Answer ... The primary source of law governing trademarks in India is the Trade Marks Act, 1999. This statute and the Trade Marks Rules, 2017 form the basis of the regulatory regime in India.
In addition to the statute, official guidelines issued by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM), such as the Trade Marks Manual, govern several aspects of trademark law.
Besides these, other sources of trademark rights in India include:
- international multilateral conventions, such as the Paris Convention;
- national bilateral treaties;
- regional treaties;
- court decisions;
- decisions of the registrar of trademarks, as well as the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB); and
- commentaries on the subject written by academicians and experts.
Answer ... A person may acquire rights in a trademark either by its use in the course of trade in relation to certain goods and/ or service or by registration under the Trade Marks Act, 1999. The rights in a trademark may also be acquired by assignment or by inheritance. Judicial precedent in India has recognised the right of a prior user of a trademark as a superior right, which also prevails over the registered owner of a similar or identical trademark. If two or more similar or identical trademarks have been filed on the basis of future use (also referred to as ‘proposed to be used’), the trademark with the earlier application date is given priority.
Answer ... The statutory source of the trademark registration scheme in India is the Trade Marks Act, 1999 along with the Trade Marks Rules, 2017. Statutory protection of trademarks is administered by the CGPDTM, a government agency which reports to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.