Trademark Act of 1999: Know about 14 important sections

The Trademark Act of 1999 in India is a detailed piece of legislation that governs the registration, protection, and enforcement of trademarks. Crafted to agree with global standards, this trademark Act presents a complete framework for the preservation of distinct brand identities.

It provides an expansive definition of trademarks, covering logos, names, slogans, and unique marks. Registering trademark mandates filing applications with the Trademarks Registry, conferring exclusive rights upon owners.

The Act bars the registration of marks lacking distinctive character, stressing the necessity of uniqueness. Notably, well-known trademarks receive protection. Section 29 clarifies infringement provisions, offering remedies such as damages and injunctions.

The Trademark Act can change to deal with new challenges by making occasional updates, making sure it stays relevant in the ever-changing business world.

What are the sections under Trademark Act?

Let’s break down the key provisions of the Trademark Act section-wise to understand its scope and significance.

What are the sections under trademark act
  1. Section 1 – Short Title, Extent, Commencement, and Application
    • The Act begins by stating its short title, extent, commencement, and application. It extends to the whole of India and came into force on September 15, 2003. The Trade mark Act applies to all goods and services, providing a broad framework for trademark protection across industries.
  2. Section 2 – Definitions
    • This section includes definitions for terms like “trademark,” “collective mark,” “certification mark,” “goods,” “services,” “registered proprietor,” and more. Clarity in definitions is essential for the accurate interpretation of the act. 
  3. Section 3 – Prohibition of Registration of Certain Marks
    • Section 3 outlines the grounds on which the registration of a trademark may be refused. Marks that are void of distinctive character, descriptive of the goods or services, or commonly used in trade are prohibited from registration. This section aims to ensure that trademarks are unique and capable of distinguishing one business from another.
  4. Section 9 – Absolute Grounds for Refusal of Registration
    • Section 9 further elaborates on the absolute grounds for refusal of registration. It includes marks that are likely to deceive or cause confusion, marks that are contrary to law or morality, or marks that are identical or similar to well-known trademarks. This section emphasizes the importance of maintaining ethical and legal standards in trademark registration.
  5. Section 11 – Prohibition of Registration of Identical or Similar Trademarks
    • This section prohibits the registration of a trademark if it is identical or like an existing trademark. The likelihood of confusion among the public is a key consideration. This provision aims to protect existing trademarks from infringement.
  6. Section 18 – Determination of Well-Known Trademarks
    • Recognizing the significance of well-known trademarks, Section 18 empowers the Registrar to determine whether a trademark is well-known. Factors such as the recognition of the trademark in relevant sections of the public are considered. Well-known trademarks enjoy additional protection even beyond their registered classes.
  7. Section 23 – Power to Limit or Extend Area
    • This section grants the Registrar the authority to limit or extend the area of use of a trademark. It allows for flexibility in trademark registration concerning the geographical scope of protection, catering to businesses with local or global reach.
sections under trademark act
  1. Section 29 – Infringement of Trademarks
    • Section 29 defines acts that constitute trademark infringement. Any unauthorized use of a registered trademark in relation to goods or services identical to those for which it is registered is deemed infringement. The Act provides remedies such as damages and orders for infringement.
  2. Section 34 – Effect of Registration of Parts of a Mark
    • This section addresses the registration of a part of a trademark. If a mark contains several distinctive elements, each of which is separately registered, the registration of the composite mark does not prevent the separate registration of those elements. This allows for a more nuanced and detailed approach to trademark registration.
  3. Section 39 – Power to Require Security for Costs from Plaintiff
    • Section 39 empowers the court to require security for costs from the suitors in a trademark infringement suit. This provision helps prevent light or harmful lawsuits, ensuring that the party bringing the action is financially responsible.
  4. Section 45 – Removal of Trademarks from the Register on Grounds of Non-Use
    • Non-use of a registered trademark for five years can lead to its removal from the register. This provision encourages active use of trademarks and prevents the saving of marks without genuine intent for commercial use.
  5. Section 47 – Evidence in Civil Proceedings
    • Section 47 establishes the admissibility of certain documents as evidence in civil proceedings. This includes the entry of a trademark in the register, the original or a copy of the registration certificate, and more. It streamlines the confirming process in trademark-related legal conflicts.
  6. Section 107 – Registrar and Deputy Registrars
    • This section outlines the appointment and powers of the Registrar of Trademarks and Deputy Registrars. The Registrar plays a central role in administering the Act, overseeing the registration process, and adjudicating disputes.
  7. Section 115 – Powers of the Central Government to Remove Difficulties
    • The Act provides for the powers of the Central Government to remove difficulties in its implementation. This ensures a flexible and adaptive approach to addressing abrupt challenges that may arise in the enforcement of the trademark Act.


In conclusion, the Trademark Act of 1999 in India is a comprehensive legal framework designed to protect the distinctive identity of businesses. By addressing issues related to registration, infringement, well-known trademarks, and more, the Act fosters a conducive environment for fair competition and innovation in the marketplace. Understanding its various provisions is essential for businesses seeking to establish and protect their brand identity in the dynamic and competitive world of commerce.

1. What is the primary objective of the Trademark Act of 1999?

The Trademark Act of 1999 in India is designed to oversee and regulate the processes of trademark registration, protection, and enforcement. It serves as a legal framework aimed at providing businesses with the means to safeguard their distinctive brand identities effectively.

2. How does the Act specifically define a trademark?

According to the Act’s provisions, a trademark is characterized as a mark that can be graphically represented and can distinguish the goods or services of one entity from others. This broad definition encompasses various elements such as logos, names, slogans, and even unconventional marks.

3. What is the process of trademark registration as per the Trademark Act?

The registration process outlined in the Trademark Act involves the submission of applications to the Trademarks Registry, accompanied by the necessary documentation and payment of fees. Successful registration results in the grant of exclusive rights to the owner, serving as a deterrent against potential infringers.

4. What are the absolute grounds for refusing trademark registration, as mentioned in the Act?

Section 9 of the Act identifies absolute grounds for refusing trademark registration. These include marks lacking distinctive character, those likely to cause deception or confusion, marks contrary to law or morality, and marks identical to or like well-known trademarks.

5. How does the Trademark Act address instances of trademark infringement?

Section 29 of the Act delineates acts that qualify as trademark infringement. It encompasses the unauthorized use of a registered trademark in connection with goods or services similar to those for which it is registered. The Act provides remedies such as damages and injunctions for cases of infringement.

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