The Trade Marks Act

THE TRADE MARKS ACT, 1999

[As amended by the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021]

Chapter 1 – Preliminary

1. SHORT TITLE, EXTENT AND COMMENCEMENT.
2. DEFINITIONS AND INTERPRETATION.

Chapter 2 – The Register and Conditions for Registration

3. APPOINTMENT OF REGISTRAR AND OTHER OFFICERS.
4. POWER OF REGISTRAR TO WITHDRAW OR TRANSFER CASES, ETC.
5. TRADE MARKS REGISTRY AND OFFICES THEREOF.
6. THE REGISTER OF TRADE MARKS.
7. CLASSIFICATION OF GOODS AND SERVICES.
8. PUBLICATION OF ALPHABETICAL INDEX.
9. ABSOLUTE GROUNDS FOR REFUSAL OF REGISTRATION.
10. LIMITATION AS TO COLOUR.
11. RELATIVE GROUNDS FOR REFUSAL OF REGISTRATION.
12. REGISTRATION IN THE CASE OF HONEST CONCURRENT USE, ETC.
13. PROHIBITION OF REGISTRATION OF NAMES OF CHEMICAL ELEMENTS OR INTERNATIONAL NON-PROPRIETARY NAMES.
14. USE OF NAMES AND REPRESENTATIONS OF LIVING PERSONS OR PERSONS RECENTLY DEAD.
15. REGISTRATION OF PARTS OF TRADE MARKS AND OF TRADE MARKS AS A SERIES.
16. REGISTRATION OF TRADE MARKS AS ASSOCIATED TRADE MARKS.
17. EFFECT OF REGISTRATION OF PARTS OF A MARK.

Chapter 3 – Procedure for and Duration of Registration

18. APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION.
19. WITHDRAWAL OF ACCEPTANCE.
20. ADVERTISEMENT OF APPLICATION.
21. OPPOSITION TO REGISTRATION.
22. CORRECTION AND AMENDMENT.
23. REGISTRATION.
24. JOINTLY OWNED TRADE MARKS.
25. DURATION, RENEWAL, REMOVAL AND RESTORATION OF REGISTRATION.
26. EFFECT OF REMOVAL FROM REGISTER FOR FAILURE TO PAY FEE FOR RENEWAL.

Chapter 4 – Effect of Registration

27. NO ACTION FOR INFRINGEMENT OF UNREGISTERED TRADE MARK.
28. RIGHTS CONFERRED BY REGISTRATION.
29. INFRINGEMENT OF REGISTERED TRADE MARKS.
30. LIMITS ON EFFECT OF REGISTERED TRADE MARK.
31. REGISTRATION TO BE PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE OF VALIDITY.
32. PROTECTION OF REGISTRATION ON GROUND OF DISTINCTIVENESS IN CERTAIN CASES.
33. EFFECT OF ACQUIESCENCE.
34. SAVING FOR VESTED RIGHTS.
35. SAVING FOR USE OF NAME, ADDRESS OR DESCRIPTION OF GOODS OR SERVICES.
36. SAVING FOR WORDS USED AS NAME OR DESCRIPTION OF AN ARTICLE OR SUBSTANCE OR SERVICE.

Chapter 4A – Special Provisions Relating to Protection of Trade Marks Through International Registration Under the Madrid Protocol

36A.  APPLICATION  OF  ACT  IN  CASE  OF  INTERNATIONAL  REGISTRATION  UNDER  MADRID  PROTOCOL.
36B. DEFINITIONS.
36C.  TRADE  MARKS  REGISTRY  TO  DEAL  WITH  INTERNATIONAL  APPLICATIONS.
36D.   INTERNATIONAL   APPLICATION   ORIGINATING  FROM   INDIA.
36E. INTERNATIONAL REGISTRATIONS WHERE INDIA HAS BEEN DESIGNATED.
36F. EFFECTS OF INTERNATIONAL REGISTRATIONS.
36G. DURATION AND RENEWAL OF INTERNATIONAL REGISTRATION.

Chapter 5 – Assignment and Transmission

37. POWER OF REGISTERED PROPRIETOR TO ASSIGN AND GIVE RECEIPTS.
38. ASSIGNABILITY AND TRANSMISSIBILITY OF REGISTERED TRADE MARKS.
39. ASSIGNABILITY AND TRANSMISSIBILITY OF UNREGISTERED TRADE MARKS.
40. RESTRICTION ON ASSIGNMENT OR TRANSMISSION WHERE MULTIPLE EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS WOULD BE CREATED.
41. RESTRICTION ON ASSIGNMENT OR TRANSMISSION WHEN EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS WOULD BE CREATED IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF INDIA.
42. CONDITIONS FOR ASSIGNMENT OTHERWISE THAN IN CONNECTION WITH THE GOODWILL OF A BUSINESS.
43. ASSIGNABILITY AND TRANSMISSIBILITY OF CERTIFICATION TRADE MARKS.
44. ASSIGNABILITY AND TRANSMISSIBILITY OR ASSOCIATED TRADE MARKS.
45. REGISTRATION OF ASSIGNMENTS AND TRANSMISSIONS.

