We also need to protect our patents. We have a lot of technologists and scientists in this country who are still hesitant that the other countries will be able to come and encroach upon this country. It is not a fact. Our own scientists are going outside because we do not have protection in the case of patents in this country. This has to be modernised today. They are looking from outside when they can come back and introduce their patents in this country.

You can look at what has happened in the case of pharmaceuticals. India can produce bulk drugs at substantially cheaper price than any other country can do. We may not have enough resources to develop a drug, which needs to be very expensive. Even Japan was not able to do it. In regard to electronics industry, the Silicon Valley produces goods and they commercialise it. So, we have to take advantage of something that is being developed with our own resources and with our own capabilities, we can go further and take advantage of it.

Sir, India would be the biggest exporter of pharmaceuticals and we may need very little imports.

Sir, coming back to the various aspects of this Bill, I would like to submit that there has been good protection for the development of various products. This Bill provides for a lot of support for various items which we need for our country. Earlier, hon. Members have mentioned that Darjeeling and Assam Tea need protection. Earlier there might have been a small number of patents but today the products under the trade marks are increasing very fast. Today, we have to deal with, maybe, 50,000 to 60,000 such products. Well, it could even be more. Under these circumstances, the passing of the present Bill is very essential.

Sir, some of the hon. Members have mentioned about Basmati. The United States, of course, has come out with a different name, Texmati, for this. We have been fighting about this in the WTO and we are quite sure that we would win this case. There are a lot of protective measures, safety measures and safety clauses in the Bill which we can use to protect our products. It is up to us as to how fast we could make use of all these safety clauses to protect our own agriculture and trade-related products.

Sir, there are a lot of Ayurvedic and plant-based medicines also. This is one area which is expanding very fast. Even today, in the protective market, or what we call the reserved forests, we do not have the full data as to what type of plants are available and what kind of plant species are available which could be developed for useful purposes. Some hon. Members have mentioned that some work in this regard has been done by Australia. This has been done to protect the people of their country. Some hon. Members here have mentioned about paper being utilised for some useful purpose by Vietnam. We also have to start with such things ourselves and see how we could go ahead with them. The Basira cow even has been termed as the Mongal cow and there are such other things which need to be protected either by protecting them by their name and local geographical basis or on some other basis. Again, there is a species by the name germ plaza. It is an indigenous plant. We have to take care of it.

Sir, some hon. Members have also mentioned about the Appellate Board. At some point of time there would a requirement for referring cases to the Appellate Board. The suggestion that has been made is about the type of judges that are required to be appointed in these Boards. They should either be experienced lawyers or retired High Court judges who have the ability to dispose of the cases quickly and not drag on with them as has been the case on earlier occasions.

Sir, there are a number of people in the Indian management pool. Their services could be taken to see as to how they would be able to help in the expansion of trade by protecting the products that we are developing.

Sir, finally, I would like to submit that I did not want to say anything except for extending my support to this Bill. But since I have to say something, I thought, I should make some points on a Bill which I strongly support.

SHRI RUPCHAND PAL (HOOGLY): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would have been very happy if I could extend my support to this Bill. It is because in this environment of, so called, globalisation this comprehensive Bill has been brought, of course under the directives given by the Supreme Court and many other courts in relation to trade marks, to give encouragement to flow of investment and transfer of technology.

Sir, although there are several good things in the Bill, yet I have noticed at least four to five areas which the persons involved in drafting the legislation have either not cared to look into properly or they have looked at it very casually or maybe, in this globalised era they have deliberately not taken care of.

First, let me come to Section 15. I think, my esteemed colleague from that side had made a refernce to it. They say that they would look into, enquire raids and cause seizure of the spurious goods, and others who are involved in violation of infringement of trade marks.

Clause 115(4) says:

"Any police officer not below the rank of deputy superintendent of police or equivalent, may, if he is satisfied that any of the offences referred to in sub-section (3) has been, is being, or is likely to be, committed, search and seize without warrant the goods, die, block, machine, plate..." etc., etc.

There can be no objection to that. But then, there is a proviso. The proviso says:

"Provided that the police officer, before making any search and seizure, shall obtain the opinion of the Registrar on facts involved in the offence relating to trade mark and shall abide by the opinion so obtained.'

But how many Registrars will be there in the country? To my mind, they are five. Suppose, there is a case. Because the opinion of the Registrar is very important, the violator contests the case and calls the Registrar as witness. Of course, according to the law, a Registrar cannot be prosecuted. But as per the law of the land itself, he can be called, as a witness. On the basis of the Registrar's opinion only, it is being executed. But how can a Registrar move about from one end of the country to the other end? How can it be feasible? This is to make the whole exercise futile. In that case, the Registrar will have to sit in the courts only. But that also will never be possible. In different courts, it will be challenged and the Registrar will have to sit all the whole without having any time to look into the Registrar's part which is being simplified.

