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Protection of a
Well-Known Trademark

Yes..even popular brands need protection, get in touch with us and quickly procure a well-known trademark status to your brand!
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Why Should I Use Vakilsearch for Protection of
Well-Known Trademark?

Let's face it… Just because your brand is a household name doesn't mean your trademark is safe? Unless… You get It declared as a ‘well-known trademark’ through Vakilsearch. We can help in the protection of well known trademarks in just 3 easy steps.


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Protect your well known trademark

A well-known trademarks is a mark that has become popular or famous in a particular industry or among consumers due to its extensive use and promotion. These trademarks have gained a reputation for their quality and unique features, and their owners have exclusive rights to use them.Well-known marks are protected under Section 11(6) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, which states that a mark is considered well-known if it is known to a substantial segment of the public that uses the goods or services for which it is registered.

A trademark is a symbol, word, or group of letters and numbers that a business uses to claim ownership of a term or visual representation of its goods and services. Basically they are classified into five different types.

Product Trademark

This is a kind of mark placed directly in the goods rather than the service. This kind of trademark is used to identify the product's place of origin and supports a company's reputation. Given that they represent goods, trademark applications filed under trademark class 1-34 may be referred to as product marks.

Service Mark

A service mark, like a product mark, is used to distinguish a service from a product. The primary goal of this service mark is to effectively differentiate the owner and other service providers.

Shape Mark

Shape marks are solely used to protect a product's shape so that customers would link it to a particular manufacturer and decide to buy the goods.

Model Mark

These products have distinctive design patterns that are mandatory for identifying the product. Only the patterns that stand out as a unique mark are allowed to have this type of recognition.

Sound Mark

A sound mark is a noise that can be connected to a good or service coming from a specific vendor. People must be able to quickly and easily recognise the service, product, or show that the sound stands for in order for it to be registered as a sound mark.

Difference Between Trademark and Well-Known Trademark


A trademark can be a word, sign, symbol, or even a graphic that is used to identify a company, its products, or its services from those of its rivals. This is the typical definition of a trademark.

Well-Known Trademark

Under the Trade Marks Act of 1999, a mark is classified as a 'well-known trademark' if it has gained significant popularity among a substantial portion of the public who uses the associated goods or services and recognizes the trademark extensively.

  • Awareness of the mark among relevant public groups
  • The duration, and location of a trademark
  • The overall time period of the trademark's promotion
  • The length of the registration, the areas covered, and the history of successful use of the mark in other jurisdictions.

Rolex Sa v. Alex Jewellery Pvt Ltd & Ors, CS(OS) 41/2008

Because the defendant was using the name ‘Rolex’ on their bogus jewellery boxes, the plaintiff Rolex, a Swiss watch company, filed a lawsuit against the defendant for trademark infringement. The court forbade the defendant from using the plaintiff's trademark because it was well-known and highly esteemed and because doing so would lead to confusion among consumers who would incorrectly think that the jewellery was made by the plaintiff's company ‘Rolex SA’.

Microsoft Corporation v. Kurapati Venkata Jagdeesh Babu, CS(OS) 2163/2010 & I.A. No.14225/2010

The defendant in this case was prohibited by the esteemed Delhi High Court from utilszing the term 'Microsoft' due to its global recognition and esteemed reputation. The court ruled that the defendant cannot adopt the name of the well-known mark as their own, considering the plaintiff's trademark holds distinct goodwill and reputation.

Tata Sons Ltd. v. Manoj Dodia, CS(OS) No. 264/2008

In this case, the defendant Manoj Dodia, the owner of Durga Scale Company, was sued by the plaintiff Tata Sons Ltd, a well-known manufacturer of cars and heavy vehicles, for the violation of the TATA trademark. The defendant operated a business that manufactured scales with the A1 TATA mark. The plaintiff sought rescue of the infringing equipment, a permanent injunction, harms, and an accounting. The defendant was forbidden by the court from utilising the plaintiff's trademark because he was trying to capitalise on the established brand name's goodwill. Due to the plaintiff's well-known and established brand name both within India and internationally, the court granted a permanent injunction as well as punitive damages totaling.

The majority of nations protect well-known marks from regular trademarks that are deemed to be a reproduction, imitation, or translation of those marks only if those marks are likely to cause confusion in the relevant market.

Protection for well-known trademarks and marks that are registered in good faith are provided by Section 11 of the Trademark Act, 1999. According to Rule 124 of the Trademark Rules, anybody may submit an application for the registration of a well-known trademark.

