Trademark Registry publishes list of International Nonproprietary Names

February 10, 2012

The list of International Non-Proprietary Names (INNs) (copied below) as declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently been published by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM). More than 8000 pharmaceutical substances are mentioned in the said list.

The INN system was initiated by World Health Assembly with the aim of providing health professionals with a unique and universally available designated name to identify each pharmaceutical substance. The existence of INN as international nomenclature for pharmaceutical substances provide aid in the clear identification, safe prescription and dispensing of medicines to patients, and for communication and exchange of information among health professionals and scientists worldwide. The cumulative list of INN stands at some 7000 names and the number is growing every year by some 120-150 new INN.

It is pertinent to point out that Section 13 of the Trademarks Act provides that international non-proprietary names declared by World Health Organization from time to time or deceptively similar names shall not be registered as trademarks. Also as in 2009-2010, maximum number of applications [15.83 % of total 141943 applications filed at the registry] was filed in Class 5 (for goods relating to medicinal, pharmaceuticals, veterinary instruments apparatus, etc), the list would help the agents and applicants to assess their application prior to filing for trademark registration.

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