Before I give my suggestions, I would like to touch Clause 134. There is something new. In the Code of Civil Procedure, it is the defendant whose residence should be taken into account as a jurisdiction of the court. But it is being reversed here. It is a plaintiff. What will happen in the case of a multinational company? A small Indian company which is having a trade mark to a poor fellow will be facing problems. A multinational company with so many branches will become the plaintiff. If a unit, say, is in Kerala, he will lodge a complaint in Rajasthan. Will it be possible for the defendant to go there and challenge it? Financially also, it would be absolutely impossible. That way, the multinational company will trade away all our genuine trade marks and monopolies it. And, Sir, I suspect that this has been done deliberately and not as careless mistake or lapse.

We think that these days, the multinational companies do have their influence in very many quarters. I am not aspersing anything on anyone in the Legislation Section engaged in the drafting. But here is the case. I would like that the hon. Minister should just explain it. How can it be that the Indian law, as applicable as per the Civil Procedure Code, is being reversed. The result would be that it will be to the disadvantage of the indigenous holders of trade mark. It will just encourage and strengthen those who have financial strength, earnings, that is, the multinational companies.

It has happened here. I can go on giving any number of cases. The multinational companies have expropriated our indigenous trade marks because of their financial strength and also because of the inability of the poor indigenous trade mark holder to contest in the court of law, because he does not have money, he does not know whom to approach there and all such things. Let us take Clause 17. It is also a very important Clause. Will the Register he preoccupied inthe court of Law or Appellec Body as witness all the time? The disclaim, provisions earlier existed in the Act is being changed. Suppose a company is just monopolizing a trade of beauty shops. What are the ingredients of it -almond oil, etc. Now, what is being suggested is that the whole concept of beauty soap with any of the ingredients will be monopolized, and ultimately none including those having something to do with one of the ingredients, will be able to produce anything. This the disclaimer clause which was there in the earlier Act is being removed. This will help only to the multinationals. Having said that, I want to emphasize on one thing. In the name of investment flow and in the name of having more access to foreign technology, the so or is opening up our Indian markets for the multinationals by bringing these changes.

Sir, through you, I would like to request the hon. Minister to tell us what are the stipulations of WTO that compel us to bring such a legislation. To my mind, there is no such compulsion. It has nothing to do with the WTO. Nowhere, it is written that they are to make such changes. But still, they are doing it. We have seen in other cases also. When we are asked to bend, we crawl; when we are asked to do something by 2,005, we do it before 2000.

Sir, here, we have never been told by any international body to undergo such changes. But such changes are being caused or proposed to be caused. It is a very dangerous thing.

Now, I come to the point of Appellate Board. I know about the problems facing the Ruling Alliance. They have their own people there who had been defeated in the Elections. They are now unemployed. After putting so many of them as very high officials -- I am not mentioning their names. How can I say they are being given the post of Governor or something like that -even then, there are a large number of people who are to be given employment. That is what they are talking about it. There are High Courts. Why do they not set up exclusive benches for the intellectual property right cases? That will not involve any additional cost also. They say that they are in deep debt trap. Daily they are assuring the nation that they shall bring down the fiscal deficit. Daily they are speaking about Expenditure Commission. And, now, they are saying that they propose to set up another Appellate Board. It will have technical Members. But what is the technicality involved in the trade mark? There is obviously, no technicality. This is the packaging. These are the marks. If any technicality is required, it is required in the Copyright Law. But in the Copyright Law, they have not placed any technical officer. But here, they have proposed to put in one technical officer. What for he is there? I think, Sir, the Ministry has been misdirected. There are so many things mentioned in the Bill, but it is not that everything is bad. But there are so many important areas, some of them I have already mentioned, about which the hon. Minister need to explain to this House. I think, they should make appropriate changes. Instead of the Appellate Board, This power should be given to the High Courts' Special Bench. Clause 17 is a disclaimer clause, and it should be retained to protect our indigenous interests.

It should be retained to protect our indigenous interests. That proviso in section 115 should be changed. of bringing everything. Say for example, Someone is selling some spurious products. Someone is importing something spurious and police had the knowledge. Now the Registrar will be approached and asked to give permission. What will happen?

The multinational companies will require one man, maybe on the pay roll, in the Registrar's office, one man in the Appellate Board and another man, at some other connected area which comes to a total of three persons. They will give the information. And also one advocate should be there. Of course, I am not mentioning that because there are many friends of ours who are advocating the cause of MNCS only.

The Trade Mark Bill suffers from several infirmities. I have mentioned three or four only. My plea will be that for proper study and scrutiny, it should be referred to a Select Committee and there should be people like Dr. Nitish Sengupta, eminent lawyers like Shri Ajit Kumar Panja.

SHRI AJIT KUMAR PANJA (CALCUTTA, NORTH EAST): Whether I am here or in Bengal, CPI(M) will always touch me.

SHRI RUPCHAND PAL : I am seeking legal opinion. The Government should be helped by people like them by people like Dr. Nitish Sengupta and by lawyers and other eminent people. The Minister should be heard. The Ministry should be heard. These measures are being brought forward because of the pressures of the multinational companies. So, I oppose the Bill. I would have been very happy to support the Bill had there not been the provisions mentioned by me. I think the hon. Minister will have a relook at these clauses. I have mentioned them and the Govt. should desist from setting up and Appellate Body. Instead High Court should be involved in such cases with the special bench.

1729 hrs.

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