India’s trademark examiners say they are taking on a whole new role in policing online trademarks.
India’s Home Ministry has launched a new program aimed at curbing trademark fraud, with home inspectors taking a more aggressive stance against trademark owners.
India’s Home Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the new home inspection program, which was launched on Thursday, will help police and prosecutors track down trademark counterfeiting and the sale of fake products.
“This is an important move by the ministry, because it is the first time in India that a law has been introduced to regulate the online presence of trademarks,” Prasads spokesman Rajeev Nambiar told The Associated Press in an email.
“This is something we are looking forward to seeing through this new initiative.”
India has seen a spike in counterfeit goods since the country adopted its new trademark law last month.
The new law bans the sale and use of counterfeit products in public places, and sets stiff penalties for those found guilty.
The country has seen some of the worst cases of counterfeit goods in recent years, including counterfeit watches, designer eyewear and electronics, and fake products including fake passports and credit cards.
Prasads office said in a statement that it will “actively and diligently” track down counterfeit goods on a case-by-case basis.
It will also look into complaints against trademark holders and the companies that distribute counterfeit goods.
“We will investigate all cases, especially those involving alleged trademark fraud,” Prasseads office added.