Trademark Licensing


A trademark is a kind of image, sign, logo, illustrations, plan, word, phrases, or any mix of these, that recognizes and distinguishes an organization, brand, or company’s name as well as their merchandise and ventures from different elements. It guarantees the purchasers of the validity of the results of the organizations having a specific exchange name and shields the owners from unapproved utilization of exchange name by outsiders. Trademarks must be unmistakable in nature. They can’t be elucidating. A trademark is not quite the same as a patent. While a patent is a constrained length licensed innovation directly over creation, a trademark is a scholarly right of responsibility for a set of words and illustrations that recognizes and distinguishes a brand name from others. Trademarks are normally allowed for 7 to 20 years and not all like licenses, they can be restored inconclusively. 

The meaning of a Trademark is given in Section 2(1)(zb) of the Trademarks Act, 1999. As per it, a Trademark is an imprint (Section 2(m)), Capable of being spoken to graphically, and capable of separating the merchandise and ventures of one individual from those of others, and includes state of merchandise, their appearance, their bundling and mix of hues.

A trademark has rights in the law as indicated by it being enrolled or not enlisted. A trademark is utilized to allude to the two products and enterprises. For administrations, it additionally is tended to as a Service Mark. A Trademark will have particular qualities. On the off chance that a trademark seems to be like some other trademark, it can create turmoil in the psyches of the buyers or the general population. The comparability in a trademark can prompt out of line exchange rehearses.


At the point when an owner of an enlisted protected innovation approves an individual to utilize his licensed innovation in a specific way, under an authorizing understanding, it is called licensing. The owner of the protected innovation who allows the permit is known as a licensor and the individual to whom the permit is given is known as a licensee. Authorizing is fundamental for an owner as it permits him to connect with those elements that appropriate his items to its end clients.

Trademark License

Trademark License is the procedure wherein an enlisted owner of a trademark approves an outsider to utilize the imprint over the span of exchange without moving the responsibility for the mark. The permitting of the trademark permits the enrolled owner to let others utilize the imprint without doling out the responsibility of the mark. The owner can likewise put different confinements on the utilization of the imprint through the terms that he places into the authorizing understanding. For instance, the owner may permit a trademark to be utilized for just specific merchandise and enterprises. The expression “Authorizing of TM” has not been characterized in the Trademarks Act, 1999. A license, by and large, is the authorization given to somebody to do a demonstration. Trademark License just methods the consent allowed by the proprietor of the trademark to a third individual. Such a permit is conceded in light of Royalty.

Privileges of the Licensee/Registered User

A licensee or enlisted client can call the consideration of the owner to the encroachment of the trademark. He can even start procedures against the encroachment of the trademark in his name as though he is the owner of the trademark following a one month notice to the owner. If he does as such, it is fitting for him to refer to the owner as his co-litigant. Notwithstanding, he will not be obligated to manage any expenses on the off chance that he doesn’t start any procedures. An enlisted client doesn’t reserve a privilege to the task or any transmissible right on the utilization of the trademark. This implies he doesn’t reserve an option to allow sub-authorizing to any outsider without the earlier assent of the owner.

Advantages of Licensing Trademarks

  • It permits brand proprietors to take the most extreme financial advantages of the altruism of their image without putting resources into a framework for showcasing their items. It guarantees them a customary stream of income under ordinary receipt of sovereignties from the licensee of the trademark.
  • Licensing is additionally advantageous for a licensee. After beginning an undertaking under a trademark of a trustworthy business, a licensee can be guaranteed stable returns. This significantly decreases the general danger of beginning another endeavour.
  • Licensing is critical to global organizations. On the off chance that the legislature has forced limitations on shareholding in specific segments, at that point an outside organization can at present hold control of its outlets by directing terms and conditions to the licensee of the trademark through an authorizing understanding. Along these lines, remote organizations can manufacture their image nearness although they probably won’t have put such a great amount in a specific market.

Acknowledgment of a TM License

The holder/owner of the enrolled Trademark can allow the trademark permit. It is all in all correct to refer to here that under the Indian Law both enlisted and unregistered can be moved. The exchange of a Trademark can either be by methods for a permit or a task. A permit to an enrolled Trademark in India can be of two sorts A basic permit understanding which is for tolerant use and A Registered User wherein the permit understanding is enlisted with the Registrar of Trademarks. In this permit, certain rights gather to the licensee according to resolution.

To whom is the TM License Granted

It tends to be allowed to any individual or an outsider whom the trademark holder wishes to adventure or utilize the trademark.

For what reason is a TM License Granted

A trademark permit is allowed to lawfully allow an outsider to utilize the Registered Trademark. It is a typical practice by outside organizations, the tech organizations, specifically to give TM License in different nations with the goal that their trademark can be abused in those nations.

For example – a proprietor of a brand can allow a permit to someone else to utilize his trademark throughout exchange for the two products and ventures. The allowing of the TM License isn’t a deal. Authorizing just exchanges the option to utilize the trademark while the responsibility for trademark rests with the owner himself.[1]

Cases related to Trademark Law

Durga Dutt Sharma vs. Navaratna Pharmacy Laboratories[2]

The court held that the onus to demonstrate encroachment is on the offended party. The similarity between imprints might be phonetic or visual, or in the essential thought spoken to by the offended party’s imprint and setting up likeness is an issue of reality.

Colgate Palmolive Company vs. Anchor Health and Beauty Care Pvt Ltd[3]

The court prevented the litigant from utilizing red and white in its bundling and exchanging as the offended party had exclusive rights over the lend when utilized for toothpaste.

 Ardath Tobacco Company Limited vs. Bhai[4]; The Lance Armstrong Foundation Inv vs. P Bagga[5]; Polo/ Lauren Company vs. Dharmendra[6]

These choices were the first under Indian law wherein the court conceded an order controlling the named respondents and obscure infringers (known as ‘Ashok Kumar’).

