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:
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.
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.
Territoriality vs. Universality Doctrine: The recent trend of Global Court judgements is tilting towards Territoriality, limiting the applicability of
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.
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.