Laws Governing Trademark Infringement
WHAT IS TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT?
A Trademark is a name, symbol, logo, phrase, or word which is used by a company, an individual, or any business organization. A Trademark is used by the owner of a brand to uniquely identify their services and product source of a brand to the customers and distinguish the products and services of a brand from other similar products. All the registered Trademarks are labelled with ® symbol.
Infringement occurs when a person or company uses a trademark without authorization from the owner of the trademark in a way that will be likely to confuse or deceive the existing public regarding the source of the services and the goods. Trademark Infringement is illegal to use a Trademark by any unauthorized person or third party, which is deceptively similar or matching to an already registered Trademark.
APPLICABLE LEGAL PROVISIONS:
The section 29 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 defines the infringement of trademark. It is a term used when there is any unauthorized use of mark which is similar or deceptively similar to a registered trademark. Infringement of registered trademark is a punishable offence and it allows the proprietor to sue for such an action wherein trademark confers a monopoly right over the use of a mark. The Trademarks Act of 1999 is the legislation that governs and regulates trademarks in India.
LEGAL REMEDIES AVAILABLE IN THE CASE OF TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT?
The owner of the registered trademark can begin the officially permitted proceeding against the infringer through civil proceedings and criminal proceedings.
- PROCEDURE UNDER CIVIL PROCEEDINGS – A case under Section 134 of Trademark Act 1999, can be filed in the District Court in case of Infringement of Trademark. These proceedings are initiated by the owner of the registered trademark before the district court where the owner lives. The civil remedies helps in refraining a person from unauthorized use of mark. The amount of loss or damages shall be granted by the court once it considers the actual and the anticipated loss of the owner.
Penalties of trademark infringement in India of Civil Proceedings –
- Temporary or permanent injunction
- Accounts of profits
- Destruction of goods
- Cost of legal proceedings
- PROCEDURE UNDER CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS – The owner of the registered trademark can file an FIR against the infringer under section 154 of Crpc and if the police officer refuses to file an FIR, the person can file a complaint under Section 156(3) of CrPCbefore the Magistrate and seek an order of investigation. The provision and the procedure for filing a complaint before the police officer is provided in section 115 of the Trademarks Act 1999.
Penalties of trademark infringement in India of Criminal Proceedings –
- Imprisonment of minimum 6 months and can be extended to 3 years.
- Fine not less than 50,000 rupees and can be extended to 2 lakh rupees.