Milmet Oftho Industries vs. Allergan Inc[7]

The Supreme Court in this case was the respondent was first in the world market and raised the fact that they were not using the mark in India which came out to be irrelevant to the Supreme court. 

Sholay Media Entertainment vs. Parag Sanghvi[8]

This case was in concern of remake of Indian film Sholay. The respondent was restricted from violating the plaintiff’s copyright and registered trademarks in the title of the film Sholay and its key characters.

Satyam Infoway Ltd vs. Siffynet Solutions Pvt. Ltd.[9]

The Supreme Court of India confirmed the tendency of the Indian legal executive to The Supreme Court held, besides other things, that area names are business identifiers and ought to be secured beyond what many would consider possible by the law of going off. The court additionally expressed that area names require explicit security under the law of going off since they are not restricted regionally, and therefore may not be sufficiently ensured by national laws, for example, the Trademarks Act.

Skol Breweries vs. Unisafe Technologies[10]

The offended party (Skol) owner of the brewing brand “Take out” had looked for lasting order against the respondent (Unisafe) owner of pepper shower brand “Take out” claiming encroachment, going off and out of line rivalry concerning offended party’s exchange mark the name of its larger image. The court controlled against the offended party. It was held that on account of a trademark weakening case, the level of uniqueness must be higher in light of the reference to securing (by the offended party) of “notoriety in India”.

Milmet Oftho Industries & Ors vs. Allergan Inc[11]

In this milestone case, the Supreme Court broadened the assurance ensured under trademark law in India to a notable outside brand. The court controlled an Indian organization from utilizing the imprint OCUFLOX. The court judgment was given independent of the way that the U.S organization has neither utilized the imprint in the India market, nor the imprint was enlisted in India. The court held that the respondent for this situation was the first to enter the market and embrace the imprint. Likewise, the way that the respondent has not utilized the imprint in India is irrelevant, on the off chance that they were the first to enter the world market. It was additionally set out that in the fields of human services and medication, all prospects of double-dealing and disarray ought to be forestalled; remembering that open intrigue isn’t risked.

M/s Entertainment Network (India) Ltd. vs. M/s Super Cassette Industries Ltd[12]

The case had its beginnings in grumblings documented by a few radio administrators under Section 31(1)(b) of the Copyright Act, 1957, preceding the Copyright Board petitioning God for a necessary permit comparable to the “sound accounts” held by Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) as they couldn’t arrange a rate with PPL. PPL is one of the two gathering social orders in India. While PPL contended that a necessary permit could give just if the “work” had never been made accessible to the open prior, the radio broadcasts contended for a practically programmed CL ground, for example, it was to be allowed upon demand and the main point for thought was an assurance of “sensible sovereignty”. The seat held for the last translation. A subsequent issue related to whether the Act (Segment 31(2)) limited obligatory permitting applications to just one gathering or whether different gatherings could apply. Here once more, albeit a strict perusal of the segment clarified that there must be one such candidate, the seat embraced a “purposive” approach and held for different candidates. It was additionally held that “A proprietor of copyright unquestionably has a privilege much the same as the privilege of property. It is additionally a human right.”

Kapil Wadhwa and Others vs. Samsung Electronics and Another[13]

This was an intrigue before the division seat relating to one of the issues chosen in Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Anr. v. Kapil Wadhwa and Ors C.S. (Operating system) No. 1155/2011 dated February 17, 2012. The single-seat choice had held that Section 30(3) typifies just National Exhaustion standards and doesn’t stretch out to items gained from an outside market. The division seat saw that no law that specifies that products sold under an exchange imprint can be legitimately procured uniquely in the nation where the exchange mark is enlisted. Truth be told, the legitimate position is despite what might be expected. ‘Legal obtaining’ of products would mean the legitimate procurement thereof according to the laws of that nation relating to deal and acquisition of the merchandise. Trademark Law isn’t to direct the deal and acquisition of the merchandise. It is to control the utilization of enlisted trademarks. Consequently, the seat deciphered the authoritative goal to have perceived the materialism of universal fatigue dependent on literary understanding and utilization of outside guides.


The Trademark Act, 1999 discusses “task” and “transmission” of trademarks and doesn’t unequivocally refer to anything about “permit”. In this manner, it is appropriate to comprehend that there are some fundamental contrasts among tasks and permitting of trademarks. A task is a perpetual exchange of responsibility for the trademark, though, permitting is a brief exchange as for specific rights for utilizing a trademark. Moreover, a permit can be denied dissimilar to on account of assignments. In this way, assignments bring about a difference in proprietorship wherein the chosen one turns into the proprietor of the trademark, not at all like licenses where just restricted rights are moved to the licensee for a specific period.


  1. What is a trademark, licensing and trade licensing?
  2. What privileges does a registered user of trademark license experience?
  3. What are the advantages and acknowledgment of trademark licensing?
  4. To whom is the trademark license granted?
  5. What is the reason to grant a trademark license?
  6. Analysis of trademark licensing with respect to permit.

[1] Khan, U., 2020. Process and Benefits of Trademark Licensing In India. [online] iPleaders. Available at: <>

[2] AIR 1965 SC 980

[3] 2003 (27) PTC 478

[4] CS (OS) 141/2004

[5] CS (OS) 729/2006

[6] CS (OS) 667/2006

[7] 2004 (28) PTC 585 (SC)

[8] CS (OS) 1892/2006

[9] 2004 (28) PTC 566 (SC)

[10] CS (OS) 472/2006

[11] Civil Appeal No. 5791 of 1998

[12] Civil Appeal No. 5114 of 2005

[13] FAO (OS) 93/2012

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