Chapter 6 – Use of Trade Marks and Registered Users

46. PROPOSED USE OF TRADE MARK BY COMPANY TO BE FORMED ETC.
47. REMOVAL FROM REGISTER AND IMPOSITION OF LIMITATIONS ON GROUND OF NON USE.
48. REGISTERED USER.
49. REGISTRATION AS REGISTERED USER.
50. POWER OF REGISTRAR FOR VARIATION OR CANCELLATION OF REGISTRATION AS REGISTERED USER.
51. POWER OF REGISTRAR TO CALL FOR INFORMATION RELATING TO AGREEMENT IN RESPECT OF REGISTERED USERS.
52. RIGHT OF REGISTERED USER TO TAKE PROCEEDINGS AGAINST INFRINGEMENT.
53. NO RIGHT OF PERMITTED USER TO TAKE PROCEEDING AGAINST INFRINGEMENT.
54. REGISTERED USER NOT TO HAVE RIGHT OF ASSIGNMENT OF TRANSMISSION.
55. USER OF ONE OF ASSOCIATED OR SUBSTANTIALLY IDENTICAL TRADE MARKS EQUIVALENT TO USE OF ANOTHER.
56. USE OF TRADE MARK FOR EXPORT TRADE AND USE WHEN FORM OF TRADE CONNECTION CHANGES.

Chapter 7 – Rectification and Correction of the Register

57. POWER TO CANCEL OR VARY REGISTRATION AND TO RECTIFY THE REGISTER.
58. CORRECTION OF REGISTER
59. ALTERATION OF REGISTERED TRADE MARKS.
60. ADAPTATION OF ENTRIES IN REGISTER TO AMENDED OR SUBSTITUTED CLASSIFICATION OF GOODS OR SERVICES.

Chapter 8 – Collective Marks

61. SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR COLLECTIVE MARKS.
62. COLLECTIVE MARK NOT TO BE MISLEADING AS TO CHARACTER OR SIGNIFICANCE.
63. APPLICATION TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY REGULATIONS GOVERNING USE OF COLLECTIVE MARKS.
64. ACCEPTANCE OF APPLICATION AND REGULATIONS BY REGISTRAR.
65. REGULATIONS TO BE OPEN TO INSPECTION.
66. AMENDMENT OF REGULATIONS.
67. INFRINGEMENT PROCEEDINGS BY REGISTERED PROPRIETOR OF COLLECTIVE MARK.
68. ADDITIONAL GROUNDS FOR REMOVAL OF REGISTRATION OF COLLECTIVE MARK.

Chapter 9 – Certification Trade Marks

69. CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT NOT APPLICABLE TO CERTIFICATION TRADE MARKS.
70. REGISTRATION OF CERTIFICATION TRADE MARKS.
71. APPLICATIONS FOR REGISTRATION OF CERTIFICATION TRADE MARKS.
72. CONSIDERATION OF APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION BY REGISTRAR.
73. OPPOSITION TO REGISTRATION OF CERTIFICATION TRADE MARKS.
74. FILING OF REGULATIONS GOVERNING USE OF A CERTIFICATION TRADE MARK.
75. INFRINGEMENT OF CERTIFICATION TRADE MARKS.
76. ACTS NOT CONSTITUTING INFRINGEMENT OF CERTIFICATION TRADE MARKS.
77. CANCELLATION OR VARYING OF REGISTRATION OF CERTIFICATION TRADEMARKS.
78. RIGHTS CONFERRED BY REGISTRATION OF CERTIFICATION TRADE MARKS.

Chapter 10 – Special Provisions for Textile Goods [Omitted]

79. TEXTILE GOODS.
80. RESTRICTION ON REGISTRATION OF TEXTILE GOODS.
81. STAMPING OF PIECE GOODS, COTTON YAM AND THREAD.
82. DETERMINATION OF CHARACTER OF TEXTILE GOODS BY SAMPLING.

Chapter 11 – Appeals

83. ESTABLISHMENT OF APPELLATE BOARD.
84. COMPOSITION OF APPELLATE BOARD.
85. QUALIFICATIONS FOR APPOINTMENT AS CHAIRMAN, VICE CHAIRMAN, OR OTHER MEMBERS.
86. TERM OF OFFICE OF CHAIRMAN, VICE CHAIRMAN AND OTHER MEMBERS.
87. VICE-CHAIRMAN OR SENIOR-MOST MEMBER TO ACT AS CHAIRMAN OR DISCHARGE HIS FUNCTIONS IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.
88. SALARIES, ALLOWANCES AND OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE OF CHAIRMAN, VICE CHAIRMAN AND OTHER MEMBERS.
89. RESIGNATION AND REMOVAL.
89A. QUALIFICATIONS, TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE OF CHAIRPERSON, VICE-CHAIRPERSON AND MEMBER.
90. STAFF OF APPELLATE BOARD.
91. APPEALS TO HIGH COURT.
92. PROCEDURE AND POWERS OF APPELLATE BOARD.
93. BAR OF JURISDICTION OF COURTS, ETC.
94. BAR TO APPEAR BEFORE REGISTRAR.
95. CONDITIONS AS TO MAKING OF INTERIM ORDERS.
96. POWER OF CHAIRMAN TO TRANSFER CASES FROM ONE BENCH TO ANOTHER.
97. PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATION FOR RECTIFICATION, ETC. BEFORE HIGH COURT.
98. APPEARANCE OF REGISTRAR IN LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.
99. COSTS OF REGISTRAR IN PROCEEDINGS BEFORE APPELLATE BOARD.
100. TRANSFER OF PENDING PROCEEDINGS TO APPELLATE BOARD.

