My post of last May 5th commented on the large number of trademark files that the government of India ... lost. It is now confirmed by India that some of these files have been found, but many still remain ... lost. Last week's announcement from India's Office of Controller General explains that, as of last April, some 37,046 trademark files could not be accounted for. The good news is that some 12,683 files have now been found. As for the rest, the government has been able to reconstruct some files with the aid of the registrants, the government has ignored some files since the marks had not been renewed (the files are still lost, but who cares?) and some 8,183 files continue to be ... lost.
Two comments. First, if one of the purposes of a trademark registration is to allow registrants to protect the commercial value of their marks, how does the Indian government's failure to manage its trademark files allow for commercial growth and confidence in India, and how does all of this impact U.S. business partners of Indian firms? Very scary. And second, it goes without saying that the annual fee "diversion" from the PTO raises the specter of similar burdensome administrative problems with the PTO. Another very scary concern for commercial business that relies on IP.