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International Trademark System Marks its 1.25 Millionth Registration - Leading Indian Electronics Firm, Micromax, Files Landmark Application

A leading Indian consumer electronics company has registered the 1.25 millionth international trademark under WIPO’s Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks.

India’s Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman presented Micromax Informatics Limited with a certificate recognizing this landmark registration at a ceremony in New Delhi on July 20, 2015. Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Amitabh Kant, and WIPO Assistant Director General and Chief of Staff Naresh Prasad also attended the ceremony.

Left to right: Dr. A. Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI - Mr. Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry - Mr. Sidharth Birla, Immediate Past President FICCI, Chairman, Xpro India Ltd. - Smt. Nirmala Sithraman, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry - Mr. Vineet Taneja, CEO, Micromax Informatics Ltd. - Mr. Naresh Prasad, WIPO Assistant Director General and Chief of Staff - Mr. Rajiv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (Photo: © FICCI/K.Suhag).

Minister Sitharaman said it was a great source of pride that an Indian company was the holder of this trademark which represents the company’s tradename. “Micromax is not only one of India’s leading consumer electronics companies but one of the largest mobile phone players in the world,” the Minister said. “Registration through the international trademark system indicates the company’s desire to further develop its export markets. We hope that other Indian companies and trademark holders will use the Madrid System to its full potential.”

DIPP Secretary Kant who is responsible for the “Make in India” initiative and has authored “Branding India – An Incredible Story”, emphasized the importance of branding to a company’s business strategy.   “Indian companies are increasingly investing in branding, and the trademark system supports these branding activities.” He welcomed expanding use of the Madrid System by Indian businesses and the milestone registration by Micromax.

“Global investment in branding is expanding and we are pleased that companies the world over are choosing the international trademark system to protect their brands in export markets,” said Mr. Prasad. He said that while India only recently joined the Madrid System, Indian users are increasingly using it to register their trademarks in multiple countries. “Affordable innovation is a hallmark of the Micromax brand. The company’s use of the Madrid System, a cost-effective and efficient means to register trademarks in export markets, reinforces this smart business strategy.”

Micromax's Chief Marketing Officer tells in a short video how
the Madrid System is helping the India-based consumer
electronics maker pursue its ambitious overseas expansion

Micromax Informatics Limited Chief Executive Officer Vineet Taneja said trademark protection plays a central role in the firm’s business strategy, highlighting that “International trademark registration is the first step in developing the brand in global markets.” He said that the Madrid System has provided unique opportunities for cost-effective business development beyond India. “The Madrid System is the preferred path for Micromax because of ease of registration and ongoing management of our trademark.” Mr. Taneja said “Innovation does not necessarily need to come with a high price tag and the Madrid System is an excellent tool that allows us to keep costs down.”

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Immediate Past President Sidharth Birla acknowledged the Madrid System’s role in facilitating and supporting Indian trade. “The international trademarks system includes many of India’s key trading partners and is a convenient way to secure protection before exporting and launching marketing campaigns into these territories. Micromax’s business strategy is a great model for other Indian businesses to emulate.”

The ceremony, hosted by FICCI, was followed by a seminar on use of the Madrid System, co-organized by DIPP and WIPO. It brought together some 120 representatives of Indian businesses to talk about the advantages of using the Madrid System, a flexible solution for trademark holders to obtain and maintain protection in multiple export markets. As of July 2015, the Madrid System offered the opportunity to simultaneously register trademarks in up to 111 countries.

Given India’s booming economy and increasing number of globally recognized brands, the country has the potential to be one of the top users of the Madrid System, alongside major trading partners, including China, the European Union, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States of America. Growth in filing international trademark applications is promising, reflecting the increasing export orientation of Indian business and the desire to protect trademarks effectively in key markets abroad.

Current Indian users of the Madrid System are seeking protection in key export markets. In return, entrepreneurs and companies from these major trading parties are using the Madrid System to designate India in their international registrations. Since joining the international trademarks system, India has been designated on over 15,000 occasions.