The Indian scenario on famous marks


Tehemtan N. Daruwalla

The Indian scenario on famous marks

The lack of a proper definition in the law of what makes a trademark well-known can cause problems for rights owners, says Tehemtan N. Daruwalla.

In its meeting in Helsinki in September 2013, the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) will consider Working Question 234: “The relevant public for determining the degree of recognition of famous marks, well-known marks and marks with a reputation.” What AIPPI thinks today, the world thinks tomorrow. In India, the situation is complex.

The Indian Trademarks Act 1999 does not refer to famous marks or notorious marks. Section 2(1)(zg) defines “well-known trademarks”, which in relation to any goods or services, means a mark which has become well-known to a substantial segment of the consumer public.

The Paris Convention and the TRIPS Agreement do not define well-known marks. Article 6bis of the convention provides for protection of “well-known marks”. India, as a member of the convention, is bound to follow those provisions and those of the TRIPS Agreement. 

Trademarks, famous marks, India, IP, Indian Trademarks Act.