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India - New Trademark Law

The new trademarks act has been passed by parliament and, although it has received the assent of the president, it is not expected to enter into effect until the implementing rules are published. There are following principal of new trademarks act.

  • The definition of a mark has been broadened to include any sign capable of distinguishing the services or goods of a person in respect of which it is registered from the goods or services of another person and may include any sign capable of being represented graphically, shapes and colors.
  • The service marks may be registered.
  • A single application may cover numerous classes of goods and services.
  • Special requirements have been introduced to register and protect well-known trademarks.
  • The collective marks may be registered.
  • The defensive marks are no longer registrable.
  • The term of a registration will be increased from 7 to 10 years, and be renewable for additional 10-year periods.
  • The procedure for registration of registered users has been basic and the registrar is vested with powers to grant, vary and refuse registration of registered users.
  • The definition of infringement has been broadened to embrace action against the unauthorized use of a confusingly similar mark, not only in respect of the goods and services covered by the registration, as is currently the case, but also in respect of goods and services not covered in the registration which are so similar that a likelihood of deception or confusion exists.
  • The use of another's trademark as a trade name or part of a trade name is prohibited.
  • The provision is made for the obligation of unregistered trademarks with or without the goodwill of the business concerned.
  • An appellate board is to be reputable to expedite appeals and applications for rectification which are presently submitted to the high court.
  • Increased penalties, including longer prison terms and larger fines, are prearranged for offences relating to trademarks.