In the dynamic landscape of intellectual property, trademarks play a pivotal role in safeguarding a brand’s identity and reputation. Trademark infringement, the unauthorized use of a registered trademark, is a serious offense, and understanding the process of addressing such violations is crucial for businesses in India.
Trademark infringement occurs when a third party uses a mark identical or deceptively similar to a registered trademark concerning goods or services. To combat this, trademark owners often initiate legal action after sending a cease and desist letter to the alleged infringer.
Penalties or Punishment for Trademark Infringement
In India, trademark infringement is a crime that can be prosecuted (i.e., police can arrest someone without a warrant). For the same, the infringer may be charged with both civil and criminal offences.
Imprisonment for a minimum of six months and a maximum of three years.
A fine of between Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 2,00,000 may be imposed on the infringer. In addition to these harsh penalties, the court has the authority to impose a temporary or permanent injunction, order the destruction of products that violate trademarks, award damages, and cover legal fees.
Documents Required for Filing Trademark Infringement Case
- Copy of the Registered Trademark Certificate.
- Evidence demonstrating the infringing use of the trademark.
- Cease and desist letter sent to the alleged infringer.
- Proof of prior use and reputation of the registered trademark.
- Details of the infringing party, including name and address.
- Description of the goods or services associated with the trademark.
- Affidavit or witness statements supporting the claim of infringement.
- Power of Attorney if the case is filed through a legal representative.
- Details of any correspondence or communication with the infringing party.
- Any other relevant documents supporting the infringement claim.
Procedure of Filing Suit for Trademark Infringement
- Cease and Desist Letter: Send a cease and desist letter to the alleged infringer, urging them to stop the unauthorized use of the trademark.
- Jurisdiction Determination: Identify the appropriate court based on factors like the location of infringement and the value of the dispute.
- Prepare Complaint (Plaint): Draft a detailed complaint specifying the particulars of the infringement, including evidence of the registered trademark.
- File Lawsuit: Submit the complaint to the identified court along with the requisite filing fee.
- Service of Summons: Ensure that the defendant is served with legal summons, notifying them of the lawsuit.
- Defendant’s Response: The defendant has an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
- Court Proceedings: The court conducts proceedings, considering evidence and arguments from both parties.
- Remedies: Seek remedies such as injunctions, damages, and costs during the court proceedings.
- Judgment: The court delivers a judgment based on the evidence and arguments presented.
- Enforcement: Actively enforce the court’s decision, monitoring and taking further legal action if the infringer persists.
In conclusion, trademark infringement cases in India follow a structured legal process designed to protect the rights of trademark owners. While legal action is often a last resort, it is a powerful tool to ensure that businesses can operate in a fair and competitive marketplace, free from unauthorized use of their valuable trademarks. To navigate these complexities successfully, engaging with legal professionals well-versed in intellectual property law is crucial.
We are a law firm in the name and style of Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate and Associates at Gurugram and Rewari. We are providing litigation support services related to law matters in India, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to provide you with expert legal counsel and representation tailored to your specific needs and concerns.
Written by: Avichal Singhal Adv.