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Infringement of registered trade marks and legal Remedies [ India]

29. Infringement of registered trade marks
(1) A registered trade mark is infringed by a person who, not being a registered proprietor or a person using by way of permitted use, uses in the course of trade, a mark which is identical with, or deceptively similar to, the trade mark in relation to goods or services in respect of which the trade mark is registered and in such manner as to render the use of the mark likely to be taken as being used as a trade mark.

(2) A registered trade mark is infringed by a person who, not being a registered proprietor or a person using by way of permitted use, uses in the course of trade, a mark which because of-

(a) its identity with the registered trade mark and the similarity of the goods or services covered by such registered trade mark; or

(b) its similarity to the registered trade mark and the identity or similarity of the goods or services covered by such registered trade mark; or

(c) its identity with the registered trade mark and the identity of the goods or services covered by such registered trade mark,

is likely to cause confusion on the part of the public, or which is likely to have an association with the registered trade mark.

(3) In any case falling under clause (c) of sub-section (2), the court shall presume that it is likely to cause confusion on the part of the public.

(4) A registered trade mark is infringed by a person who, not being a registered proprietor or a person. using by way of permitted use, uses in the course of trade, a mark which-

(a) is identical with or similar to the registered trade mark; and

(b) is used in relation to goods or services which are not similar to those for which the trade mark is registered; and

(c) the registered trade mark has a reputation in India and the use of the mark without due cause takes unfair advantage of or is detrimental to, the distinctive character or repute of the registered trade mark.

(5) A registered trade mark is infringed by a person if he uses such registered trade mark, as his trade name or part of his trade name, or name of his business concern or part of the name, of his business concern dealing in goods or services in respect of which the trade mark is registered.

(6) For the purposes of this section, a person uses a registered mark, if, in particu1ar, he-

(a) affixes it to goods or the packaging thereof;

(b) offers or exposes goods for sale, puts them on the market, or stocks them for those purposes under. the registered trade mark, or offers or supplies services under the registered trade mark;

(c) imports or exports goods under the mark; or

(d) uses the registered trade mark on business papers or in advertising.

(7) A registered trade mark is infringed by a person who applies such registered trade mark to a material intended to be used for labelling or packaging goods, as a business paper, or for advertising goods or services, provided such person, when he applied the mark, knew or had reason to believe that the application of the mark was not duly authorised by the proprietor or a licensee.

(8) A registered trade mark is infringed by any advertising of that trade mark if such advertising-

(a) takes unfair advantage of and is contrary to honest practices in industrial or commercial matters; or

(b) is detrimental to its distinctive character; or

(c) is against the reputation of the trade mark.

(9) Where the distinctive elements of a registered trade mark consist of or include words, the trade mark may be infringed by the spoken use of those words as well as by their visual representation and reference in this section to the use of a mark shall be construed accordingly.


134. Suit for infringement, etc., to be instituted before District Court

(1) No suit-

(a) for the infringement of a registered trade mark; or

(b) relating to any right in a registered trade mark; or

(c) for passing off arising out of the use by the defendant of any trade mark which is identical with or deceptively similar to the plaintiffs trade mark, whether registered or unregistered,

shall be instituted in any court inferior to a District Court having jurisdiction to try the suit.

(2) For the purpose of clauses (a) and (b) of sub-section (1), a “District Court having jurisdiction” shall, notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 or any other law for the time being in force, include a District Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction, at the time of the institution of the suit or other proceeding, the person instituting the suit or proceeding, or, where there are more than one such persons any of them, actually and voluntarily resides or carries on business or personally works for gain.

Explanation : For the purposes of sub-section (2), “person” includes the registered proprietor and the registered user.

135. Relief in suits for infringement or for passing off
(1) The relief which a court may grant in any suit for infringement or for passing off referred to in section 134 includes injunction (subject to such terms, if any, as the court thinks fit) and at the option of the plaintiff, either damages or an account of profits, together with or without any order for the delivery-up of the infringement labels and marks for destruction or erasure.

(2) The order of injunction under sub-section (1) may include an ex parte injunction or any interlocutory order for any of the following matters, namely:-

(a) for discovery of documents;

(b) preserving of infringing goods, documents or other evidence which are related to the subject-matter of the suit;

(c) restraining the defendant from disposing of or dealing with his assets in a manner which may adversely affect plaintiff’s ability to recover damages, costs or other pecuniary remedies which may be finally awarded to the plaintiff.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the court shall not grant relief by way of damages (other than nominal damages) or on account of profits in any case-

(a) where in a suit for infringement of a trade mark, the infringement complained of is in relation to a certification trade mark or collective mark; or

(b) where in a suit for infringement the defendant satisfies the court-

(i) that at the time he commenced to use the trade mark complained of in the suit, he was unaware and had no reasonable ground for believing that the trade mark of the plaintiff was on the register or that the plaintiff was a registered user using by way of permitted use; and

(ii) that when he became aware of the existence and nature of the plaintiff’s right in the trade mark, he forthwith ceased to use the trade mark in relation to goods or services in respect of which it was registered; or

(c) where in a suit for passing off, the defendant satisfies the court-

(i) that at the time he commenced to use the trade mark complained of in the suit he was unaware and had no reasonable ground for believing that the trade mark of the plaintiff was in use; and

(ii) that when he became aware of the existence and nature of the plaintiff’s trade mark he forthwith ceased to use the trade mark complained of.

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