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.

In association with
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
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.