Chapter 12 – Offences, Penalties and Procedure

101. MEANING OF APPLYING TRADEMARKS AND TRADE DESCRIPTIONS.
102. FALSIFYING AND FALSELY APPLYING TRADE MARKS.
103. PENALTY FOR APPLYING FALSE TRADE MARKS, TRADE DESCRIPTIONS ETC.
104. PENALTY FOR SELLING GOODS OR PROVIDING SERVICES TO WHICH FALSE TRADE MARK OR FALSE TRADE DESCRIPTION IS APPLIED.
105. ENHANCED PENALTY ON SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT CONVICTION.
106. PENALTY FOR REMOVING PIECE GOODS, ETC., CONTRARY TO SECTION 81.
107. PENALTY FOR FALSELY REPRESENTING A TRADE MARK AS REGISTERED.
108. PENALTY FOR IMPROPERLY DESCRIBING A PLACE OF BUSINESS AS CONNECTED WITH THE TRADE MARKS OFFICE.
109. PENALTY FOR FALSIFICATION OF ENTRIES IN THE REGISTER.
110. NO OFFENCE IN CERTAIN CASES.
111. FORFEITURE OF GOODS.
112. EXEMPTION OF CERTAIN PERSONS EMPLOYED IN ORDINARY COURSE OF BUSINESS.
113. PROCEDURE WHERE INVALIDITY OF REGISTRATION IS PLEADED BY THE ACCUSED.
114. OFFENCES BY COMPANIES.
115. COGNIZANCE OF CERTAIN OFFENCES AND THE POWERS OF POLICE OFFICER FOR SEARCH AND SEIZURE.
116. EVIDENCE OF ORIGIN OF GOODS IMPORTED BY SEA.
117. COSTS OF DEFENCE OR PROSECUTION.
118. LIMITATION OF PROSECUTION.
119. INFORMATION AS TO COMMISSION OF OFFENCE.
120. PUNISHMENT OF ABETMENT IN INDIA OF ACTS DONE OUT OF INDIA.
121. INSTRUCTIONS OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT AS TO PERMISSIBLE VARIATION TO BE OBSERVED BY CRIMINAL COURTS.

Chapter 13 – Miscellaneous

122. PROTECTION OF ACTION TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH.
123. CERTAIN PERSONS TO BE PUBLIC SERVANTS.
124. STAY OF PROCEEDINGS WHERE THE VALIDITY OF REGISTRATION OF THE TRADE MARK IS QUESTIONED, ETC.
125. APPLICATION FOR RECTIFICATION OF REGISTER TO BE MADE TO HIGH COURT IN CERTAIN CASES.
126. IMPLIED WARRANTY ON SALE OF MARKED GOODS.
127. POWERS OF REGISTRAR.
128. EXERCISE OF DISCRETIONARY POWER BY REGISTRAR.
129. EVIDENCE BEFORE REGISTRAR.
130. DEATH OF PARTY TO A PROCEEDING.
131. EXTENSION OF TIME.
132. ABANDONMENT.
133. PRELIMINARY ADVICE BY THE REGISTRAR AS TO DISTINCTIVENESS.
134. SUIT FOR INFRINGEMENT, ETC. TO BE INSTITUTED BEFORE DISTRICT COURT.
135. RELIEF IN SUITS FOR INFRINGEMENT OR FOR PASSING OFF.
136. REGISTERED USER TO BE IMPLEADED IN CERTAIN PROCEEDINGS.
137. EVIDENCE OF ENTRIES IN REGISTER, ETC. AND THINGS DONE BY THE REGISTRAR.
138. REGISTRAR AND OTHER OFFICERS NOT COMPELLABLE TO PRODUCE REGISTER, ETC.
139. POWER TO REQUIRE GOODS TO SHOW INDICATION OF ORIGIN.
140. POWER TO REQUIRE INFORMATION OF IMPORTED GOODS BEARING FALSE TRADE MARKS.
141. CERTIFICATE OF VALIDITY.
142. GROUNDLESS THREATS OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.
143. ADDRESS FOR SERVICE.
144. TRADE USAGES, ETC. TO BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION.
145. AGENTS.
146. MARKS REGISTERED BY AN AGENT OR REPRESENTATIVE WITHOUT AUTHORITY.
147. INDEXES
148. DOCUMENTS OPEN TO PUBLIC INSPECTION.
149. REPORTS OF REGISTRAR TO BE PLACED BEFORE PARLIAMENT.
150. FEES AND SURCHARGE.
151. SAVINGS IN RESPECT OF CERTAIN MATTERS IN CHAPTER 12.
152. DECLARATION AS TO OWNERSHIP OF TRADE MARK NOT REGISTRABLE UNDER THE REGISTRATION ACT, 1908.
153. GOVERNMENT TO BE BOUND.
154. SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO APPLICATIONS FOR REGISTRATION FROM CITIZENS OF CONVENTION COUNTRIES.
155. PROVISION AS TO RECIPROCITY.
156. POWER OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT TO REMOVE DIFFICULTIES.
157. POWER TO MAKE RULES.
158. AMENDMENTS.
159. REPEAL AND SAVINGS.

 

CHAPTER 1 – PRELIMINARY

1. SHORT TITLE, EXTENT AND COMMENCEMENT.

(1) This Act may be called the Trade Marks Act, 1999.

(2) It extends to the whole of India.

(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint:

Provided that different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act, and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision.

2. DEFINITIONS AND INTERPRETATION.

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—

(a) [Omitted by the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021.]

(b) “assignment” means an assignment in writing by act of the parties concerned;

(c) “associated trade marks” means trade marks deemed to be, or required to be, registered as associated trade marks under this Act;

(d) [Omitted by the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021.]

