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that history is the root of politics and politics is the fruit of history.

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1744 hours

SHRI ANNASAHEB M.K. PATIL (ERANDOL): Mr. Chairman Sir, I rise here to support the Bill. This Bill is a revolutionary Bill. I know that some speakers have shown a little suspicion and also fear because of certain pressures or maybe because of fear from the multinationals.

Sir, this Bill has been in the cold storage for the past six years and it has come up as we have to compete or come in line with globalisation or we should also be in the same line internationally as far as trade and industry are concerned.

Sir, trade mark is a very essential activity in the industry as it denotes the specific quality and reputation based on various factors. For example, trade mark is basically dependent upon geographical grounds, process of manufacture, mode of machinery, packing style of the product and so on. These are very essential aspects as far as the quality of the product is concerned.

When we are moving for competition in the global sphere, it is needless to say that the procedure adopted should be a simplified one. Therefore, this Bill intends to simplify the procedure and legal aspects as also the procedure for registration. I cannot elaborate more on these points because the time is short. Therefore, I would say that this is an essential Bill. I have experience with two jarda manufacturing companies in my area of operation. Both are very similar ones. They are in the court for the last several years. It is observed that even though they fight with each other, we can differentiate the quality of both the companies as to which one is better than the other. Therefore, this Bill would certainly ease the tension between the manufacturers and also simplify the procedure.

Sir, I have certain suggestions to make to the hon. Minister. There are a lot of pending cases regarding the applications for registration. The Appellate Board should have a procedure which can tackle the cases speedily within a minimum time schedule.

With these words, I support the Bill.

SHRI T.M. SELVAGANPATHI (SALEM): Sir, I rise to oppose this Bill though many Members who participated in this discussion supported to a long extent since the very basis of the Bill blows the economic sovereignty of the nation.

The hon. Minister has cited his own reasons for the introduction and for the consideration of this Bill in the Statement of Objects and Reasons. He has clearly pointed out that in view of globalisation and liberalisation and in view of increasing trade activities and development of the commerce, he seeks to take up this Bill for considertion.

After all, in the name of liberalisation and globalisation, the wealth of many of the developing nations has been drained. This is what the history taught us. Since 1994, there are reports and statistics to indicate that $ 60 billion have been drained from the developing nations alone. Then, what is the purpose in enacting such type of a Bill. Serious blows have been inflicted on the economic sovereignty of our country one after another.

I am really surprised that this Government has come to power only in order to serve the multinationals. This is my question. Right from the inception of this Government, that is, the 13th Lok Sabha, this entire Winter Session was devoted for the purpose of passing the Bills which help multinationals and foreign powers to the core. Take, for instance, Insurance Regulatory Authority, Mines and Minerals and Copyright. The Patents Law and other Laws are yet to come. The trade and commerce and the investments have been predominant in the entire session. The whole thing is devoted for the purpose of helping the multinationals. This is another attempt.

They are not only selling out but they are also in the process of speedier sellout. They are selling out the nation. The Indian history taught us many things right from the East India Company. It took us nearly 200 years to drive that Company out. I do not know what would happen to this nation if in the name of liberalisation and globalisation, we take the entire nation to the hands of the multinationals. I reiterate that it is a clear surrender to the multinationals. This Bill is only to protect the interests of the foreigners. Sometime back, the hon. Minister, Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, was fuming how this liberalisation was in the interest of the nation. In support of his Bill, which was considered earlier than this Bill, he was explaining as to how his Government was committed to protect the interests of this nation. But it is very unfortunate that when this very Bill came up before the Rajya Sabha in 1995, Dr. Joshi was opposing it. I may be permitted to quote his words. On 31st July, 1995, when this Bill was taken up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha, I quote the words of Dr. Joshi. He was quoting the example of `Singer':

"Singer was doing the same thing as what Bata is doing. They used to manufacture that machine for Rs. 200 and they used to sell it for Rs. 500. So, where was the gain for the Indian industry?"

This was the query posed by him. You just made `Singer' popular. I just quoted his words. So, I want to repeat the same thing. Where are the provisions for safeguarding the Indian industry? The small entrepreneurs of this nation, that is, millions of small industries have, time and again, been thriving this economy. These will be totally jeopardised because if this Bill is introduced, a floodgate will be opened to the multinationals to protect their own interests.

Sir, it will be a fatal blow to the small entrepreneurs and small industries of this nation. In My opinion, the owner of the trade mark, if this Bill is passed, just because he is the owner, even if he is not producing the product, will have the control over the entire item in which his trademark is registered. He will become the owner of all products which come under his trade mark. This is fatal to the very existence of the small entrepreneurs.

Another question is whether the Indian product will be accommodated in the same way in the international market? I doubt, the Indian product will not be allowed to enter the international market. There is no safeguard. The multinational corporations alone will have the upper hand, if this Bill is passed.

Sir, coming to the core provisions of this Bill, let me take two provisions, I understand the paucity of time. Assuming one is, accepting this Bill. This Bill is not valid for the changed circumstances now even. Almost seven years have lapsed since the introduction in 1993. I do not know whether the Ministry has taken that into consideration and whether they have deliberated on the changed circumstances or not. Vast changes have taken place since 1993. Therefore, this Bill may not be valid at this present juncture.

