Monday, 6 August 2018

Write-a-thon-Second Essay Writing Competition

2nd Essay Writing Competition
to celebrate
National Sports Day– August 29, 2018

National Sports Day is observed every year across India on August 29 to mark the birth anniversary of the legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand who was born on August 29, 1905 and won gold medals in Olympics for India in the years 1928, 1932, and 1936

In light of the prospective sporting events that are scheduled to take place in the country, IP4kids a CSR initiative of S.S. Rana & Co. an Intellectual Property Law Firm, is organizing Write-a-Thon, an annual essay writing competition to give young students an opportunity to understand the role played by intellectual property rights in sports.
Innovation and creativity are the key drivers in the world of sport. In every sporting field, inventors and creators are working behind the scenes to push the boundaries, creating new opportunities for enjoyment and for athletes’ to better their performance. Sports shows Intellectual Property in action. Patents encourage technological advances that result in better sporting equipment. Trademarks, brands and designs contribute to the distinct identity of events, teams and their gear. Copyright-related rights generate the revenues needed for broadcasters to invest in the costly undertaking of broadcasting sports events to fans all over the world. IP rights are the basics of licensing and merchandising agreements that earn revenues to support development of the sports industry.
Themes of the Essay(s)-
Young minds are encouraged to focus on the theme of IP in the field of Sports, for their essays and hence may contemplate writing on topics related to Intellectual Property, Innovation, Broadcasting, Licenses and sponsorship’s, merchandising, etc.

Some of the suggested topics are:
  1. Sports Management and Intellectual Property
  2. Ambush Marketing surrounding major Sporting Events
  3. Tackling Counterfeiting and Grey Goods in the world of sports.
  4. The role of IP in sports
  5. Are sports move patentable?
  6. Personality Rights in the Sporting World

Rules of the Competition
·         Participants should mention “National Sports Day – All India Essay Writing Competition-2018” in the subject line;
·         Entries must be original and in English language only;
·         Only a single entry will be accepted from one participant. Co-authorship (up to 2 authors) is also permitted;
·         The competition is open to essays of up to 3,000 words for School students and 4500 words for college students. Entries outside the word limitation will be disqualified;
·         The essay shall be disqualified if it is plagiarized. Due credit should be given to the concerned author and/or publisher(s) in Bibliography and/or Reference, as the case may be, in proper 19th blue book edition;
·         Summary of the best essay will be published in IP Connect the newsletter of S. S. Rana & Co. on September 4, 2017;[1]
·         The copyrights in the essay shall vest with IP4KIDS and S.S. Rana & Co.;
·         All entries are to be done via
·         All entries are to be uploaded at the portal only. No physical form shall be accepted.

1.      Top 3 winners in each category will be given exciting prizes and cash prize, along with certificates;
2.      The Awards would be given to students in two categories: a) College and b) School;
3.      Winner in the college and school category will be awarded prizes worth INR 5000 each. along with a certificate.
4.      Second and third runner ups in the college and school category would be presented prize(s) worth INR 3,000 and INR 1,500 each along with certificates;
5.      The Top Three Winners in the college category will be given an opportunity for a paid Internship at the Firm.
6.      Other deserving participants shall also be presented with certificates;

For further information, please write to us at or call us at 91-11-4012 3000.
Note: The competition intends to provide a platform to the students to share their views and to raise IPR awareness among them. The decision of the Judges shall be final. The organizers of the competition reserve all rights to change the date of announcements of the results and/or the date of announcements and publication of the results. The organizers also reserve the rights to withdraw any or both categories of awards if the entries thus received do not meet the aforesaid criteria. The organizers also reserve all the rights for Publication and reproduction of essay/write ups, due credit in this regard shall be given to the author(s).
[1] The organizers of the competition reserve all rights to change the date of announcements of the results
[2] In case of tie or in case of co-authored articles the prize money shall be divided amongst the participants

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

India: Cabinet approves accession to WIPO Copyright Treaty, 1996 and WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty, 1996

Source :
On July 4, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the proposal submitted by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry to accede to the WIPO Copyright Treaty, 1996 (hereinafter referred to as “WCT”) and the WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty, 1996 (hereinafter referred to as “WPPT”) which extends coverage of copyright to the internet and digital environment.

Becoming a member of WIPO in 1975 and complying to a number of treaties administered by WIPO, India has not become a party to either of the Internet Treaties till date. The treaties will become binding upon India once the Instrument of Accession is deposited with the Director General of WIPO.


