Well Known Trademark And Indian Law

Dec 2022
What is well-known trademark?

As per new Trade Mark Rules 2017, a new procedure has been created that allows the Registrar to proclaim a particular trademark as “well known”.

Section 2(1)(zg) Of The Trademark Act, 1999 states that well- known trademark is a mark which has become well known to the section of the public which uses such goods and services and use of that mark in relation to goods and services of other business would be considered as infringement as customers using the product would think that the goods and services given are in relation to the well- known brand.

Indian statutory provision

A well-known trade mark has been vouchsafed with extraordinary protection and safeguards against passing off and infringement of such trademarks. Well-known trademarks are recognized in India on the basis of their reputation, nationally and internationally.

Provisions related to well-known trademarks
  • Rule 124 of Trade Mark Rules 2017

    This rule permits the trademark owners to file a request for grant of “well-known” trademark to the Registrar in form TM-M. A trademark owner can request for a well-known trademark without getting into any proceedings or rectifications. Rule 124 ensures a trademark to be granted the tag of “well-known” merely by an application of request to the Registry.

  • Under Trademarks Act, 1999
    • 11 (2) – Protection of well-known marks across all classes

      Well-known trademarks are to be recognized and protected across all the classes of goods and services

    • 11 (9) – Conditions not required for well-known trademark registration

      For a trademark to be granted protection in India, it is not necessary that the mark owner has his business in India or its trademark is registered within India, nor is it required that the trademark is known to the masses as a whole.

    • 11 (10) – Obligation on the Registrar

      It is an obligation on the registrar that in case of a dispute and/or infringement the registrar must protect the interest of the well-known trademark against the identical ones and also must take into consideration and notice the ill intention and malafide motive of the complainant or the opponent.

Remedies Available to the Trademark Owner against Infringement
  • The owner can Prevent registration of similar and deceptive similar trademark in respect to all class of goods and services.
  • He can also prevent incorporation of the trademark in the name or logo of any organization or corporate name.
  • Further the owner can also Request removal of infringing mark and can ask Punitive damages too.
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