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Few Important Principles For Trademark Lawyers

The world has arrived at a time where technology innovation will be the answer to the majority of humanity's concerns. The twenty-first century will be a time of technological advancements and new ideas. Understanding Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) would assist us in safeguarding the interests of businesses in nearly all industries and sectors in India. It can span from vertical farming to artificial intelligence, from FMCG to IT, or from the handloom industry to the pharmaceutical industry.

In terms of protection and growth, IPR protection provides an opportunity for both startups and established businesses. Given how critical it is for businesses and individuals to keep knowledgeable about IPR, a targeted approach to understanding the fundamentals of IPR is required to ensure that possibilities for ideas and innovation are available in the marketplace.

It is essential for trademark lawyers to have a sound understanding of trademark law doctrines, ideas, and concepts.

The following topics can help trademark lawyers and litigants better comprehend the fundamentals of trademark law:

  1. Territoriality Doctrine:

    It states that intellectual property rights do not extend beyond the sovereign state that gave them in the first place. It supports the notion that the reputation of a product or service is limited to the region of the country where the trademark was granted well-known trademark status.
  2. Universality Doctrine:

    Once a trademark is recognised or registered in one country, it becomes universally recognised. It is an exception to the Territoriality Doctrine, favouring transnational reputation. This means that if a brand is well-known in Canada, it will have the same status in India, or any other country, as far as its goods or services are concerned.
  3. Territoriality vs. Universality Doctrine:

    The recent trend of Global Court judgements is tilting towards Territoriality, limiting the applicability of Universality.
  4. Prior Usage:

    Prior use is a difficult concept to understand because the trademark regulations in different countries are controlled differently. The notion of prior use is recognised in India under Section 34 of the Trade Mark Act. Trademark attorneys must be able to appropriately use the concept of prior use in the litigation related to the Trademark.
  5. Exhaustion Doctrine:

    After a valid transaction of sale, the owner of a specific good loses control over further sales of his goods. It can be used in national, regional, and international contexts.

The Doctrine of International Exhaustion is based on the premise that the entire world is a single market or country, and that goods sold in any part of that market or country exhaust the trademark owner's rights to those items.

When products bearing a trademark are first sold by or with the approval of the owner in any nation that is a part of a designated region, the owner cannot prohibit further sales in his own country or any other country that is a part of that region. The European Union has endorsed regional exhaustion.

The Doctrine of National Exhaustion states that once a product is sold in the domestic market for the first time for a consideration by or with the consent of the owner, he loses control over any subsequent sale of the same in the domestic market, in the sense that he cannot prevent subsequent sales, nor can he claim profit from subsequent sales, nor can he sue for trademark infringement. This philosophy is based on the idea that because the owner has already gained from the first sale, he cannot profit from a sale that was not made by him.

The doctrine of Trademark owner exhaustion is defined in Section 30 subclauses 3 and 4 of the Trademarks Act. It is concerned with the rights' exhaustion that occurs after the initial sale of commodities. On the surface, it appears that the legislature's intention was to recognise only domestic exhaustion.


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