(e) “Certification trade mark” means a mark capable of distinguishing the goods or services in connection with which it is used in the course of trade which are certified by the proprietor of the mark in respect of origin, material, mode of manufacture of goods or performance of services, quality, accuracy or other characteristics from goods or services not so certified and registrable as such under Chapter IX in respect of those goods or services in the name, as proprietor of the certification trade mark, of that person;

(f) [Omitted by the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021.]

(g) “Collective mark” means a trade mark distinguishing the goods or services of members of an association of persons (not being a partnership within the meaning of the Indian Partnership Act, 1932) which is the proprietor of the mark from those of others; (9 of 1932)

(h) “deceptively similar”—A mark shall be deemed to be deceptively similar to another mark if it so nearly resembles that other mark as to be likely to deceive or cause confusion;

(i) “false trade description” means—

(I) a trade description which is untrue or misleading in a material respect as regards the goods or services to which it is applied; or

(II) any alteration of a trade description as regards the goods or services to which it is applied, whether by way of addition, effacement or otherwise, where that alteration makes the description untrue or misleading in a material respect; or

(III) any trade description which denotes or implies that there are contained, as regards the goods to which it is applied, more yards or metres than there are contained therein standard yards or standard metres; or

(IV) any marks or arrangement or combination thereof when applied—

(a) to goods in such a manner as to be likely to lead persons to believe that the goods are the manufacture or merchandise of some person other than the person whose merchandise or manufacture they really are;

(b) in relation to services in such a manner as to be likely to lead persons to believe that the services are provided or rendered by some person other than the person, whose services they really are; or

(V) any false name or initials of a person applied to goods or services in such manner as if such name or initials were a trade description in any case where the name or initials—

(a) is or are not a trade mark or part of a trade mark; and

(b) is or are identical with or deceptively similar to the name or initials of a person carrying on business in connection with goods or services of the same description or both and who has not authorised the use of such name or initials; and

(c) is or are either the name or initials of a fictitious person or some person not bona fide carrying on business in connection with such goods or services, and the fact that a trade description is a trade mark or part of a trade mark shall not prevent such trade description being a false trade description within the meaning of this Act;

(j) “goods”: means anything which is the subject of trade or manufacture;

(k) [Omitted by the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021.]

(l) “limitation” (with its grammatical variations) means any limitation of the exclusive right to the use of a trade mark given by the registration of a person as proprietor thereof, including limitations of that right as to mode or area of use within India or outside India;

(m) “mark” includes a device, brand, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter, numeral, shape of goods, packaging or combination of colours or any combination thereof;

(n) [Omitted by the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021.]

(o) “name” includes any abbreviation of a name;

(p) “notify” means to notify in the Trade Mark Journal published by the Registrar;

(q) “package”; includes any case, box, container, covering, folder, receptacle, vessel, casket, bottle, wrapper, label, band, ticket, reel, frame, capsule, cap, lid, stopper and cork;

(r) “permitted use”, in relation to a registered trade mark, means the use of trade mark—

(i) by a registered user of the trade mark in relation to goods or services—

(a) with which he is connected in the course of trade; and

(b) in respect of which the trade mark remains registered for the time being; and

(c) for which he is registered as registered user; and

(d) which complies with any conditions or limitations to which the registration of registered user is subject; or

(ii) by a person other than the registered proprietor and registered user in relation to goods or services—

(a) with which he is connected in the course of trade; and

(b) in respect of which the trade mark remains registered for the time being; and        

(c) by consent of such registered proprietor in a written agreement; and

(d) which complies with any conditions or limitations to which such user is subject and to which the registration of the trade mark is subject;

(s) “prescribed” means,-

(i) in relation to proceedings before a High Court, prescribed by rules made by the High Court; and

(ii) in other cases, prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(t) “register” means the Register of Trade Marks referred to in sub-section (1) of section 6;

(u) “registered” (with its grammatical variations) means registered under this Act;

(v) “registered proprietor”, in relation to a trade mark, means the person for the time being entered in the register as proprietor of the trade mark;

(w) “registered trade mark” means a trade mark which is actually on the register and remaining in force;

(x) “registered user” means a person who is for the time being registered as such under section 49;

(y) “Registrar” means the Registrar of Trade Marks referred to in section 3;

(z) “service” means service of any description which is made available to potential users and includes the provision of services in connection with business of any industrial or commercial matters such as banking, communication, education, financing, insurance, chit funds, real estate, transport, storage, material treatment, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, boarding, lodging, entertainment, amusement, construction, repair, conveying of news or information and advertising;

(za) “trade description” means any description, statement or other indication, direct or indirect,—

(i) as to the number, quantity, measure, gauge or weight of any goods; or

(ii) as to the standard of quality of any goods or services according to a classification commonly used or recognised in the trade; or

(iii) as to fitness for the purpose, strength, performance or behaviour of any goods, being “drug” as defined in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, or “food” as defined in the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954; or (23 of 1940 & 37 of 1954)

(iv) as to the place or country in which or the time at which any goods or services were made, produced or provided, as the case may be; or

(v) as to the name and address or other indication of the identity of the manufacturer or of the person providing the services or of the person for whom the goods are manufactured or services are provided; or

(vi) as to the mode of manufacture or producing any goods or providing services; or

(vii) as to the material of which any goods are composed; or

(viii) as to any goods being the subject of an existing patent, privilege or copyright, and includes—

(a) any description as to the use of any mark which according to the custom of the trade is commonly taken to be an indication of any of the above matters;

(b) the description as to any imported goods contained in any bill of entry or shipping bill;

