The need and importance of trademarks cannot be undermined in the era of globalization and start-up. Trademark and brand recognition play a crucial role in the development of a business. They act as a source of recognition and identity for any business organization. With the increase in the importance of Intellectual Property Rights and the need to protect the brands, business organizations have actively started registering the brands and ensuring that comprehensive protection is given to the brands leaving no scope for the imitators to copy the brand or take advantage of the brand. Tracing out the history, back in the 1940’s IPR was a hidden concept, but after the LPG system, IPR Protection has been the backbone of every business entity.
What is a Trademark?
A clear reading of section 2(1)(Z) of the Trademark Act, 1999 states and defines a trademark as “trademark means a mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include the shape of goods, their packaging, and combination of colors.
Growth and Evolution of Trademark Laws in India:
The history of trademark laws dates back to the 16th century wherein the dictum nobody has any right to represent his goods as the goods of somebody else’ and ‘nobody has the right to pass off his goods as the goods of somebody else’ was established in the case, Southern v How. Before the enactment of statutory laws, common law principles were governing laws for trademark situations. The court followed the above principles to decide the disputes and give out the remedies of passing off. That is why until today, we recognize the concept of passing off as a common law remedy.
The need to establish a separate statute for governing trademark disputes was realized in the year 1875, when the first British Trademark Act, 1875, re-enacted in 1938, was established. Accordingly, India borrowed the Britain trademark act, 1938, and named it as Trademark and Merchandise act, 1938 (now known and operated as Trademarks Act, 1999).
Going further into history, it is prominent to trace the evolution of the Indian Trademark Law from 1938- 1999. This is because the Trademark legislation introduced by the British Government underwent many amendments and changes from the period of 1938-1999. Thus, the Trademark Act, 1999 is the consolidated version of all the above-repealed laws and principles laid down in the TRIPS Agreement.
Trademark Act, 1999 – In a Nutshell
Trademarks Act, 1999, governs trademark laws and legislations in India. The Act and Rules enumerate the guidelines and procedures to be followed while registering the mark and give the grounds of objection to refuse the mark’s registration.
The Act also lays down the mechanism to be followed while dealing with the opposition of the mark and gives a strict timeline to be followed for the entire procedure from Application to Registration.
Being both Substantive and Procedural law, the trademarks Act, 1999 defines the rights of the trademark proprietor and also gives a detailed procedure to deal with the disputes of trademark registration and infringements. All in all, the Act is a comprehensive guide to making the process of trademark hassle-free and easy to understand.
Benefits of Registration of Trademark:
The following are the functions and Benefits of the Registration of trademark:
Exclusive rights of ownership for the proprietors to identify their goods and services under the given brand name
Preventing fraudulent imitation of the mark
Helps to identify the brand and enhances brand recognition
Helps the trademark owners to initiate legal proceedings in case of fraudulent imitation of the mark.
Protects the assets of the business
Well-known marks can be protected under the common law principles of passing off.
Prevents the deceptively similar marks from being registered.
Stages of trademark Registration in India
Trademark Registration in Multiple Jurisdictions:
In 2013, trademark laws achieved a major milestone by allowing the Indian Applicants to file trademark applications in multiple jurisdictions with the help of the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid Protocol has laid down the guidelines to be followed during the international Registration of the Trademark under the Madrid System.
Requirements to Register a Trademark Online
In order to register your trademark with us, please click the link below. You can also get in touch with us and our trademark expert will guide you through the process.