Trademark infringement is a common legal issue that businesses face. It is the unauthorized use of a registered trademark or service mark that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake in the minds of consumers. Trademark infringement can cause significant harm to the owner of the registered trademark or service mark, and it is important to understand the relevant provisions of the Trademarks Act, 1999 to protect your business.
In India, registering a trademark is governed by the Trademarks Act, of 1999. It is a critical step for any business that wants to protect its brand and prevent others from using its trademark. However, registering a trademark is the first step in protecting your brand. The real challenge is enforcing your trademark rights and preventing others from using your trademark without permission. In this blog, we will discuss the relevant provisions of the Trademarks Act, 1999 related to trademark infringement and the need for an e-filing expert in this process.
Trademark Infringement under the Trademarks Act, 1999
Section 29 of the Trademarks Act, 1999 defines the acts that constitute trademark infringement. According to this section, any person who uses a mark that is identical or deceptively similar to a registered trademark in the course of trade without the owner’s permission is guilty of trademark infringement. The act of infringement includes:
- Using a trademark identical or similar to a registered trademark for the same goods or services.
- Using a trademark that is identical or similar to a registered trademark for goods or services that are similar or closely related.
- Using a trademark that is identical or similar to a registered trademark in such a way that it is likely to cause confusion or deceive the public.
- Using a trademark that is identical or similar to a registered trademark in a manner that dilutes the distinctive character of the trademark.
- Using a trademark that is identical or similar to a well-known trademark without the owner’s permission.
The result of trademark infringement can be advserse. The owner of the registered trademark can seek legal remedies such as injunctions, damages, and accounts of profits. In some cases, trademark infringement can also lead to criminal prosecution.
Role of E-filing Expert in Trademark Infringement Cases
Trademark infringement cases can be complex and time-consuming. An e-filing expert can help simplify the process by providing specialized knowledge and expertise. They can help you with the below:
- Trademark Searches: An e-filing expert can conduct a comprehensive trademark search to identify potential infringers and determine the strength of the case.
- Filing of Trademark Infringement Suit: An e-filing expert can assist with the drafting and filing of the trademark infringement suit, including all the relevant documentation.
- Evidence Collection: An e-filing expert can help collect evidence to support the case, including witness statements, expert reports, and documentary evidence.
- Court Proceedings: An e-filing expert can assist with court proceedings, including drafting pleadings, attending court hearings, and negotiating settlements.
Relevant Sections and Sub-Sections of the Trademarks Act, 1999
Apart from Section 29, there are other sections and sub-sections of the Trademarks Act, 1999 that are relevant to trademark infringement cases. These include:
- Section 2(1)(zb) – Definition of a trademark
- Section 2(1)(m) – Definition of well-known trademarks
- Section 11 – Grounds for refusal of registration of a trademark
- Section 12 – Registration of parts of a trademark
- Section 17 – Assignment and transmission of trademark
- Section 18 – Rights of the registered proprietor of a trademark
- Section 19 – User of a trademark by a registered proprietor
- Section 22 – Infringement of a registered trademark
- Section 27 – Unauthorised use of trademarks
- Section 28 – Rights conferred by registration
- Section 32 – Power of court to grant relief in cases of infringement
- Section 135 – Jurisdiction of the court over infringement and passing off actions
Getting the Industry Insights
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), India has seen a significant increase in the number of trademark registrations over the past few years. In 2019, India recorded the highest number of trademark applications in the world, with over 320,000 applications filed. However, with the increase in trademark registrations, there has also been an increase in trademark infringement cases. In 2020, the Delhi High Court alone received over 3,000 trademark infringement cases.
Trademark infringement can have serious consequences for businesses, and it is essential to understand the relevant provisions of the Trademarks Act, of 1999. By registering your trademark and enforcing your trademark rights, you can protect your brand and prevent others from using your trademark without permission. An e-filing expert can assist with the process of filing a trademark infringement suit, collecting evidence, and navigating court proceedings. At www.myefilings.com, we offer specialized services to help businesses protect their intellectual property rights, including trademark registration, trademark searches, and trademark infringement suits. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in protecting your brand.