Patent as panacea for ad woes of Palace

Board wants to rein in those using the majestic structure as promotion vehicle

If all goes well, the Ambavilas Palace - Mysore’s architectural wonder that is in its centenary year - will have a patent of its own. If that comes through, any person or organisation using the picture of the palace to promote their interests through ads will have to shell out a fee.

The process has been set in motion with Software Guru, a city-based software developer, becoming the patent agent. Patent rules require either the inventor or anybody representing him or her as a patent agent to apply for it. The patent agent is appointed with an honorarium. The Patent Office in Chennai is the authority for Mysore region.

T S Subramanya, deputy director of Mysore Palace Board, confirmed to Deccan Herald that the process had been set in motion. The online registration process is already underway. Once the registration is complete, the authorities from the Patent Office will make a mandatory field visit.

The Palace Board will go ahead with the procedure only if the authority concerned says the building in question can be patented. There is no example of a public property being patented.

Subramanya said the idea stemmed from the fact that Ambavilas Palace was being blatantly used in ads - for petty shops to branded jewellery. An entrepreneur from abroad wanted the palace as the backdrop in the ad to promote his liquor brand. Such is the free-for-all mindset that people have with regard to Mysore’s pride, Subramanya said.

The patent could go a long way in maintaining the “sanctity of the palace as a monument”.

If the patent becomes a reality, Mysore Palace will be the first such building to have it.
The City of Palaces alone has 229 listed heritage structures. A whopping 30 lakh to 35 lakh people visit the grand structure every year. 

What the law says

S Arun Kumar, a Mysore-based High Court advocate, said, “Patenting a public building is not possible under the existing law. A new law may become necessary. As the Palace does not come under the category of monuments, the Palace Board may have decided to go for a patent to preserve its sanctity.”

“It is a welcome move. However, it will amount to opening the doors to the advertisement mafia again. The Palace will be available for a fixed fee - either in the form of a photograph or as a shooting locale.”

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