(c) any other description which is likely to be misunderstood or mistaken for all or any of the said matters;

(zb) “trade mark” 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 shape of goods, their packaging and combination of colours; and—

(i) in relation to Chapter XII (other than section 107), a registered trade mark or a mark used in relation to goods or services for the purpose of indicating or so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services, as the case may be, and some person having the right as proprietor to use the mark; and

(ii) in relation to other provisions of this Act, a mark used or proposed to be used in relation to goods or services for the purpose of indicating or so to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services, as the case may be, and some person having the right, either as proprietor or by way of permitted user, to use the mark whether with or without any indication of the identity of that person, and includes a certification trade mark or collective mark;

(zc) “transmission” means transmission by operation of law, devolution on the personal representative of a deceased person and any other mode of transfer, not being assignment;

(zd) “Technical Member” means a Member who is not a Judicial Member;

(ze) [Omitted by the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021.]

(zf) [Omitted by the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021.]

(zg) “well-known trade mark”, in relation to any goods or services, means a mark which has become so to the substantial segment of the public which uses such goods or receives such services that the use of such mark in relation to other goods or services would be likely to be taken as indicating a connection in the course of trade or rendering of services between those goods or services and a person using the mark in relation to the first-mentioned goods or services.

(2) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, any reference—

(a) To “trade mark” shall include reference to “collective mark” or “certification trade mark”;

(b) To the use of a mark shall be construed as a reference to the user of printed or other visual representation of the mark;

(c) To the use of a mark,—

(i) in relation to goods, shall be construed as a reference to the use of the mark upon, or in any physical or in any other relation whatsoever, to such goods;

(ii) in relation to services, shall be construed as a reference to the use of the mark as or as part of any statement about the availability, provision or performance of such services;

(d) to the Registrar shall be construed as including a reference to any officer when discharging the functions of the Registrar in pursuance of sub-section (2) of Section 3;

(e) to the Trade Marks Registry shall be construed as including a reference to any office of the Trade Marks Registry.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, goods or services are associated with each other if it is likely that those goods might be sold or otherwise traded in and those services might be provided by the same business and so with descriptions of goods and descriptions of services.

(4) For the purposes of this Act, “existing registered trade mark” means a trade mark registered under the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 immediately before the commencement of this Act.

CHAPTER 2 – THE REGISTER AND CONDITIONS FOR REGISTRATION

3. APPOINTMENT OF REGISTRAR AND OTHER OFFICERS.

(1) The Central Government may by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint a person to be known as the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, who shall be the Registrar of Trade Marks for the purposes of this Act.

(2) The Central Government may appoint such other officers with such designations as it thinks fit for the purpose of discharging, under the superintendence and direction of the Registrar, such functions of the Registrar under this Act as he may from time to time authorise them to discharge.

4. POWER OF REGISTRAR TO WITHDRAW OR TRANSFER CASES, ETC.

Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 3, the Registrar may, by order in writing and for reasons to be recorded therein, withdraw any matter pending before an officer appointed under the said sub-section (2) and deal with such matter himself either de nova or from the stage it was so withdrawn or transfer the same to another officer so appointed who may, subject to special directions in the order of transfer, proceed with the matter either de nova or from the stage it was so transferred.

5. TRADE MARKS REGISTRY AND OFFICES THEREOF.

(1) For the purposes of this Act, there shall be a trade marks registry and the Trade Marks Registry established under the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 shall be the Trade Marks Registry under this Act.

(2) The head office of the Trade Marks Registry shall be at such place as the Central Government may specify, and for the purpose of facilitating the registration of trade marks, there may be established at such places as the Central Government may think fit branch offices of the Trade Marks Registry.

(3) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, define the territorial limits within which an office of the Trade Marks Registry may exercise its functions.

(4) There shall be a seal of the Trade Marks Registry.

6. THE REGISTER OF TRADE MARKS.

(1) For the purposes of this Act, a record called the Register of Trade Marks shall be kept at the Head Office of the Trade Marks Registry, wherein shall be entered all registered trade marks with the names, addresses and description of the proprietors, notifications of assignment and transmissions, the names, addresses and descriptions of registered users, conditions, limitations and such other matter relating to registered trade marks as may be prescribed.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), it shall be lawful for the Registrar to keep the records wholly or partly in computer floppies diskettes or in any other electronic form subject to such safeguards as may be prescribed.

(3) Where such register is maintained wholly or partly on computer under sub-section (2) any reference in this Act to entry in the Register shall be construed as the reference to any entry as maintained on computer or in any other electronic form.

(4) No notice of any trust, express or implied or constructive, shall be entered in the register and no such notice shall be receivable by the Registrar.

(5) The register shall be kept under the control and management of the Registrar.

(6) There shall be kept at each branch office of the Trade Marks Registry a copy of the register and such of the other documents mentioned in section 148 as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, direct.

(7) The Register of Trade Marks, both Part A and Part B, existing at the commencement of this Act, shall be incorporated in and form part of the register under this Act.

7. CLASSIFICATION OF GOODS AND SERVICES.

(1) The Registrar shall classify goods and services, as far as may be, in accordance with the International classification of goods and services for the purposes of registration of trade marks.

(2) Any question arising as to the class within which any goods or services falls shall be determined by the Registrar whose decision shall be final.

8. PUBLICATION OF ALPHABETICAL INDEX.

(1) The Registrar may publish in the prescribed manner an alphabetical index of classification of goods and services referred to in section 7.