Trademark Rules 2017

The trademark registry doesn't allow registration of trade marks that are identical as that of a famous trademark. Additionally, it organises the criteria for identifying well-known marks through a different application. Anyone seeking to determine whether a trademark is submit an application to the registrar after paying ₹1,000,000 in TM-M form.

The Trademark Act, 1999

In 1998, India subsequently put her signature on the Paris Convention's instrument of accession. According to Rule 124 of the Trademark Rules, anybody may submit an application for the registration of a well-known mark. It declares that all well-known trademarks for goods and services must be protected.

Section 11(6) of the Trademark Act addresses the requirement of factor consideration prior to the determination of a well-known trademark. In order to protect, WIPO opted foreign joint resolution resulting in the protection of well-known marks in 1999.The Trademark Act's Section 11(7) states that when determining whether a trademark is known or recognised in the applicable section for the purpose outlined in Subsection, the number of actual or positional customers of goods and services, the number of individuals involved in the distribution channel system, and the business circle dealing with the goods and services to which the trademark shall apply should adhere to all the factors that are taken into account. The prerequisites that are not necessary to determine whether a trademark is covered by Section 11(9) of the Trademark Act.

Safeguards Advertising and Branding Investments

All firms must invest in branding and advertising due to the intense competition in today's markets. Businesses invest in a range of advertising platforms, such as the internet, newsprint, radio, and TV, to advertise their brand to consumers. A well-known trademark can help in safeguarding the investments and provide greater ROI.

Protects Against Unethical Competition

This serves as an effective weapon in the fight against unfair competition is a trademark registration. Today's market is filled with copycats and counterfeiters that profit from brands that have been dishonestly used.

The Enforcement of Trademark Registrations Against Company Name

According to the Companies Act of 2013, a company's name cannot be the same as or nearly the same as a registered trademark. The names that the business plans to use in the future can be blocked using this clause. A trademark and a business name cannot be the same or very similar. As a result, once a trademark is registered, a corporation cannot be created under the same name.

  • The general Indian population is aware of the trade mark
  • How many people working in the channels used to distribute the goods or services
  • How many customers are there, either current or upcoming, for the products or services
  • The area, scope, and duration of any such trademark usage
  • The sector of the economy that deals with their goods or services.
  • Coca-Cola
  • Pepsi
  • IBM
  • Samsung
  • Nokia
  • Microsoft
  • Intel
  • Sony
  • LG
  • Adidas
  • Reebok
  • Puma
  • Nike
  • FedEx
  • HP
  • Canon
  • Nikon
  • Panasonic
  • Mitsubishi
  • Honda

Why Is a Well-Known Mark Significant?

A well-known trademark is a trademark that is widely known and recognized by consumers. It has a strong reputation and is associated with high-quality goods or services. Well-known trademarks are valuable assets for businesses because they can help to attract customers, increase sales, and deter competition.

In addition, well-known trademarks receive additional protection under trademark law. For example, well-known trademarks can be protected from being used on goods or services that are not related to the trademark owner's goods or services. This is to prevent consumers from being confused or misled about the origin of the goods or services.

How to List Your Mark as Well-Known?

There is no formal process for listing a trademark as well-known. However, there are a number of factors that courts will consider when determining whether a trademark is well-known, including:

  • The duration, extent, and geographic reach of the trademark use.
  • The amount and nature of advertising and publicity of the trademark.
  • The nature of the goods or services associated with the trademark.
  • The degree of recognition of the trademark by consumers.
  • The existence of any actual confusion caused by the trademark.

If you believe that your trademark is well-known, you should document the evidence that supports this claim. This could include evidence of your trademark use, advertising and publicity, and consumer recognition. You may also want to consider registering your trademark in as many countries as possible.

Remedies Against Infringement Of Well-Known Trademark

If your well-known trademark is infringed, you have a number of remedies available to you, including:

  • Injunction: An injunction is a court order that prohibits the infringer from using your trademark.
  • Damages: You may be able to recover damages from the infringer to compensate you for the losses you have suffered as a result of the infringement.
  • Accounting of profits: You may be able to require the infringer to account for the profits they have made from their infringing activities.
  • Destruction of infringing goods: You may be able to have the court order the destruction of any infringing goods.

