Many readers seem to have misconstrued a post that ran yesterday on the blog, about a company/website apparently claiming to be able to obtain a trademark registration in 24 hours. It was certainly NOT intended to be an advertisement for filing services, as some believe it to have been. Quite the contrary, in fact.
Advocate Devanshu Jain flagged the website by way of an email to the blog team (we owe him a hat-tip for the site link and the post title). Devanshu's email prompted us to run that quick post highlighting the flagrant claims being made by the company and the site. The post unfortunately seems to have been taken in the wrong spirit. I revisit that post and the website to highlight the issues we were keen to bring out on the blog.
For those of you who have not seen the site as yet, do take a look. The opening page, which is linked here, claims in your face that it can obtain "EASY AND COST EFFECTIVE Trademark Registration in 24 Hours Any Where in India"!!! This is surely a claim worthy of the iconic Believe It or Not compendium, which even has an India version, as I discovered today!
Anyone who knows an ounce of trademark law knows that it is statutorily IMPOSSIBLE to obtain a registration in 24 hours, given the fairly lengthy and time-bound procedures (of examination, period of opposition, etc.) involved. Which brings us to the following possible conclusions regarding the site and its claims:
1. It is possible that this site claims to be able to file a trademark application within 24 hours of contacting them - which is entirely possible. But the problem is that if "filing" in 24 hours what they want to claim, then this is clearly a case of misrepresentation to the public. And, I would definitely suggest individuals to be very careful about dealing with a site that is unable to establish a clear difference between filing and obtaining a registration.
Or Actual Truth? -- World's fastest registration - available in India
2. If the site actually claims to be able to obtain registration in 24 hours!, then this is valuable evidence of some incredibly shady business happening at the TM registry, particularly so in view of recent goings on at the TM registry (see posts here and here).
World's fastest TM acceptance - Also available in India
This website also reminds me of an email that another reader had sent us some months ago (which I now cannot recall if I posted on or not! - signs of ageing...) -- Trademark No. 2000161 was filed at the Chennai office of the Trademarks Registry on 28 July 2010, and was advertised before acceptance within THREE days from the date of filing, in the journal dated 01 August 2010! (see attached picture). It may appear annoying to have to keep hearing the same refrain -- something is seriously rotten in the state of trademarks in India.
Going by an unprecedented 50-plus comments that was received by the blog in response to the post on the CBI raiding the house of the Chennai Trademark Registrar, it is incredibly heartening to know that people are genuinely concerned about the alleged underhand dealings that have been taking place at the IPOs across India.
But if this website's claims are in fact true and not a case of misrepresentation, it seems that the underhand dealings may lurk deeper than this surface raid may have revealed; and the urgency of tackling the situation at the IPOs is only more apparent. We do hope some one is paying attention!