According to an information published on  the WIPO’s website :   

India’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma today deposited his country’s instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks at WIPO, bringing the total number of members of the international trademark system to 90. The treaty will enter into force with respect to India on July 8, 2013. The Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks (Madrid system) offers trademark owners a cost effective, user friendly and streamlined means of protecting and managing their trademark portfolio internationally.

“India’s participation in the Madrid system gives brand owners around the world the ability to extend their protection to the important Indian market, through a single, simplified and cost-effective procedure.”

India is the 14th of the G-20 economies to accede to the Madrid Protocol.

“India’s accession to the international trademark system, as with the recent accessions by Colombia, Mexico, New Zealand and Philippines, signals an era of significant geographical expansion of the Madrid system, which offers greater benefit to right holders worldwide.” 

How do international trademarks work?

Under the WIPO-administered Madrid system, a trademark owner may protect a mark in up to 88 countries plus the European Union with its Community Trade Mark (CTM) by filing one application, in one language (English, French or Spanish), with one set of fees, in one currency (Swiss Francs). Applicants wishing to use the Madrid system must apply for trademark protection in a relevant national or regional trademark office before seeking international protection. An international registration under the Madrid system produces the same effects as an application for registration of the mark in each of the contracting parties designated by the applicant. 

Why should a trademark be registered in India?

Businesses can and should from now on, include India in their international strategy. India’s economy has been growing at a rate of over 8% per year since 2004; industry analysts are talking about the market’s attractiveness, opportunities and potential; consumerism is on the rise; India continues to open up to the rest of the world, to change, to develop…

The development of the consumerism leads to improvements in the food supply (milk, fruits, vegetables, possibly chicken etc.), to changes in how people dress (more boys and girls wearing jeans) and to increased expenditure on women’s cosmetics. Middle to upper class families with an annual revenue ranging from US$7,000 to US$37,000 represent about 13% of the total population, or 160 million people. We cannot forget leisure activities: 100 million Indian tourists travel within their country each year, not to mention the many others who travel abroad. Restaurant dining is also becoming increasingly popular…

In spite of the 27% to 30% of Indians who still live in extreme poverty, the aspirations of the rising classes will be a key factor for growth in India over the next few decades, until a greater section of the population is able to reap the benefits. The market is estimated at 18.46 billion euros overall and its growth rate between 5% and 30% according to the type of alcohol. Wine consumption is estimated at 11 million litres/year of which 80% is locally produced, and 20% is imported.

Indian consumers prefer still and table wines. There is a growing interest in the sweeter wines as they are well-suited to Indian cuisine. Contrary to popular belief, rosé wines account for only 3% of the Indian market.

It is also important to bear in mind that a large portion of the Indian population is vegetarian. Since this can be a motivating factor in purchasing food, foreign wine producers stand a better chance of penetrating the Indian market by “labeling” their wines as vegetarian.

The yearly consumption of wine is estimated at around 10 million litres  ̶  compared to the 3 billion litres of strong alcohol and the 1 billion litres of beer consumed by the Indian population each year.

The prospect of a switch from strong alcohol to wine is an important one in the context of the Indian market.

The share of imports is estimated at 15%, out of which 40% are French wines

The volume of imported wines is expected to quadruple from now until 2015, to 6 million litres.

However, despite the reduction in import duties, state taxes make foreign wines unaffordable for the majority of the Indian population, thereby enabling local producers to retain between 80% and 90% of the market.

Changes in the regulations of the Indian Union and its States will play a decisive role with respect to penetration of foreign wines into this market. As with any other emerging market, prevention is better than cure. In other words, registering a trademark before doing business is better than spending a lot of time and energy trying to recover one’s rights.

Céline Baillet – European Trademark Attorney

Leave a Comment