Penalties and Legal Consequences of Trademark Infringement

Last Updated at: Dec 23, 2020
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Penalties and Legal Consequences of Trademark Infringement

A trademark process occurs when an individual or an organization declares ownership of a distinctive mark, symbol or logo by filing the trademark registration application with the Indian Trademark Registrar Office, Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks. After a trademark is registered it gets the privilege to avail legal protection against trademark infringement under the Trademark Act of India.

In this blog, let’s get into the details of the penalties and legal consequences applicable to trademark infringement in India.

There are primarily three types of common trademark infringement as mentioned below:

  1. Application of False Trademark
    To be involved in any type of process in manufacturing, processing or packaging of products or services with an unauthorized trademark.
  2. Distributing of Products with False Trademark
    By selling or dealing in any products or services that have a false or unauthorized trademark.
  3. False Claim of Trademark Registration
    Claiming a trademark which is falsely registered.

A trademark infringement takes place when a trademark used by an individual or organization is similar to the registered trademark rights of another individual or organization in the jurisdiction. The popular way a trademark test is conducted for testing infringement are:

  1. A close similarity of a mark and it’s associated with products and/or services to a prior registered trademark and its related to products and/or services.
  2. The use of a mark/logo which has high chances of creating a similarity of confusion with a prior registered trademark among the applicable customers.

In the process of proving trademark infringement, it would be helpful for the registered trademark owner to show proof of which the trademark infringer is a competitor with comparable products or services.

Unauthorized Use of Trademark

By law, a penalty and imprisonment are applicable for any individual who is deemed to be incorrectly using a registered trademark or falsifying.

An individual is considered to be using an unauthorized trademark if:

  • A person without the assent of the proprietor of the trademark issues that trademark or a deceptively similar trademark.
  • A person falsifies any genuine trademark, either by alteration, effacement, addition or any other way.

An individual is considered to be inappropriately using the trademark for products or services if:

    • The individual without the proper consent of the registered trademark owner applies this kind of trademark or untruthfully similar trademark to products or services or any package/container containing the products.

Trademark Your Business Identity

Penalty For Applying  For An Unauthorized Trademark

An individual is considered to be applying for a trademark wrongfully if:

  • Falsifies any trademark.
  • Maliciously applies to products or services.
  • Produces disposes of or has in their possession, any dye, block, machine or any other instrument for the sole purpose of falsifying.
  • Application of any incorrect trade descriptions to products or services.
  • Applies to any products which were a prime indication of the country or place in which they were particularly produced or the name and address of the manufacturer or individual for whom the products are manufactured is necessary to apply.
  • Any kind of tampering or alteration is an indication of the original which is applied to any other product.

In case of any of the above offences, an individual is punishable with imprisonment for a time period of minimum six months which can also extend to three years with an additional fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees.

Penalty For Selling Products or Services with Unauthorized Trademark

Any individual who either sells products or services through an unauthorized trademark or false trade details is considered to be a punishable act with imprisonment for a term of not less than six months and up to three years. A fine of fifty thousand to a maximum amount of two lakh rupees.

However, an individual can be safe from being punished if he/she proves:

  • They have taken all possible precautions against committing an offence and while committing the offence they were not aware of the original and had no reason to suspect the genuineness of the applied trademark.
  • In accordance with the law and on behalf of the prosecutor, they shall give all the information in their control with regard to the person from whom they obtained any such products or services.
  • That, he/she otherwise had acted innocently.

Incorrectly Representing The Trademark As Registered

If an individual for any reason falsely represents an unregistered trademark as registered in regard to any products or services; then he/she by law is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine, or both.

Conclusion

Trademark Act of India follows a rigid process and expects individuals to abide by the law when it concerns any trademark related to products or services. To register a trademark in India, visit vakilsearch.com. We provide a range of services required to register trademarks, copyrights, designs and patents.

Click here: Register Trademark