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FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Intellectual Property Rights

What is IPR?

Intellectual Property Rights as the word suggests rewards the intellect, creativity and human endeavor that is expressed in a definite form which fuels the progress of humankind.

Is having knowledge of IPR important?

It is vital to have knowledge of Intellectual Property Rights as it has economic value and we are surrounded by it. We use a lot of goods that are protected under various IPR laws on a daily basis with or without knowledge. We need to be pioneers and bring forward knowledge and resources that remain untapped. IP laws confer rights on individual, organizations and community at large.

What are kinds of IPR?

Patent – protects the invention that is novel, non-obvious and that has industrial application.

Trademark – is an identity which maybe in the form a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.

Copyright - Copyright (or author’s right) is a legal term used to describe the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works. Works covered by copyright that ranges from books, music, paintings, sculpture, and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, and technical drawings.

Design – protects the aesthetic appearance of a product.

Design Layout and Circuits – Is an integrated circuit that refers essentially to the three-dimensional character of the elements and interconnections of an integrated circuit.

Geographical Indication – A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.

Trade Secret and Confidential Information – Any information which gives the holder of such trade secret/ information a competitive edge over its competitors.

Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights - Confers rights to plant breeders, researchers and farmers who have developed any new or extant plant varieties.

Term of Protection for different kinds of IPR’s

Patent – 20 years from the date of filing patent application.

Trademark – 10 years from the date of filing trade marks application + renewal.

Copyright – Life time of the author/owner + 60 years.

Design – 10 years from the date of filing design application and can be extended for 5 years.

Geographical Indications – 10 years.

Is it mandatory to register a copyright? What is the © symbol?

No, it is not mandatory to register a copyright as copyright inherently subsists in all original works and creations. The © symbol is used by authors on creation of an original work voluntarily and upon registration.

What rights does a Patent owner have?

The owner of a registered patent has a monopoly over the invention that is protected by the patent. This allows the owner to prevent third parties from using the invention without permission and further can claim suitable legal remedies upon infringement.

What is passing off?

Passing off is a common law remedy, which can be used to enforce unregistered trademark rights. The law of passing off prevents one person from misrepresenting his goods or services as that of another.

What are the advantages of Intellectual Property Rights?

Exclusive rights to creators, inventors, proprietors and owners.

IP enhances one’s business value and in marketing products and services.

Helps in social and financial development

Legal Remedies.

Can I enforce my IP rights in other countries?

IPR laws are territorial. This means that IPR within a country are independent of any such rights existing in other countries. Due process of laws in force in other countries must be adhered to while acquiring and enforcing IPR. Various International Conventions governing IPR facilitates ease in protecting and defending IPR in other countries.

Real Estate in TamilNadu

What is the significance of using the symbol ™ and ®?

The ™ symbol can be used by any proprietor to indicate and declare that he is the owner of the mark. It signifies that a trade mark application is pending before the Trade Marks Registry. Even though no trade mark application is preferred, the owners can still use the ™ symbol as a precaution.

The ® symbol is used on successful statutory registration of a trademark only.

What are the documents required for title due diligence?

Title / Parent Documents for the period of 30 years

Patta, Chitta and Adangal, in case of Agriculture / Vacant land

Property Tax, Water Tax and EB Card, in case of apartment / villa / individual house

Building Plan Approval, Layout Approval etc., from the authority Concerned and

Design Layout and Circuits – Is an integrated circuit that refers essentially to the three-dimensional character of the elements and interconnections of an integrated circuit.

Encumbrance Certificate for the period of 30 years.

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What is the Stamp Duty and Registration Charges for Sale Deed?

Stamp Duty – 7% and Registration Charges – 4% on the total Sale Consideration to be paid to the revenue authorities.

How do we make payment of stamp duty and registration charges for the respective document registration through online portal?

Log into www.tnreginet.gov.in and first raise a token for registration following the procedure as detailed in each stage of registration.

After raising a token for registration, you will receive a TP (Temporary Deed) No.

After the generation of the TP No., you will again login into the website and the TP No. shall be selected. Once the TP No. is selected, the ``Pay`` option for the payment of Stamp Duty and Registration Charges has to be clicked on.

Once the ``Pay`` option is selected, an ``E-Payment`` dialog box will open. All columns marked with an * should be entered.

Once all the columns are entered, the page automatically generates the Stamp Duty charges, registration charges and the miscellaneous expenses (such as Computer Fee, CD Fee and sub-division fee if any).

Once you confirm and submit all the details as detailed in point e above, the payment gateway will open. There are two methods of payments: i) SBI Gateway (Net Banking, Debit Card, Credit Card, UPI Payment and others) ii) Online Payments (Only for few particular and selected banks).

