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Can you tell us what you do?
The International Trademark Association (INTA) is the global association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce. Gauri Kumar joined the INTA family in June 2015 as the India Consultant, and since then has been integral to the growth and evolution of INTA’s India presence. Having practiced law for ten years in the fields of corporate and intellectual property law, it was Gauri’s deep interest in policy and advocacy that led her to undertake this transition.
What did you study?
I did my Bachelors Of Law (LL.B.) from Amity Law School
What is a typical day’s work?
When asked about a typical work day, she says, “With a scaling up of the Association’s activities in India, no two days are the same. Having said that, member interaction remains a big part of my daily work.” Gauri goes on to explain that India has a very active and well-informed membership base, and that interacting with members in India helps the Association to determine its initiatives in order to be relevant and effective. For example, INTA members have been central in shaping discussions with the government regarding effective trademark criminal enforcement and IP education and awareness, as well as advising on INTA’s position on relevant trademark-related issues, such as clearing the backlog and the draft Trade Marks Rules.
Gauri also interacts regularly on behalf of the Association with various government agencies involved in IP administration, enforcement, and shaping IP policy in India. These include the Office of India’s Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM), Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), and the Commissioner of Customs of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).
Gauri represents and assists the Association in managing its various activities in the country, including public policy and advocacy, membership, marketing and communications, and education. In her short tenure of 16 months, Gauri has been involved in planning and executing a number of interesting projects, such as a Corporate Workshop in Mumbai, quarterly Corporate Member Meetings, a pre-Annual Meeting reception, a roundtable, and supporting a conference co-organized by the CBEC.
What was your favourite project?
I thoroughly enjoyed working to put together INTA’s Annual India Delegationearlier this year. With just about eight months behind me as INTA’s consultant, this was a challenge, but the 2016 delegation gave INTA a chance to identify and propagate a range of IP-related issues among members and appropriate policymakers, as well as lay out a strong roadmap for our India initiatives.”
Gauri believes that it is vital to align INTA’s strategic direction in India with INTA’s Mission Statement and 2014–2017 Strategic Plan. On the advocacy front, INTA has been advocating actively for vigorous enforcement of strong laws in India that provide protection for trademarks. In the process, INTA regularly meets and presents its views to legislators and other decision makers on issues of interest.
Gauri has been actively engaging with DIPP and CIPAM in order to provide support towards achieving the objective of IPR education and awareness under the National IPR Policy. This will remain a priority through 2017 as well.
What are your favourite trademarks?
Some of Gauri’s favorite trademarks include the Unilever logo, which she finds “aesthetically very pleasing,” the NESTLÉ trademark and bird’s nest logo, “mainly because they stir nostalgic memories of using many NESTLÉ products growing up,” and the AMUL trademark “not only for its products, but also for the AMUL butter girl and the brand’s witty topical ads that feature her.”
What is the most rewarding aspect of her work?
Knowing that collectively, INTA and its members have the power to shape global trademark policy.