WCT came in force on March 6, 2002 and has been adopted by 96 contracting parties till date and is a special agreement under Berne Convention (for protection of literary and artistic works). It has provisions to extend the protection of copyrights contained therein to the digital environment. Further it recognizes the rights specific to digital environment, of making work available, to address "on-demand" and other interactive modes of access,
WPPT came in force on May 20, 2002 and has 96 contracting parties as its members. WPPT deals with rights of two kinds of beneficiaries, particularly in digital environment:
1.      Performers (actors, singers, musicians etc.)
2.      Producers of Phonograms (Sound recordings)
The treaty empowers right owners in negotiations with new digital platforms and distributors. It recognizes moral rights of the performers for the first time & provides exclusive economic rights to them.


  1. To enable creative right-holders enjoy the right of their labor, through international copyright system that can be used to secure a return on the investment made in producing and distributing creative works;
  2. To facilitate international protection of domestic rights holder by providing them level-playing field in other countries as India already extends protection to foreign works through the International Copyright order and these treaties will enable Indian right holders to get reciprocal protection abroad;
  3. To instill confidence and distribute creative works in digital environment with return on investment; and
  4. To spur business growth and contribute to the development of a vibrant creative economy and cultural landscape.

India: Digitization of Copyright Office by e-processing of Copyright Applications

In an endeavor to expedite the process of registration and to digitally empower its stakeholders, the Copyright Office has decided to process applications electronically which were received online on or after June 01, 2018.

The Copyright Office will be now communicating the discrepancy observed during examination of the Copyright Applications to the Applicant on its Email ID registered with the Copyright Office. 

The Applicant can now upload the reply to the discrepancy letter on the website of the Copyright Office by using its Copyright Login Account.

A detailed procedure of uploading reply to the objection letter is available on the website of Copyright Office at “Document upload Manual”. Link for the same is:

The Public Notice dated July 06, 2018 can be accessed here.

India: Protection of Geographical Indications

A geographical indication is a sign which is used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Geographical Indication is primarily granted to agricultural, natural, manufactured, handicraft originating from a definite geographical territory.

Article 22 of the TRIPS Agreements defines Geographical Indication as “indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin”.[1]

Consequently, upon India joining as a member state of the TRIPS Agreement sui-geneis legislation for the protection of geographical indication was enacted in 1999. The object of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, is three fold,
  1. By specific law governing the geographical indication of goods in the country which could adequately protect the interest of producers of such goods,
  2. To exclude unauthorized persons from misusing geographical indications and to protect consumers from deception and,
  3. To promote goods bearing Indian Geographical Indication in the export market.[2]
A registered Geographical Indications prohibit a third party to use such Geographical indication by any means in the designations or presentations of goods that indicate that such goods originates in a geographical area.

For example, Darjeeling Tea (Word) vide Geographical Indication Registration No. 1 or  vide Geographical Indication Registration No. 2 are registered Geographical Indications. Hence, Tea Board, Registered Proprietor of Darjeeling Tea can prohibit any third party from using the term “Darjeeling” for tea that does not grow in their gardens or is not produced according to the standards set out in the code of practice for the registered Geographical Indication.

India’s Experience in GI Registration

Since the first GI in India was registered in 2004, 301 GI’s have been granted Registration as on October 25, 2017 by the GI Registry, India. The GI Registry has received a total number of 610 GI Applications as on January 11, 2018. Out of the Registered GIs 64 per cent are related to handicrafts, 26 per cent are for agricultural products, 6.18 percent are for manufactured products and the remaining are foodstuff and textile products.

Source: The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trademarks, and Geographical Indications Annual Report 2015-16[3]

Source: Registered Geographical Indications as on October 25, 2017[4]

State wise Registered GI as on October 25, 2017 [5]
Source: Registered Geographical Indications as on October 25, 2017

Karnataka is leading in filing of Geographical Indications with a total of 39 Geographical Indications registered till date followed by Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The latest product from Karnataka to get Geographical Indication Tag is Mysore Saree. Till now Karnataka has obtained Geographical Indication tag for 19 handicrafts, 16 agricultural, 3 manufactured and one for food product.

Recent Case Studies

Pochampally Ikat

After registration of Pochampally Ikat (word) vide Geographical Indication Registration No. 562 in 2004, the Government of Andhra Pradesh earned another GI tag in the year 2017 in respect of Pochampally Ikat (LOGO)/ . Pochampally Ikat is visually identified by the Ƨhowkra design which is a diamond with square, or its derivatives, having different edges.