Once the payments are made, please do not refresh or reload the payment gateway page. The payment gateway page will automatically re-direct to the www.tnreginet.gov.in webpage for the generation of the challan. The hard copy of the payment challan needs to submit at the SRO at the time of registration.

Mr. A (a resident in Chennai) is currently working in USA and is not in a position to come down to India. However, he is desirous of buying a land situated in Chennai, India. What is the procedure that Mr. A has to follow?

It is mandatory that the seller and buyer sign the sale document appear before the Registering Officer at the time of registration.  However, in this case, Mr. A can authorize a Power Agent on his behalf who would be physically present at the time of registration.  For this purpose, Mr. A shall execute a Power of Authority in USA, get the same attested by a Notary / Vice Council in Indian Embassy therein.  The said POA shall be adjudicated at any District Registrar in India within 30 days from the date of receipt of the said POA.

New Rent Act: Non-Registration of all rental agreements would be a bar to entertain applications for termination of tenancy or re-possession of rented premises, under the Authority of Tamilnadu Regulation of Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants Act, 2017?

Even in the absence of a written rental agreement between the Landlord and Tenant, especially created before the Tamilnadu Regulation of Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants Act, 2017 on or before February, 22, 2019, the remedy cannot be denied on the sole ground of failure to enter into such agreement.

Whether, apartment buyers in Tamilnadu, will pay stamp duty charges for Built-up-area or Undivided share of the land to register his apartments before the Sub-Registrar's office?

The registration department in Tamil Nadu has clarified that while registering an apartment, only the undivided share of the property will attract stamp duty and registration charges and not the built-up area.

What is the time limitation for sending notice of Cheque bounce?

The limitation period to send a legal notice demanding payment when a cheque is dishonoured is 30 days from the date of receiving of information regarding dishonour from the bank.

CORPORATE

What are the common types of business entities in India?

The following are the types of business entities in India:

Sole proprietorship firm: A business that is owned and managed by a single person and the sole proprietor is responsible for all the debts of the business.

Partnership firm: It is a business structure in which two or more individuals manage and operate a business in accordance with the terms and objectives set out in the Partnership deed. The Partners have unlimited liability and are personally liable for the debts of the business.

Limited Liability Partnership: It is an improvement over the partnership firm business structure where the partners have limited liability and their liability is limited to the extent of their contributions.

One Person Company: It is an improvement over the sole proprietorship business structure where the single promoter has full control over the Company but their liability is limited to their contribution to the business.

Private Limited Company: The most preferred and popular type of business structure where the private limited company is a independent privately held legal entity and the liability of the investees of the Company is limited to their holding in share capital.

Public Limited Company: The features of a public limited company are similar to the private limited company except that a public limited company can have unlimited shareholders and their shares are freely transferable.

The basic structure of the entity that one chooses will be influenced by factors such as operating regulations, ease of doing business, tax structures, cost of setting up business, etc.

Can NRIs and Foreign Nationals become Directors in a Private Limited Company?

Yes, NRIs and Foreign Nationals can become Directors in a Private Limited Company. They need to be allotted a Director Identification Number (DIN) by the Government of India. However, please note that one Director on the Board of Directors must be a resident Indian.

What are the different modes of raising funds in a Private Limited Company?

There are two major modes of raising funds in a private limited company:

Equity / Capital funding: It is a process of raising capital through sale of shares or ownership of the Company. This involves a dilution of ownership of the Company. There are several modes by which capital can be raised by the Company such as rights issue, private placement, preferential allotment, etc.

Debt funding: It is a process of raising money by borrowing money from eligible lenders. They can be in the form of loans from financial institutions, debentures, deposits, external commercial borrowings, etc.

Choosing the right mode of funding your Company is very essential and depends on the type of business you have and whether the advantages outweigh the risks. Many companies use a mix of both types of financing.

What kind of corporate legal services do you provide?

We provide a broad range of corporate legal services and advise clients on matters such as general commercial and transactional matters, corporate governance and compliance, M&A, project finance, investment and funding, corporate structuring, strategic partnerships and business development, due diligence, asset purchase transactions, management contracts, technology transactions (software and Software-as-a-Service development,  support, distribution and licensing agreements).

What kind of clients do you provide services to?

We advise clients both individuals and entities across a wide range of sectors such as Automotive, Banking, Consumer Goods & Retail, Construction, Hospitality & Leisure, Infrastructure & Real Estate, Energy & Resources, Funds & Investment Management, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Industrial & Manufacturing, Insurance, Private Equity, Telecommunications, Media & Technology, Travel, Transport & Logistics.

What if my legal needs span different practice areas, sectors and jurisdictions?

