WIPO-DIPP jointly release Prof. A. Damodaran’s report on a marketing campaign in India for international registration of trademarks

The report recommends a three-phase campaign to kick-start the next phase of the ‘Make in India’ programme & provides an IP route map for key sectors to correct image-symmetry problems faced by India’s companies abroad, including start-ups

18 APRIL, 2016: The Madrid report, authored by Professor A. Damodaran, from the Economics & Social Sciences area at IIM Bangalore, was released by the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government of India, on 31 March 2016.

Jointly released by Francis Gurry, Director General, WIPO, and Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Government of India, in New Delhi, the report provides an IP route map for India’s ‘Make in India’ sectors to correct image-symmetry problems faced by India’s companies abroad, including start-ups.  The report can be accessed at: http://dipp.nic.in/English/default.aspx

In 2015, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore was commissioned by WIPO and DIPP to undertake a study to assess and market international registration of trademarks through WIPO’s Madrid Protocol route.

The project report, authored by Professor A Damodaran, was submitted to the WIPO and DIPP in early March 2016. It recommends a rigorous marketing campaign to promote international registration of trademarks using the Madrid Protocol route amongst Indian companies that come under the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start-Up India’ programmes.

India acceded to the Madrid Protocol in the year 2013. The report argues that apart from the early brand-building advantage offered on new and innovative products, the Madrid Protocol has the potential to offer Indian companies (including SMEs) deeper and more fundamental economic advantages not normally taken into account in literature.

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 and joint roosting, 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 such registrations.

Characterising India’s ‘Make in India’ programme as a ‘nation branding exercise’, the report argues that the marketing campaign for the Madrid System in India should be integrated to the nation branding exercise initiated by the Government of India through the ‘Make in India’ programme. This is because the advantages of ‘scale’, ‘customer longing’ and ‘customer intimacy’ that would be generated by national branding efforts can be embellished by the key economic advantages of the Madrid Protocol registrations.

The three-phase campaign recommended by the report is considered by the Government of India as a key road map to kick-start the next phase of the Make in India programme. The DG WIPO, while appreciating the report, spoke of its relevance to other members of the Protocol in the emerging countries of Asia-Pacific and the Mediterranean.

Prof. A. Damodaran, who is the MHRD Chair Professor on IPRs at IIM Bangalore,   had earlier contributed to WIPO’s Development Programme agenda on technology-transfer and to the development of IP management practices in West, Central and North Asia. He has been a member of India’s delegation to the Conference of Parties to United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity that negotiated the texts relating to biodiversity financing mechanisms. He was also a member of the Global High Level Panel on Assessment of Financial Resources on implementing the Aichi Biodiversity Targets during 2012-14 and is currently a member of the five-member expert group to advise the UN Convention on Biological Diversity on the seventh replenishment of Global Environmental Facility, based in Washington D.C. Some of the experiences that he has brought into the present report include his studies for the Asian Development Bank on carbon capture and storage technologies and his work with the World Bank on climate finance and climate-friendly adaptation practices.