Unlike most other jurisdictions, in India no document is valid legally, unless it is stamped under the appropriate Indian Stamp Act. This extends to documents such as power of attorneys, agreements, assignment deeds, affidavits, conveyances, licenses and the like. The Stamp Act comes into effect under the following circumstances:
1. When the property either real, virtual or intellectual, is located in India;
2. When either or any of the parties executing the document is resident in India;
3. When neither of the parties is resident in India but the document is executed within the territory of India.
In most other jurisdictions, a scanned copy of a power of attorney or an assignment deed is accepted by the Intellectual Property Office. In India, this is not the case. In the first instance, the Indian Patent Office or the Trademark Registry requires the original documents to be produced adequately stamped by the Stamp Office. The stamp fee for documents such as power of attorneys or affidavits is minimal (about USD 2) but this exercise needs to be done before lodging these documents either at the Indian Patent Office or at the Trademark Registry. The normal procedure is as follows:
The document such as the power of attorney or assignment deed is emailed to the foreign associate or client or the person who is required to sign. The document is signed in original and physically, returned to the Indian counterpart. On receipt of the originally signed document, this is then referred to the Stamp office for stamping.
The stamping process takes up to about four working days and the stamped document is then filed at the appropriate office where it is needed to be filed.
In reference to the above discussion it is appropriate to submit the power of authority in a stamped form, because of this the documents get scrutinized properly, and there would be less chance for miss-happening.
This post has been contributed by Saransh Vijay, a penultimate techno legal student at School of Law, UPES University.