Trademark is one of the ways in the form word, mark or tagline to show your products or services to the general public in unique and effective manner. Trademark is also a way to advertise your product in a cost effective manner. When you give a name or identity to your products then it could be in any form of image, letter, slogan or combination of colours.
But the problems to manage the trademark arise when some other entity starts using your trademark without seeking your permission. This is regarded as trademark infringement.
As we all knew that we are living in the country which comes at place number 2 in terms of population, so keep check who else using our trademark seems to be quite difficult, moreover when other people using the somebodyís else trademark then they tweak in the existing trademark to use it in their own business so that on the face it is little difficult to oppose trademark. These things make the management of trademark portfolio more complicated and cumbersome.
Using other personís trademark definitely, constitutes infringement which is a sin and punishable under the trademark laws in India. Trademark infringement can harm the original owner in many ways such as loss of the reputation, valuation of the business.
Trademark shows the quality of your product but when this quality is degraded by infringer then this will lead to customer dissatisfaction and consumers feel cheated without knowing the facts that somebody else is cheating them, not the real owner. In this way, the value of the existing business gets started eroded because consumer starts shifting to another brand.
Because of all these malpractices adopted by the competitors, trademark owners resort to professionals who can manage their portfolio of trademark and can check on these kinds of ill-legal practices.
Trademark infringement is also subject to some sort of interpretation. Sometimes it seems that another party is infringing our exclusive right, but in reality, this is not the case. So, it is pertinent to peep into the legal provision as to know what constitutes infringement or whatís not to unearth the truth.
Followings are some of the guiding principles to understand the cases which come under the infringement:
- If your trademark creates confusion among the general public because of similarity with some other existing trademark, then it amounts to trademark infringement.
- If you are using a similar or identical mark which is used for the similar product then this is the case of infringement.
- In case of well-known trademark, if you are using the mark which is similar to the well-known trademark then it constitutes the trademark infringement irrespective of the fact that whether it is used for goods which fall under the same class or not.
- Using the registered trademark in any advertisement to adversely affect the reputation of that mark.
These are the cases which show clearly that one person is infringing the rights of the other person if the case falls under one of the cases as mentioned above. But as I have already told you that sometimes there are the cases which resemble the infringement but actually they are not. So, letís count them also:
- Using a mark just to show the quality, quantity and its nature, then it shall not amount to infringement of trademark.
- If you are using the word which is also being used by some other person already but that is outside the scope of trademark registration, then other person can not raise objection to the trademark registration.
Now you must be aware of the trademark infringement. So, while devising your trademark strategy you should keep these points in minds. This will help you in both ways whether you are existing owner of the trademark or going to file trademark registration application in India. †