Trademark holds a low of power for a business. Its popularity can earn a business profit, while its notoriety can destroy a company. It’s the very reason we are witnessing more and more cases of trademark infringement. What is trademark infringement? Simply put, it’s when an organization or a person violates the trademark rights of a trademark owner.
To put it in the legal terms, trademark infringement means the violation of trademark rights which are granted to a proprietor under the trademark act, 1999.
As per the Sections 29 and Sections 30 of the Trademark Act, there are provisions which are designed to protect the rights of the owner of a registered trademark in case that trademark has been infringed by someone else.
In this article, we are going to dive into trademark infringement in great detail to explain to you:
- What acts count as trademark infringement?
- What acts do not count as trademark infringement?
What acts count as trademark infringement
As per Section 29 of trademark act, also called the trademark infringement section, following are the acts that the trademark regime sees as infringing upon the rights of a trademark proprietor:
- Exact copy of the existing trademark: In this case, the trademark is infringing another by being its exact copy and rendering the same services as the other trademark.
- Similarities between the trademarks: If a trademark is similar to a registered trademark, then by existing, it’s trying to deceive the masses. Such case where a mark is marginally similar to the one that has gone through trademark registration is counted as trademark infringement.
- Similarity with a popular trademark: If a business or an individual is using trademark which is similar to another one with a well-known reputation, then despite the business using that mark for a different product or service, the act is considered as trademark infringement.
- Using a registered mark without authorization: If a person using a registered trademark on packaging or labelling without the consent of the proprietor, then it’s considered trademark infringement.
- Using the trademark in advertisements: If a party is using a registered trademark in their advertisement without the consent of the proprietor of that mark, it’s unethical way of advertisement. It has to ability to tarnish the reputation of the brand and is detrimental to the distinctive character of the mark. Thus, situations like these are also considered trademark infringement.
Also Read about: Trademark Objection
What acts do not count as a trademark infringement?
While the trademark infringement section 29 states the acts that are considered trademark infringement, section 30 imposes some restriction to the definition of infringement. It exists to ensure that trademark laws aren’t exploited by the proprietor to harm ethical businesses. On the other end, the person or businesses that have been alleged to commit infringement can use the following pointers in their defence:
- Using the mark to indicate quality, and quantity of the product: In case terms similar to a registered trademark is used to indicate the quality and quantity of a product by another trademark, such case is not considered trademark infringement.
- If the mark is used outside the scope of registration: Suppose you register a trademark named “Henry’s Clothing”. In such cases, you’ll granted trademark registration on the condition of not holding exclusive rights to the word “clothing”. Thus, if someone else uses “clothing” with their brand name, it won’t be considered infringement.
- Implied Consent: If the user is using the mark under implied consent, then it would not be considered trademark infringement.
- Using registered trademark in accessories and parts: Suppose a trademark is registered for a screw. Now it can be used for several products and services. If one has registered trademark for screw for automobile, other can use the same mark for the screw for TV equipment.
Now you know that when you do, and when you don’t need to worry about trademark infringement. For more information about trademarks or for services related to trademark registration and more, reach out to Regalguru via firstname.lastname@example.org and +91 9716936280.
Also get detail about trademark search.