(2) Where any goods or services are not specified in the alphabetical index of goods and services published under sub-section (1), the classification of goods or services shall be determined by the Registrar in accordance with sub-section (2) of section 7.

9. ABSOLUTE GROUNDS FOR REFUSAL OF REGISTRATION.

(1) The trade marks—

(a) which are devoid of any distinctive character, that is to say, not capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of another person;

(b) which consist exclusively of marks or indications which may serve in trade to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, values, geographical origin or the time of production of the goods or rendering of the service or other characteristics of the goods or service;

(c) which consist exclusively of marks or indications which have become customary in the current language or in the bona fide and established practices of the trade, shall not be registered:

Provided that a trade mark shall not be refused registration if before the date of application for registration it has acquired a distinctive character as a result of the use made of it or is a well-known trade mark.

(2) A mark shall not be registered as a trade mark if—

(a) it is of such nature as to deceive the public or cause confusion;

(b) it contains or comprises of any matter likely to hurt the religious susceptibilities of any class or section of the citizens of India;

(c) it comprises or contains scandalous or obscene matter;

(d) its use is prohibited under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950

(3) A mark shall not be registered as a trade mark if it consists exclusively of—

(a) the shape of goods which results from the nature of the goods themselves; or

(b) the shape of goods which is necessary to obtain a technical result; or

(c) the shape which gives substantial value to the goods.

Explanation—For the purposes of this section, the nature of goods or services in relation to which the trade mark is used or proposed to be used shall not be a ground for refusal of registration.

10. LIMITATION AS TO COLOUR.

(1) A trade mark may be limited wholly or in part to any combination of colours and any such limitation shall be taken into consideration by the Registrar or the High Court, as the case may be, having to decide on the distinctive character of the trade mark.

(2) So far as a trade mark is registered without limitation of colour, it shall be deemed to be registered for all colours.

11. RELATIVE GROUNDS FOR REFUSAL OF REGISTRATION.

(1) Save as provided in section 12, a trade mark shall not be registered if, because of—

(a) its identity with an earlier trade mark and similarity of goods or services covered by the trade mark; or

(b) its similarity to an earlier trade mark and the identity or similarity of the goods or services covered by the trade mark, there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public, which includes the likelihood of association with the earlier trade mark.

(2) A trade mark which—

(a) is identical with or similar to an earlier trade mark; and

(b) is to be registered for goods or services which are not similar to those for which the earlier trade mark is registered in the name of a different proprietor, shall not be registered if or to the extent the earlier trade mark is a well-known trade mark in India and the use of the later mark without due cause would take unfair advantage of or be detrimental to the distinctive character or repute of the earlier trade mark.

(3) A trade mark shall not be registered if, or to the extent that, its use in India is liable to be prevented—

(a) by virtue of any law in particular the law of passing off protecting an unregistered trade mark used in the course of trade; or

(b) by virtue of law of copyright.

(4) Nothing in this section shall prevent the registration of a trade mark where the proprietor of the earlier trade mark or other earlier right consents to the registration, and in such case the Registrar may register the mark under special circumstances under section 12.

Explanation—For the purposes of this section, earlier trade mark means—

(a) a registered trade mark or convention application referred to in section 154 which has a date of application earlier than that of the trade mark in question, taking account, where appropriate, of the priorities claimed in respect of the trade marks;

(b) a trade mark which, on the date of the application for registration of the trade mark in question, or where appropriate, of the priority claimed in respect of the application, was entitled to protection as a well-known trade mark.

(5) A trade mark shall not be refused registration on the grounds specified in sub-sections (2) and (3), unless objection on any one or more of those grounds is raised in opposition proceedings by the proprietor of the earlier trade mark.

(6) The Registrar shall, while determining whether a trade mark is a well-known trade mark, take into account any fact which he considers relevant for determining a trade mark as a well-known trade mark including—

(i) the knowledge or recognition of that trade mark in the relevant section of the public including knowledge in India obtained as a result of promotion of the trade mark;

(ii) the duration, extent and geographical area of any use of that trade mark;

(iii) the duration, extent and geographical area of any promotion of the trade mark, including advertising or publicity and presentation, at fairs or exhibition of the goods or services to which the trade mark applies;

(iv) the duration and geographical area of any registration of or any application for registration of that trade mark under this Act to the extent they reflect the use or recognition of the trade mark;

(v) the record of successful enforcement of the rights in that trade mark, in particular the extent to which the trade mark has been recognised as a well-known trade mark by any court or Registrar under that record.

(7) The Registrar shall, while determining as to whether a trade mark is known or recognised in a relevant section of the public for the purposes of sub-section (6), take into account—

(i) the number of actual or potential consumers of the goods or services;

(ii) the number of persons involved in the channels of distribution of the goods or services;

(iii) the business circles dealing with the goods or services, to which that trade mark applies.

(8) Where a trade mark has been determined to be well-known in at least one relevant section of the public in India by any court or Registrar, the Registrar shall consider that trade mark as a well-known trade mark for registration under this Act.

(9) The Registrar shall not require as a condition, for determining whether a trade mark is a well-known trade mark, any of the following, namely:—

(i) that the trade mark has been used in India;

(ii) that the trade mark has been registered;

(iii) that the application for registration of the trade mark has been filed in India;

(iv) that the trade mark—

(a) is well known in; or

(b) has been registered in; or

(c) in respect of which an application for registration has been filed in, any jurisdiction other than India, or

(v) that the trade mark is well-known to the public at large in India.

