India: IPAB Initiative To Secure The Rights Of A Registered Trademark Owner

Last Updated: 20 August 2013
Article by Mohan Dewan

The Intellectual Property Appellate Board yet again chastised the Indian Trademark Registry in its Order dated 12th July, 2013 for irregular procedure. The IPAB by way of two orders of the same date has laid down the general principles governing the registrability of a mark, which is identical to an existing registered trademark. The Board stated that "having failed in its attempt to usurp the applicant's registered trade mark, the respondent had 'managed to secure' the registration of the impugned mark. This situation would not have arisen if the existing registered proprietor had been given notice by the Registrar of the acceptance and the advertisement of the conflicting trademark. In the absence of a cross notice to existing registered owners, all kinds of similar or same marks get registration by default." It was pointed out that the existing practice of the Registry is to Advertise Before Acceptance, a prima facie acceptable mark in the TM Journal by uploading it on the Registry Website. The IPAB commented that the viability of such an advertisement is not considered. The Registry fails to make allowance for small time traders and merchants all over the country who cannot be constantly on the lookout to see whether their valuable trademark rights are being usurped nor can they engage the services of trade marks practitioners on a sustained basis. The IPAB went to the extent of saying that "the Registry owes a duty to existing trademark proprietors on the Register to send an alert/notice, as and when it decides to waive a computer generated citation in the Examination Report (mostly done after offering an unsolicited hearing) even in cases where it is based on purported use of the mark by a later applicant conferring protection under Section 12". It was also observed that if the suggested practice is neglected it would tantamount to an official disfavour against existing registered proprietors and the backlog of rectification petitions is bound to assume alarming dimensions. Further the IPAB suggested that the practice of other jurisdictions like the UK Registry, to specifically indicate in the TM Journal that the publication is in consequence of Section 12 protection, should be implemented without fail as it would lend credibility to such registrations.

The Delhi High Court had earlier ruled in "Kohinoor Paints Faridabad (P) Ltd. Vs Paramveer Singh & Anr." - 1996- PTC (XVI)-69 that all trade marks registrations without notice to the existing registered proprietor are illegal." The IPAB concurred with this and held that "it being the prevailing law, it is presumed that the Registrar is duty bound to act on this by giving appropriate directions, no matter what be the operational and logistic difficulties." It was held that, if in a rectification proceeding, it is established at the threshold that no such notice was issued to a registered proprietor of the application for registration of an identical mark for similar goods/services, then the mark subsequently registered is liable to be removed/cancelled even without going into the merits of the case.

The practice of ordering advertisement of trade marks on the basis of self-serving affidavits and based on one sided hearings given to applicants for registration of new trade marks was also criticized by the IPAB as it raises prima facie doubts on the integrity of the system and casts an obvious shadow of how and why the Hearing Officers decide to magically waive objections at the show cause stage even though objections are raised in the Examination Report. The IPAB also opined, "It is imperative that grounds of waiver of objection should be put in the public domain prior to the publication of trade marks in the TM journal. That would be a transparent system of trade mark administration beyond suspicion."

The IPAB in Panchranga International Pvt. Ltd. also held that it was wrong on the part of a respondent to secure registration of the same mark for the same goods behind the back of the applicant. The Registry had not put the applicant to notice at the Examination stage and simply advertised the respondent's impugned mark. The IPAB commented that such a practice pollutes both the mark and the register contributing only to flourishing litigation and that ideally the respondent should have sought cancellation of the applicant's registered trade mark, before claiming ownership over a disputed mark. The IPAB opined that on both the principles of equity and justice, under the law the respondents have no effective defense and thereby ordered the removal of the respondent's Registered Trademark from the Register.

It can be construed from the above orders, therefore, that in case an owner of a registered trademark (which is already on record) is not given notice of an application for registration of an identical mark and the second mark gets registration without opposition from the owner of the registered trademark, the mark which obtained subsequent registration will be considered to be wrongly registered and, without even dwelling into the merits of the case, will become liable to be cancelled.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Litmus Legal
Litmus Legal
Biswajit Sarkar Advocates & IP Attorneys
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Litmus Legal
Litmus Legal
Biswajit Sarkar Advocates & IP Attorneys
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions