Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Enhancement of Wage Ceiling under Payment of Wages Act, 1936: Notification No. S.O. 2806(E)


Enhancement of Wage Ceiling under Payment of Wages Act, 1936: Notification No. S.O. 2806(E).


Non-implementation of SDBS to retired GDS since 2014

CHQ letter to DoP-on Non-implementation of SDBS to retired GDS since 2014-Reg.

Expected DA from July 2017 & January 2018

Expected DA from January, 2018: Indication of 7th CPC DA @ 7% & 6th CPC @ 142% - CPI(IW) Index of Jul, 17 released
5 points increase in All India Consumer Price(Industrial Workers) Index Number [CPI(IW)] of July, 2017 is indicating 7% 7th CPC Dearness Allowance with 2% increase & 142% 6th CPC DA with 3% increase in 6th CPC Dearness Allowance from January, 2018. 

It is also mentioned that the enhancement in Dearness Allowance w.e.f. 01st July, 2017 is pending for approval by Government may be approved in this month. 

July, 2017 is the first month of the second half year of 2017 and Index number of CPI(IW) for all months are needed to calculate the expected DA w.e.f. January, 2018. Only July, 2017 CPI(IW) Index number is not sufficient for speculation of Expected DA from January, 2018. There are three situations are illustrated in this post taking equal increase in rest of months of second half of this year. A higher increase of 5 points in July, 2017 Index is giving 3% or 4% in Jan, 2018 6th CPC DA and 2% or 3% increase in 7th CPC DA.

DOPT Orders – August 2017

Achievement of our Postal Staffs Smt Minu Gogoi , PA and Smt Minati Dihingia, Postman under Sivasagar HPO under Assam Circle

Achievement of our Postal Staffs Smt Minu Gogoi , PA and Smt Minati Dihingia, Postman under Sivasagar HPO under Assam Circle has been selected to represent India in Power Lifting Category for Common Wealth Games which will be held in South Africa and we wish best of luck to both our official.

Availability of option for fixation of pay on promotion from the Date of Next Increment in the lower post and method of fixation of pay from DNl - DoPT Order

Availability of option for fixation of pay on promotion from the Date of Next Increment in the lower post and method of fixation of pay from DNl, if opted for, in context of CCS (RP) Rules ,2016 : DoP Order

Salary Package for BPM and APM - Video

Click below link to play Video on salary package of BPM and ABPM

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Promotion Order of LSG (NB) to HSG II (Postal) Cadre - Bihar Circle

e-darpan : e- News from CEPT, Mysore

Trademark debate: The conflict between Paytm, India Post shows why everything can't have copyright

India Post recently sent a legal notice to Paytm to restrain the mobile wallet company from using the word, ‘postcard’, in its products.

Paytm subsequently rebranded its product to ‘lifafa’ to signify the tradition of gifting money in an envelope in India (also known as ‘shagun’).

In its legal notice, India Post had cited the Indian Post Office Act, 1898 and the rules framed thereunder, to support India Post’s exclusive right to use the term ‘postcard’. However, under the Indian Trademarks Act, 1999 generic terms (words used in common parlance) are not generally capable of trademark registration.

Indian Trademarks Act, 1999: 

According to trademark law, generic names (common names, dictionary words, descriptive words) are not protected as trademarks. An example of a generic name is ‘rice’- an individual/company can register the brand name used for selling rice (such as ‘India Gate’ or ‘Daawat’) but not the word ‘rice’ itself.

Similarly, a restaurant which serves ‘dosa’ cannot trademark the phrase, ‘dosa’, as dosadenotes a popular South Indian dish and is a descriptive term.

Section 9 of the Trademarks Act gives the absolute grounds for refusal of registration of a trademark. Under Section 9, marks which are “devoid of any distinctive character” and marks which are commonly used in the trade cannot be registered. One could argue that ‘postcard’ is a word which is common in the postal service and therefore, not registrable under Section 9 of the Trademarks Act.

The reason behind not allowing generic marks to be registered as trademarks is to prevent monopoly over common words which must necessarily be used by others in a particular trade to conduct business.

To illustrate, if a company which sells rice is allowed to trademark the word ‘rice’ itself, other companies which sell rice would not be able to use the word ‘rice’ to describe their goods. Therefore, words which refer to a genus or category of goods are not trademarked.

Indian courts are reluctant to allow trademark protection to generic marks. In 2013, the Madras High Court in Mr.A.D.Padmasingh Isaac and M/s Aachi Masala Foods (P) Ltd vs Aachi Cargo Channels Private Limited observed that the term ‘aachi’, a Tamil word, means ‘grandmother’ and therefore, could not be monopolised by any individual/company.

When can generic marks be registered?

There are certain exceptions which allow for registration of generic marks as trademarks. If a generic mark is used in relation to a trade where it is not generic/common, the word may be capable of trademark registration. An apt example of such a trademark is the word, ‘Apple’, trademarked by the company, Apple Inc.
Apple uses its eponymous trademark on computer hardware and the use by the company on its hardware goods has no connection with the dictionary meaning of apple. Further, an apple is not common in the business of computer goods. If Apple were in the business of manufacturing fruit juice, they would probably not be able to use ‘apple’ as a trademark on their juices because in the fruit juice scenario, apple would be a generic word in the trade of manufacturing fruit juices.

Another example of a generic mark which enjoys trademark protection is ‘Mango’ which sells women’s apparels in India. Similarly, it may be possible to trademark ‘postcard’ (which is otherwise a common word) for use in a random trade such as a restaurant service or a fashion label.

Interestingly, marks which are distinctive originally may become generic over time, this is known as ‘genericisation’ of a mark. This happens when a particular trademark becomes so popular that consumers begin to substitute the trademark with the product itself. ‘Thermos’ and ‘Xerox’ were originally trademarks but due to popular use, these words have now entered the dictionary and are no longer trademark-protected.
The US Supreme Court is expected to rule on a petition challenging Google’s trademark over the phrase ‘google’; the petition has been filed on grounds that ‘google’ (a word which is recognised by the Oxford English Dictionary and means ‘to search on the internet’) is a common word and should be treated as a generic mark.

Who has monopoly over ‘postcard’?

India Post relied on the Indian Post Office Act, 1898 and its rules to claim the exclusive right to use ‘postcard’. Neither the 1898 Act nor the Indian Post Office Rules, 1933 expressly states that only India Post shall have the exclusive right to use the term ‘postcard’.

In the absence of an express legal provision barring an individual/company from using the term ‘postcard’, Paytm could have fought back on the basis that generic marks can anyway not be monopolised.

Paytm could have argued that the right to use the term ‘postcard’ in fact belongs to the public since the phrase ‘postcard’ has not been coined by India Post and existed as early as the 19thcentury.

A public interest argument for disallowing monopoly over common words is to permit new words to enter languages, thereby promoting the growth of languages.

While this argument may not apply to old words such as postcard, internet slang and social media have spurned a generation of interesting words which are now officially recognised by dictionaries worldwide; in fact, some of these words such as ‘selfie’ gained prominence because of their widespread use by the public.

Words can reveal a lot about the culture of a particular era: The present generation is marked by words such as ‘Trump’, ‘hashtag’, ‘tweet’ etc. It is conceivable that the words which have come to define the culture of our time may never have entered our language if an individual/company was allowed to trademark these words.

Therefore, it is desirable that common words are made available for use by the public at large and no company (including government-run services) is allowed to monopolise them.

The author is a research fellow at Centre for WTO Studies, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. She is also a volunteer at Strategic Advocacy for Human Rights. Views expressed are personal.