrants.

 

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