Pochampally Ikat originates from the geographical region of Nagolda and parts of Warangal districts in the state of Telengana. It is made of natural materials such as cotton or silk or a combination of both, having designs that are evocative of the diffused diamond or chowka design. The process of making involves tying and dyeing the threads in a visualized design prior to the weaving of the fabric. This work has good demand both in the domestic and international market due to its aesthetic look and primitive simplicity. After registration of Pochampally Ikat(word) in the year 200, Pochampally artisans got attention of the Media. Further there was increase in the market of Pochampally Sarees.[6]

Banaganapalle mangoes

The ‘King of fruits’ i.e. Banaganapalle mangoes has received GI tag in the year 2017. The logo 
decided by the Government features a bright yellow fruit around which the tagline says “Banganappalle Mangoes of Andhra Pradesh,” with images of a man and a woman appearing to be farmers. Anyone from now on to sell or
produce these must first apply to become authorized users and would require a no-objection certificate (NOC) from Horticulture Development Agency, Represented by Commissioner of Horticulture, Government of Andhra Pradesh.

The fruit is also known by a variety of monikers like Beneshan, Baneshan, Benishan, Chappatai, Safeda, Banaganapalli, Banginapalli, Banaganapalle, etc. The highlight of the fruit is that it can preserve its quality under cold storage up till three months. The documents submitted to the Registry stated ‘The prominent characteristic of Banganapalle mangoes is that their skin has very light spots, stone is oblong in shape and has very thin seed with sparse and soft fiber all over’.

The Government also stated the primary center of origin to be Kurnool District comprising Banaganapalle, Paanyam and Nandyal mandals and Khammam, Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy, Medak, Adilabad districts in Telangana as secondary centers of origin. According to an affidavit furnished in 2011, Rani Kumudini, the then Andhra Pradesh Commissioner of Horticulture, stated that nearly 7,68,250 families were involved in the production of Banaganapalle mangoes. An estimated 24.35 lakh metric tonnes of mangoes were grown every year in Andhra Pradesh and about 5,500 tonnes of Banganappalle mangoes were being exported annually to countries like the U.S., U.K., Japan and the Gulf nations. [7]
Gobindobhog Rice

The Government of West Bengal, was granted Geographical Indication (GI) Tag for vide registration No. 531. The rice is a native, aromatic, non-basmati premium variety rice from West Bengal. The cultivation of it is as old as 300 years in the area. It is short white grains, sticky rice having a sweet buttery flavor and pleasant aroma. It derives its name from principal ingredient used in preparation of offerings to Govindajiu, the family deity of Setts of Kolkata.
The application for the GI tag was filed by the State Government of West Bengal in August, 2015. The Gobindobhog Rice is the specialty of Burdwan district of West Bengal. Because of this variety of rice, the region is also known as the rice bowl of West Bengal. The rice is predominantly cultivated in East Burdwan district - in the southern basin of the Damodar River in the Raina 1, Raina 2 and Khandaghosh blocks. It was cultivated in an area of 35 hectares last year. Of this, 20 hectares were spread over of Raina 1 and Raina 2 blocks. The special features of this variety of rice is that it is cultivated late, after the rainy season, and therefore it is affected very little by it and is less prone to pests. The price and productivity of the rice is high compared to other varieties of rice.
The state government is celebrating the GI tag as they are now assured that different variety of rice from the same region cannot be branded as ‘Gobindobhog Rice’. Also, the marketability of the Gobindobhog Rice in the domestic and international market would be strengthened, resulting in better profits for the state and more importantly for the stakeholders in general.[8]

Khandhamal Haldi

Turmeric has been used in Asia for thousands of years and is a major part of Ayurveda, Unani and traditional Chinese medicine. On January 11, 2018, Kandamal Apex Spices Association (KASAM) filed application for Kandhamal Haldi for GI registration vide application no. 610 with the GI Registry, Chennai.Kandhamal Haldi is a member of the Curcuma botanical group, which is a part of the ginger family whose botanical name is Curcuma Longa. 

Kandhamal is a district in Odisha which is centrally located and whose Geographical area is hilly and covered with forest. Annually about 14900 het of turmeric is grown in the district with a production of about 34270 MT. Khandhamal stands second in the district wise coverage of turmeric in India next to Karimnagar district of Andhra Pradesh. KASAM in its application has stated that turmeric is the main cash crop of the poor Tribal Farmer of this district. Further Kandhamal turmeric is organically produced without use of any chemical fertilizer and pesticide.[9]

[1] Article 22, Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
[2] Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999
[3] Annual Report(2015-16), The Office of the Contreoller General of Patents, Designs, Trademarks, and Geographical Indications , available at:
[4] Registered Geographical Indications as on October 25, 2017, available at:
[5] Registered Geographical Indications as on October 25, 2017, available at:
[6] Pochampally Ikat(Registration No. 562), granted by Geographical Indications Registry
[7] Banaganapalle mangoes (Registration No. 241), granted by Geographical Indications Registry
[8] Gobindobhog Rice(Registration No. 531), granted by Geographical Indications Registry
[9] Khandhamal Haldi(Application No. 610)