Our team of diverse and collaborative professionals at Surana & Surana International Attorneys enables us to look after our clients requirements across different practice areas, sectors and jurisdictions seamlessly. We also have access to a wide network of outside professionals across the world to assist us in providing our clients the best service no matter where the need arises.

GENERAL

What are the packaging and labelling requirements for food products in India?

The packaging and labelling of food items are governed by the labelling and packaging requirements under Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1955 along with the Legal Metrology Packed Commodity Rules 2011. The labelling requirements on food packages are specific to the type of food contained in them for example Dairy products, cereals, beverages (alcoholic/non-alcoholic), also depending on shelf life of food product etc. However there are certain generic requirements as follows-

Every food product must contain a label which should not be deceptive/ misleading.

Label must be applied in such manner that they do not separate away from the food container.

If the container is wrapped by an additional wrapper, the wrapper shall carry necessary information on the container or the label on the container shall be readily legible through the outer Wrapper.

The name of the food and list of ingredients should be mentioned. The list of ingredients should be clearly titled “List of Ingredients”.

The percentage of ingredient used at the time of manufacture of food should also be disclosed in the label.

The nutritional information per 100gm or per 100ml must be mentioned.

A brown colour filled circle must be prominently displayed on the package to indicate non-vegetarian content in the product.

The name and complete address of the manufacturer and manufacturing unit must be mentioned on the packaging material.

Net content by weight or volume must be mentioned.

Date-of-manufacturing along with use-by-date must be mentioned.

Addition of any synthetic or natural colour to the food must be clearly mentioned on the label.

The above are the generic specifications which are required to be displayed in the container of food products. In addition to these there are numerous rules specific to the type of Product in the container. Hence after confirmation on the specific type of food item, the additional packaging and labelling requirements can be checked.

What are the timelines within which the buyer has to make payments for the goods supplied by the supplier under the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006 (MSMED Act, 2006) MSMED Act, 2006?

As per Section 15 of the MSMED Act, the liability is cast on the buyer to make payment before the following due dates:

In case where there is an agreed period: on or before the date agreed between the buyer and supplier, provided that the agreed date cannot exceed 45 days from the date of acceptance of goods or services; or

In case where there is no agreed period: before the appointed day i.e., the day immediately after the expiry of fifteen days from the date of acceptance of goods or services.

What is Force Majeure clause?

Force Majeure means an event that can neither be anticipated nor controlled.  This clause generally covers situation(s) where the unforeseen event may render the performance of the contract impossible for a limited time during which the event is in operation, and thereby provides an opportunity for resuming normal contractual obligations after the event ceases to operate.

Can a Force Majeure clause be implied under the contract?

A Force Majeure clause cannot be implied in contract(s) and must be expressly provided for in the contract(s) under Indian law.  The protection rendered under the contract(s) will depend on the language of the clause in the contract(s).  In the event of a dispute regarding the scope of the clause, the Courts are likely to apply the general principles of contractual interpretation.

What is the legal status of same sex marriage in India? People of the same sex who are legally married outside India - are they recognised as married couples in India?

The Judgement of the Supreme Court in the case of Navtej Singh Jauhar vs Union of India has decriminalised same sex relations between two consenting adults. LGBT individuals are now allowed to engage in consensual intercourse. However same sex marriages are not yet legalised in India. The existing marriage laws in India only recognize heterosexual unions. Same sex couples are deprived of state benefits as well as the social and legal recognition that married couples enjoy.

No, since India has not yet recognised same sex marriages, people who marry in same sex outside India, when they come to India for employment etc., their spouse are not provide dependent visa. The spouse if not seeking employment in India usually has to come along via tourist visa which again has to be renewed in every 6 months.

Do employers have to provide the benefits to the same sex couple living together but not married in India as they do to a legally married couple in India?

In India people who are married to same sex are not provided any legal rights as are provided to a married couple. Hence even employers are not bound to provide the benefits to such employees. For the time being, it will depend on the policy of the organization if they wish to provide similar benefits to same-sex couple as well. For instance, Tata Industries in 2019 declared that they will introduce new human resource policy that will provide equal rights and benefits to its employees belonging to LGBTQ+ community.

Can an employee who is on probation be terminated without the required inquiry process as stated in the applicable laws?

The basic idea behind keeping an employee on probation is to give the employer an opportunity to evaluate the employee’s performance before confirming the appointment. There is no need for an employer to wait for the employee to complete his or her probation period, before termination, if the employer is not satisfied with the performance. Termination of employment is governed either by the Employment Contract or the conditions mentioned in the appointment letter given to the employee. The employer is free to terminate the services of the employee before the completion of probation period subject to the notice period, if any, prescribed in the employment letter or company’s policy. In the present case according to the condition mentioned in the employee’s appointment letter, the employee can be terminated either on giving him a notice of one month or a basic salary in lieu.

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