Trademark Legislation

Trademark Legislation in India

The law of trademark in India before 1940 was based on the Common Law principles of passing off and equity before the enactment of the first Registration Act, 1875. The first statutory law related to trademark in India was the Trade Marks Act, 1940 which had similar provisions to the UK Trade Marks Act, 1938. In 1958, the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 was enacted which consolidated the provisions related to trademarks contained in other statutes like, the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.

The Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 was repealed by the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and is the current governing law related to registered trademarks. The 1999 Act was enacted to comply with the provisions of the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) obligation recommended by the World Trade Organization. The main aim of the Trademark Act is to provide for the rights acquired by trademark registration, transfer and assignment of rights, nature of infringements, penalties for such infringement, and remedies available to the owner in case of such infringement.

The Trade Marks (Amendment) Act 2010 and the Trade Marks (Amendment) Rules, 2013 came into force on July 08, 2013. The amendment marked the official entry of India to the International Filing System under the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid system enables Indian businesses to file a single application in one language, one fee in one currency in India for registration of their trademark in all or any of the member countries of the Madrid Protocol.

Following is the List of Main Trademark Acts, Rules and the Amendments made:


11.03.1940                                   The Trade Mark Act, 1940 (No. 5 of 1940)

17.10.1958.                                  The Trade And Merchandise Marks Act,1958 (No.43 of 1958)

30.12.1999                                  The Trade Marks Act,1999 (No.47 of 1999)

21.09.2010.                                The Trade Marks (Amendment) Act, 2010 (No.40 of 2010)


26.02.2002.                                The Trade Mark Rules,2002

1.08.2013                                    The Trade Marks (Amendment) Rules, 2013

06.03.2017.                                The Trade Marks Rules, 2017.

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