Another thing which I would like to mention is that the main provision in this Bill is, the Government has lost its control over the registration now. As per the provisions of this Bill, Government's control is totally surrendered to one individual, that is, the Head of the Department, Registrar. Registrar is the sole person, who takes the entire control. He can act on his own whims and fancies. There is no authority, which can question him. There is no Government to which he is accountable. Therefore, I call upon the Government to see that there has to be some safeguard, to have checks and balances with regard to the functioning of the Registrar.

The hon. Minister knows the tendency of the bureaucrats. The absolute authority will lead to more malpractices. Therefore, I say that the Registrar's authority has to be checked. In one of the provisions the Registrar can even call for the application pending... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please conclude.

SHRI T.M. SELVAGANPATHI : Sir, I am concluding.

Another draconian provision in this Act is Clause 93. I may be permitted to read it.

"No court or authority shall have or be entitled to exercise any jurisdiction, powers or authority in relation to the matters referred to in sub-Section 1 of the Section 91."

As per this Section, against the order of the Registrar, one can go to the appellate board. But beyond the appellate board, there is no way for an appeal. It is a draconian law and in our system nobody can curtail a party to go to the court or approach the court of law.

Therefore, I would say, as our friend, Com. Rupchand Pal has deliberated, Chairman is appointed by the Government and because of the political affiliations, only those people may be appointed as Chairman and there is no chance for a person to go in for an appeal. First to the Registrar, then to the Appellate Board Chairman and there ends the matter. So, I urge upon the Government to remove this particular provision.

Another important aspect is that there is no time limit prescribed in this Bill for the registration of the trade mark. Therefore, there has to be a prescription of time limit.

18.00 hrs.

Finally, because of the time constraint that Mr. Chairman has been imposing on me, I quote the Report of the Select Committee. The Chairman of the Committee has categorically stated:

"Some Members of the Committee were of the opinion that the liberalisation of trade marks registration may provide added advantage to the foreign multinational units. Instead, the policy should go slow in according recognition to foreign trade mark with a view to encourage domestic initiatives in the same or similar lines of production, the need to make efforts to encourage the use of indigenous trade marks."

Therefore, there is no provision in this Bill either to protect the small entrepreneurs or no provision is enunciated to encourage the millions of domestic traders, who are small entrepreneurs of this nation. Rather, this Bill would only serve the foreign companies. Therefore, I oppose this Bill. I call upon the Government to bring a comprehensive Bill.

Thank you for the opportunity given to me.

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Sir, we have to consider clause-by-clause of this Bill and also pass this Bill. So, I am requesting that the time of the House be extended by one hour.

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Is it the pleasure of the House to extend the time by one hour?


MR. CHAIRMAN: So, the time of the House is extended by one hour. Now, the hon. Minister.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI S. BANGARAPPA (SHIMOGA): What will happen to the last Bill? ... (Interruptions)

THE MINISTER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY (SHRI MURASOLI MARAN): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am grateful to the hon. Members for having given their general support to this Bill.

After all, this is a Bill which has been placed here in the year 1993. We have simply added the service marks, for example band box, Travel Corporation of India (TCI), Life Insurance Corporation (LIC). These are all service marks. We have just only added these things.

Sir, a view has been expressed that this Bill will support and protect the interests of the multinationals. Comrade Rupchand Pal is just now entering. He let out him steam against the multinationals. I agree with his views but I refute the view that this Bill will lead to protect the multinational companies. Out of the total applications filed in India for trade mark registration, nearly 70 per cent of the applications is filed by Indian entrepreneurs. If the Indian entrepreneur and his product is to be recognised in the domestic and world markets, he needs to give his product an identity. So, trade mark achieves this purpose. We are all Members of Lok Sabha and are identified by our party symbols. We are here because we have won on a symbol. We are emotionally attached to our symbols. If some symbol is taken away because of the split in the party or because of the order of the Election Commissioner, we know how we suffer. Therefore, we should understand the importance of trade mark.

So, if the symbol is attached to the politicians during elections, trade mark is attached to the trader, producer and the entrepreneur for his trade. Now, trade mark has attained a lot of importance in the business world. In fact, I would say, Sir, that trade marks are very important to promote one's business.

The hon. Member, Shri Dasmunsi, mentioned that even monkeys and elephants are made as trade marks. It is true. Sir, here is a great authority, whose name is Mr. Kapferer, has written in his book:

".....Starting as a nonsense word attached to a new product year after year, trade mark acquires a meaning composed of the memories of the past emergent and communication and products."

It starts sometimes as a non-sensical mark and then it attains importance. So, trade marks and brands have become the atomic core of our consumer driven economy. It fuels commerce. So, I would even say that the brand essence can reside in its founder, which gives Fords something Chevrolets do not have. Therefore, trade mark includes a package, a package of brand vision, its names, its performance standards, its signage, its packaging, its pricing philosophy, its marketing communications, its community relations policy, its sales force activities, its promotion strategies and so on. Therefore, we have to protect trade mark.