is the governing law for Trade Marks in India. It has
been enacted to provide for registration and better protection of trade
marks for goods and services and for the prevention of the use of fraudulent
marks. According to the Trade Marks Act, the 'trade mark' means a mark
capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing
the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include
shape of goods,their packaging and combination of colours.
of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, under the Department
of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry
of Commerce and Industry, is the 'Registrar of Trade Marks'. It directs
and supervises the functioning of the Trade
Marks Registry (TMR), which in turn administers the Trade Marks Act,
1999 and the Rules thereunder.
Trademarks are distinctive signs used to differentiate between
identical or similar goods and services offered by different producers
or services providers. It may be a distinctive word, phrase, logo, Internet
domain name, graphic symbol, slogan or other device that is used to identify
the source of a product and to distinguish a manufacturer's product from
others. Here, the term 'distinctive' means unique enough to help consumers
recognise a particular product in the market place.
A service mark is same as a trademark, which promote services
and events, not only products. For example, when a business uses its name
to market its goods or services in advertising copy or on signs, the name
qualifies as a service mark.
Consumers often make their purchasing choices on the basis
of recognizable trademarks/ service marks. So, the main thrust of trade
mark Act is to ensure that trade marks don't overlap in a manner that causes
users/ consumers to become confused about the source of a product. As
per the Act, the trade mark shall not be registered if it is of nature
so as to deceive public, cause confusion, has identity with or similar
to an earlier trade mark, or comprises or contains scandalous or obscene
A trademark essentially serve as a link between the consumer
and the manufacturer. It enables the consumer to get closer with the manufacturer.
Consumers, today, demand safety and a continuous assurance of quality.
In a way, trademark is a specified set of promises from the manufacturer
to the consumer. So, a consumer can claim damages if his reasonable expectations
are not fulfilled. Further, since the use of trade mark enables the manufacturer
to distinguish his product from that of the others, the consumer becomes
fully aware of the advantages of using that particular product.
The registration of a trade mark confers upon the owner
the exclusive right to use that mark. Thus, it is his responsibility to
educate the consumers on the unique features of his product as against
products of other manufacturers. The main reason being that there is high
level of consumer awareness of the goods and its manufacturer. Now, lots
of alternatives are available for almost every product. So, the manufacturer
or the owner of trade mark has to come up to the expectations of the consumers
to make his Trade Mark acceptable to them.