Filing Of A Well-Known Trademark

To file a well-known trademark in India, the applicant must submit the following documents to the Registrar of Trademarks:

  • Form TM-M
  • A statement supporting the application's grounds for well-known status
  • Evidence to support the claim that the trademark is well-known, such as:

    • Evidence of trademark use in India and/or abroad
    • Evidence of advertising and publicity of the trademark
    • Evidence of consumer recognition of the trademark

The applicant must also pay the prescribed filing fee.

Duties of the Applicant

The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the application is complete and accurate. The applicant must also provide the Registrar with any additional information that the Registrar may request.

Duties of the Registrar of Trademarks

The Registrar of Trademarks is responsible for examining the application to ensure that it complies with the requirements of the Trademark Act and Rules. If the application is found to be in order, the Registrar will publish the details of the trademark in the Trade Marks Journal.

Any person who objects to the inclusion of the trademark in the list of well-known trademarks may file an opposition within the specified time period. The Registrar will consider the opposition and issue a decision.

If there is no opposition, or if the opposition is unsuccessful, the Registrar will include the trademark in the list of well-known trademarks.

Well Known Trademark in IPR

A well-known trademark is a trademark that has acquired a reputation or goodwill in the relevant sector or segments of the public, such that its use by another party for identical or similar goods or services is likely to cause confusion or deception.Well-known trademarks are given special protection under intellectual property law (IPR). This means that they can be registered even if they are not used in India, and they can be enforced against third parties who use them without permission, even if the third party is not located in India.

The criteria for determining whether a trademark is well-known vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. However, some of the factors that are typically considered include:

  • The level of inherent distinctiveness of the trademark.
  • The duration and extent of use of the trademark.
  • The geographical extent of the reputation of the trademark.
  • The amount of advertising and promotion of the trademark.
  • The nature of the goods or services associated with the trademark.
  • The existence of registered or unregistered trademark registrations for the trademark in other jurisdictions.

Well Known Trademark Application

An application for registration of a well-known trademark can be filed with the trademark office in the relevant jurisdiction. The application must be accompanied by evidence to support the claim that the trademark is well-known. This evidence may include:

  • Sales and marketing data.
  • Advertising and promotional materials.
  • Media coverage.
  • Expert opinions.
  • Registrations of the trademark in other jurisdictions.

The trademark office will review the application and decide whether to register the trademark as a well-known trademark. If the trademark is registered, it will be given special protection under IPR law.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Maybe, well known phrases can be protected as trademarks if the individual or business applying for the trademark can show that the phrase has developed a distinctive secondary meaning independent of its primary meaning. The phrase must be associated with a specific commodity or service in that secondary sense.
A similar or identical trademark may only be registered by utilising the justification of concurrent use, which is allowed under Section 12 of the Act. In this situation, the Registrar is granted discretionary authority by the legislation. Therefore, it is in the registrar's judgement whether to permit honest concurrent use.
A trademark can be any distinctive symbol, word, numerical, expression, colour and sign combination, or design that identifies the source of a certain product and sets it apart from all other items of the same sort. Any person owning a business or registered as an individual can file their trademark registration.
  • Generic Mark
  • Suggestive Mark
  • Descriptive Mark
  • Arbitrary Mark.
  • Weakest trademarks refers to the least generic words, which are not even acceptable as registered trademarks. These trademarks cannot be registered and cannot be used to compel third parties to use them.
    Well-known marks are protected by the Trade Marks Act of 1999. The Trade Marks Act of 1999 offers two tiers of protection for well-known marks against the filing of any identical marks.
    The two sorts of trademarks with the greatest strength are (1) arbitrary marks, like AMAZON for retail services, and (2) fanciful or coined marks, like EXXON for petroleum products.
    It safeguards original or innovative efforts. The branding used to market goods and services is protected by trademarks. When the work is developed, the authorship gains sole ownership of the copyright. The owner enjoys legal rights over the registered trademark.
    To get a well-known marks, a company needs to establish that its trademark is well-known in India, through evidence such as the extent of use of the trademark, the geographical extent of the trademark's reputation, the duration and continuity of the trademark's use, the amount of publicity given to the trademark, and the degree of recognition of the trademark among the relevant public.
    The main difference between a trademark and a well-known trademark is that a trademark is a mark used to identify and distinguish goods or services of one company from those of another company, while a well known marks has acquired a high degree of reputation and goodwill among consumers.

    Why Vakilsearch

    We are pioneers in protecting the popular! Yes, our team of experts can effectively complete the whole process of trademarks registration in just a few steps. Get on call with a trademark registration expert and resolve all your queries. Our team will provide a complete road map to the whole process and help you with all the compliances. All this at fantastic affordable prices.