Army files for patent to prevent misuse of new combat uniforms

To curb the sale of new Army pattern combat dress/uniforms to unauthorised persons, the Delhi Police in coordination with the Military Police has conducted a special awareness campaign.

The Indian Army showcased the pattern and design of the new combat uniform introduced for its soldiers on the occasion of Army Day 2022 on January 15, 2022. Soldiers of the Indian Army will now be provided with the best quality, all-terrain, lighter, stronger and operational digital camouflage pattern combat uniform, which also caters for gender-specific changes for women combatants.

There are two major issues which the Indian Army has flagged with respect to the introduction of a new combat uniform – security and the wearing of unauthorised pattern combat dress by serving personnel, the official statement said.

The uniform is unique in its creation as it has an exclusive digital camouflage pattern, contemporary and functional design and a lighter yet stronger and more breathable fabric. Because of this, the Army wants to adopt control measures to maintain its exclusivity.

The Indian Army has established ownership of the pattern and design of the new combat uniform by applying to the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks in April 2022. The Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) process is expected soon.

A deliberate roll-out plan by Army Headquarters aims to switch over the entire Army to the new pattern and design by mid-2025 keeping in mind the available stocks and life of the current uniform.

The newly-introduced combat uniform will be available through Central Procurement and Canteen Stores Department (CSD). By August 2022, Army personnel will be able to procure the cloth from the CSD and get the uniform stitched to supplement the combat uniforms issued as part of personal kit under Life Cycle Clothing.

The uncontrolled proliferation of existing combat uniforms has led to vulnerabilities in the security of military establishments and remains a cause of concern. The Indian Army in a bid to stem this unauthorised proliferation plans to take stern action against the dealers who indulge in the selling of unauthorised but similar-looking uniforms and fabric.

Certain cloth and tailoring shops in the vicinity of Army Cantonments and Military Stations have started stocking such unauthorised variants. Any inimical elements would find it convenient to obtain such variants from these shops.

In a two-pronged approach, strict instructions have been issued prohibiting any serving Army personnel to procure the new pattern uniform from unauthorised vendors; similarly, once the IPR process is completed, any unauthorised shopkeeper selling the new combat dress will face legal action and subsequent prosecution.

In keeping with the security requirements, the shopkeepers of Delhi Cantonment were sensitised on July 11, 2022, by Delhi Police in coordination with Army authorities, to dissuade them from selling unauthorised combat uniform fabric. The shopkeepers have wholeheartedly agreed to cooperate with the authorities in the interest of national security.

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