(10) While considering an application for registration of a trade mark and opposition filed in respect thereof, the Registrar shall—

(i) protect a well-known trade mark against the identical or similar trade marks;

(ii) take into consideration the bad faith involved either of the applicant or the opponent affecting the right relating to the trade mark.

(11) Where a trade mark has been registered in good faith disclosing the material information to the Registrar or where right to a trade mark has been acquired through use in good faith before the commencement of this Act, then, nothing in this Act shall prejudice the validity of the registration of that trade mark or right to use that trade mark on the ground that such trade mark is identical with or similar to a well known trade mark.

12. REGISTRATION IN THE CASE OF HONEST CONCURRENT USE, ETC.

In the case of honest concurrent use or of other special circumstances which in the opinion of the Registrar, make it proper so to do, he may permit the registration by more than one proprietor of the trade marks which are identical or similar (whether any such trade mark is already registered or not) in respect of the same or similar goods or services, subject to such conditions and limitations, if any, as the Registrar may think fit to impose.

13. PROHIBITION OF REGISTRATION OF NAMES OF CHEMICAL ELEMENTS OR INTERNATIONAL NON-PROPRIETARY NAMES.

No word—

(a) which is the commonly used and accepted name of any single chemical element or any single chemical compound (as distinguished from a mixture) in respect of a chemical substance or preparation, or

(b) which is declared by the World Health Organisation and notified in the prescribed manner by the Registrar from time to time, as an international non-proprietary name or which is deceptively similar to such name, shall be registered as a trade mark and any such registration shall be deemed for the purpose of section 57 to be an entry made in the register without sufficient cause or an entry wrongly remaining on the register, as the circumstances may require.

14. USE OF NAMES AND REPRESENTATIONS OF LIVING PERSONS OR PERSONS RECENTLY DEAD.

Where an application is made for the registration of a trade mark which falsely suggests a connection with any living person, or a person whose death took place within twenty years prior to the date of application for registration of the trade mark, the Registrar may, before he proceeds with the application, require the applicant to furnish him with the consent in writing of such living person or, as the case may be, of the legal representative of the deceased person to the connection appearing on the trade mark, and may refuse to proceed with the application unless the applicant furnishes the Registrar with such consent.

15. REGISTRATION OF PARTS OF TRADE MARKS AND OF TRADE MARKS AS A SERIES.

(1) Where the proprietor of a trade mark claims to be entitled to the exclusive use of any part thereof separately, he may apply to register the whole and the part as separate trade marks.

(2) Each such separate trade mark shall satisfy all the conditions applying to and have all the incidents of, an independent trade mark.

(3) Where a person claiming to be the proprietor of several trade marks in respect of the same or similar goods or services or description of goods or description of services, which, while resembling each other in the material particulars thereof, yet differ in respect of—

(a) statement of the goods or services in relation to which they are respectively used or proposed to be used; or

(b) statement of number, price, quality or names of places; or

(c) other matter of a non-distinctive character which does not substantially affect the identity of the trade mark; or

(d) colour;

seeks to register those trade marks, they may be registered as a series in one registration.

16. REGISTRATION OF TRADE MARKS AS ASSOCIATED TRADE MARKS.

(1) Where a trade mark which is registered, or is the subject of an application for registration, in respect of any goods or services is identical with another trade mark which is registered, or is the subject of an application for registration, in the name of the same proprietor in respect of the same goods or description of goods or same services or description of services or so nearly resembles it as to be likely to deceive or cause confusion if used by a person other than the proprietor, the Registrar may, at any time, require that the trade marks shall be entered on the register as associated trade marks.

(2) Where there is an identity or near resemblance of marks that are registered, or are the subject of applications for registration in the name of the same proprietor, in respect of goods and in respect of services which are associated with those goods or goods of that description and with those services or services of that description, sub-section (1) shall apply as it applies as where there is an identity or near resemblance of marks that are registered, or are the subject of applications for registration, in the name of the same proprietor in respect of the same goods or description of goods or same services or description of services.

(3) Where a trade mark and any part thereof are, in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (1) of section15, registered as separate trade marks in the name of the same proprietor, they shall be deemed to be, and shall be registered as, associated trade marks.

(4) All trade marks registered in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (3) of section 15 as a series in one registration shall be deemed to be, and shall be registered as, associated trade marks.

(5) On application made in the prescribed manner by the registered proprietor of two or more trade marks registered as associated trade marks, the Registrar may dissolve the association as respects any of them if he is satisfied that there would be no likelihood of deception or confusion being caused if that trade mark were used by any other person in relation to any of the goods or services or both in respect of which it is registered, and may amend the register accordingly.

17. EFFECT OF REGISTRATION OF PARTS OF A MARK.

(1) When a trade mark consists of several matters, its registration shall confer on the proprietor exclusive right to the use of the trade mark taken as a whole.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), when a trade mark—

(a) contains any part—

(i) which is not the subject of a separate application by the proprietor for registration as a trade mark; or

(ii) which is not separately registered by the proprietor as a trade mark; or

(b) contains any matter which is common to the trade or is otherwise of a non-distinctive character, the registration thereof shall not confer any exclusive right in the matter forming only a part of the whole of the trade mark so registered.

CHAPTER 3 – PROCEDURE FOR AND DURATION OF REGISTRATION

18. APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION.

(1) Any person claiming to be the proprietor of a trade mark used or proposed to be used by him, who is desirous of registering it, shall apply in writing to the Registrar in the prescribed manner for the registration of his trade mark.

