Indian trademark Act – Criminal Offences

What all are the criminal offenses under Indian trademark Act ?

Registering a Trademark gives the owner exclusive right over the mark for his goods/services. A person whose mark is registered can place ® near the mark, but using this symbol near an unregistered mark is an offense. A registered trademark being infringed can bring legal action against the infringer. The police can take legal action against the person who is infringing the rights of the registered user. An action can be taken for an unregistered trademark through common law of passing off. To proceed with passing off the burden of proof is heavier then the infringement.

A suit of infringement can be filed before the District Court or High Court, within the territorial jurisdiction. The owners have the right to initiate criminal prosecution against the infringers. The Act recognizes that criminal complaints can be filed for falsifying and falsely applying Trademark, applying false description, applying false indication of countries origin etc.

The Code of Criminal Procedure provides imprisonment starting from 6 months which can be extended to three years or fine of fifty thousand which can be extended to two lakhs or both.