The Department of Commerce works to enable international trade. It promotes the infrastructure and professional environment for foreign investment. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry notified through a letter that company secretaries are refrained from playing dual roles. The ministry request form dated 11/12/22 about the mention of the company secretary’s act. The company secretaries act states that professionals cannot practice both professions simultaneously. The company secretary pursuing practice can become a trade mark agent after submitting an ICSI affidavit. The affidavit should interpret the role of a professional. The professional should submit the affidavit to the Institute of company secretaries of India and the trademarks registry within thirty days.
ICSI’s view about company secretaries:
ICSI constituted its 290th meeting. On the 14th of October 2022, the council and members declared the rights of company secretaries to practice IPR. Along with various other professional services the company secretaries have the right to practice IPR. The only condition is that the professionals are allowed to perform single roles and not dual roles. Rule 144 (iii) of trade mark rules of 2017 says that the company secretaries are eligible to practice and register themselves as trade mark agents. The recognition was in practice since 1991. The Trade and Merchandise marks rules, 1959 emphasized the old law. Company secretaries are learning trademarks, patents, and copyright geographical indications of goods and designs at the ACS executive level. The professional level of the ACS course provides insights into the different organisations with a history of IPR, the role of trade mark agents in upholding the stakeholder’s interest and laws for intellectual property rights. ICSI conducts crash courses on intellectual property rights to help ICSI members.
How to register as a trademark agent?
The responsibilities of a trade mark agent are searching trademark options, filing applications, initiating actions, and helping clients in disputes. The CGPDTM office takes care of the industries, internal trade and designs the law of patents and trademarks. The controller general of patents, designs and trademarks conducts examinations for the trademark agents.
- The eligibility for writing the trade mark examination is as follows: hold Indian citizenship, 21 years of age completion, hold bachelor’s degree in law, have experience in legal advice or trademark attorney.
- The trade mark examination has two papers. The first paper is about trademark law, and the second paper is related to interpretation and draft preparation.
- The syllabus in detail covers the topics from trademark law and practice, the trademarks act, of 1999, trademark registration procedures, the Madrid Protocol, infringement and passing off actions, opposition and rectification procedures, drafting of trademark documents, judgements in trademark cases and interpretation of court orders.
- Company secretaries get an exemption from writing the examination.
- In India, trade mark agents with experience earn around fifteen lakh per year. Trade mark agents without job experience earn two lakhs per year.
- In India, to work as a trade mark agent it is mandatory to have the education, experience, and registration.
What are the rights of service of a company secretary?
A company secretary is empowered with the knowledge to offer service in multiple areas. Some of the areas that draw attention to a practising company secretary are as follows:
- Company secretaries can work as recovery agents n the financial sector.
- A Company secretary can work as an agricultural labour.
- Company secretaries have the eligibility to work in private companies.
- Company secretaries can be appointed as a partner of Indian companies and LLPs.
- A Company secretary can contribute and become a director of an insolvency professional entity.
- A Company secretary can provide auditing services or due diligence reports.
- A company secretary can represent a statutory authority or regulatory body or quays-judicial body.
- A company secretary can engage in advice in matters related to commercial law, corporate law, taxation law, governance practices, foreign collaborations, compliance management, business agreements, joint ventures, and setting up subsidiaries in India.
- A company secretary can work as an arbitrator, co-collator or mediator. Such representation is the reflection of respective laws.
- A Company secretary can participate in work related to corporate social responsibility. Such work is mandated and backed by the laws.
- If a company secretary works as a management consultant he undertakes the following works: industrial relations, risk management, strategic management of business, branding, human resource management, public relations, and intellectual property rights.
- A company secretary can work as a project manager and involve them in risk management, business planning, preparing project reports, feasibility studies, and other services.
- A company secretary can work as an ISO consultant. He has subject knowledge in intellectual property rights.
- A company secretary can work as a tax consultant. He should have experience in handling foreign taxes, indirect taxes and related services.
A company secretary has the freedom to work in the legal field. Patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights are the four types of intellectual property. These things enhance value and marketing options. Intellectual property gives brand identity to the business. Business owners select candidates with qualifications, experience, and registration from the trademark registry.