(2) A single application may be made for registration of a trade mark for different classes of goods and services and fee payable therefore shall be in respect of each such class of goods or services.

(3) Every application under sub-section (1) shall be filed in the office of the Trade Marks Registry within whose territorial limits the principal place of business in India of the applicant or in the case of joint applicants the principal place of business in India of the applicant whose name is first mentioned in the application as having a place of business in India, is situated:

Provided that where the applicant or any of the joint applicants does not carry on business in India, the application shall be filed in the Office of the Trade Marks Registry within whose territorial limits the place mentioned in the address for service in India as disclosed in the application, is situated.

(4) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Registrar may refuse the application or may accept it absolutely or subject to such amendments, modifications, conditions or limitations, if any, as he may think fit.

(5) In the case of a refusal or conditional acceptance of an application, the Registrar shall record in writing the grounds for such refusal or conditional acceptance and the materials used by him in arriving at his decision.

19. WITHDRAWAL OF ACCEPTANCE.

Where, after the acceptance of an application for registration of a trade mark but before its registration, the Registrar is satisfied—

(a) that the application has been accepted in error; or

(b) that in the circumstances of the case the trade mark should not be registered or should be registered subject to conditions or limitations or to conditions additional to or different from the conditions or limitations subject to which the application has been accepted,

the Registrar may, after hearing the applicant, if he so desires, withdraw the acceptance and proceed as if the application had not been accepted.

20. ADVERTISEMENT OF APPLICATION.

(1) When an application for registration of a trade mark has been accepted, whether absolutely or subject to conditions or limitations, the Registrar shall, as soon as may be after acceptance, cause the application as accepted together with the conditions or limitations, if any, subject to which it has been accepted, to be advertised in the prescribed manner.

Provided that the Registrar may cause the application to be advertised before acceptance if it relates to a trade mark to which sub-section (1) of section 9 and sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 11 apply, or in any other case where it appears to him that it is expedient by reason of any exceptional circumstances so to do.

(2) Where—

(a) an application has been advertised before acceptance under sub-section (1); or

(b) after advertisement of an application,—

(i) an error in the application has been corrected; or

(ii) the application has been permitted to be amended under section 22, the Registrar may in his discretion cause the application to be advertised again or in any case falling under clause (b) may, instead of causing the application to be advertised again, notify in the prescribed manner the correction or amendment made in the application.

21. OPPOSITION TO REGISTRATION.

(1) Any person may, within four months from the date of the advertisement or re-advertisement of an application for registration, give notice in writing in the prescribed manner and on payment of such fee as may be prescribed, to the Registrar, of opposition to the registration.

(2) The Registrar shall serve a copy of the notice on the applicant for registration and, within two months from the receipt by the applicant of such copy of the notice of opposition, the applicant shall send to the Registrar in the prescribed manner a counter-statement of the grounds on which he relies for his application, and if he does not do so he shall be deemed to have abandoned his application.

(3) If the applicant sends such counter-statement, the Registrar shall serve a copy thereof on the person giving notice of opposition.

(4) Any evidence upon which the opponent and the applicant may rely shall be submitted in the prescribed manner and within the prescribed time to the Registrar, and the Registrar shall give an opportunity to them to be heard, if they so desire.

(5) The Registrar shall, after hearing the parties, if so required, and considering the evidence, decide whether and subject to what conditions or limitations, if any, the registration is to be permitted, and may take into account a ground of objection whether relied upon by the opponent or not.

(6) Where a person giving notice of opposition or an applicant sending a counter-statement after receipt of a copy of such notice neither resides nor carries on business in India, the Registrar may require him to give security for the costs of proceedings before him, and in default of such security being duly given, may treat the opposition or application, as the case may be, as abandoned.

(7) The Registrar may, on request, permit correction of any error in, or any amendment of, a notice of opposition or a counter-statement on such terms as he thinks just.

22. CORRECTION AND AMENDMENT.

The Registrar may, on such terms as he thinks just, at any time, whether before or after acceptance of an application for registration under section 18, permit the correction of any error in or in connection with the application or permit an amendment of the application:

Provided that if an amendment is made to a single application referred to in sub-section (2) of section 18 involving division of such application into two or more applications, the date of making of the initial application shall be deemed to be the date of making of the divided application so divided.

23. REGISTRATION.

(1) Subject to the provisions of section 19, when an application for registration of a trade mark has been accepted and either—

(a) the application has not been opposed and the time for notice of opposition has expired; or

(b) the application has been opposed and the opposition has been decided in favour of the applicant, the Registrar shall, unless the Central Government otherwise directs, register the said trade mark “within eighteen months of the filing of the application and the trade mark when registered shall be registered as of the date of the making of the said application and that date shall, subject to the provisions of section 154, be deemed to be the date of registration.

(2) On the registration of a trade mark, the Registrar shall issue to the applicant a certificate in the prescribed form of the registration thereof, sealed with the seal of the Trade Marks Registry.

(3) Where registration of a trade mark is not completed within twelve months from the date of the application by reason of default on the part of the applicant, the Registrar may, after giving notice to the applicant in the prescribed manner, treat the application as abandoned unless it is completed within the time specified in that behalf in the notice.

(4) The Registrar may amend the register or a certificate of registration for the purpose of correcting a clerical error or an obvious mistake.

24. JOINTLY OWNED TRADE MARKS.

(1) Save as provided in sub-section (2), nothing in this Act shall authorise the registration of two or more persons who use a trade mark independently, or propose so to use it, as joint proprietors thereof.

(2) Where the relations between two or more persons interested in a tr