National Intellectual Property Organization
World IP Day 2017
Innovation - Improving Lives

Enforcement & Compliance



What amounts to trade mark infringement

Trademark infringement is a violation of the exclusive rights attaching to a registered trademark without the authorization of the trademark owner or any licensees (provided that such authorization was within the scope of the license). Infringement may occur when the infringer (i.e. the person doing the infringing act), uses a trademark which is identical or confusingly similar to a registered trademark owned by another person, in relation to products or services which are identical or similar to the products or services which the registration covers. The owner of such registered trademark may commence legal proceedings against the infringer.

A trademark which is not registered cannot be infringed as such, and the trademark owner cannot bring infringement proceedings. Instead, the owner can commence proceedings under the common law for passing off or misrepresentation, or under legislation which prohibits unfair business practices. In some jurisdictions, infringement of trade dress may also be actionable. To establish infringement with regard to a registered trademark, it is necessary only to establish that the infringing mark is identical or deceptively similar to the registered mark and no further proof is required.

What is the remedy for trademark infringement

In case of infringement / passing off trademark, a criminal complaint can also be filed. It may be noted that under the Provisions of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, the offences under the Act are Cognizable, meaning there by that police can register an FIR (First Information Report) and prosecute the offenders directly.

Civil remedies :

Injunction/ stay against the use of the trademark
Damages can be claimed
Accounts and handing over of profits
Appointment of local commissioner by the court for custody/ sealing of infringing material / accounts
Application under order 39 rule 1 & 2 of the CPC for grant of temporary / ad interim ex-parte injunction

The Courts can grant injunction and direct the custom authorities to withhold the infringing material / its shipment or prevent its disposal in any other manner, to protect the interest of the owners of intellectual property rights. This legal proposition can be enforced with / without involving the concerned authorities as a party in the suit.

The Scientist, the Patent and the Mangoes - Tripling the Mango Yield in the Philippines

By Elizabeth March, WIPO Magazine Editorial Team** Source: WIPO Magazine Issue No. 6/2008 dated June 2008
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