Trademark licensing basics and recordal in India

By Kavita Mundkur Nigam, Krishna & Saurastri Associates
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A“licence” in common parlance is a permission given by an owner to a proposed user to use the owner’s property with or without conditions. Although, the concept applies to trademarks, India’s Trade Marks Act, 1999, does not define the word “licence” per se. Instead, the act defines the term “permitted use”.

Trademark Licensing Basics (India)

‘Permitted use’

The concept of permitted use of a trademark recognizes both licences granted to a licensee registered under the act and licences granted to an unregistered licensee who has a written licensing agreement with the proprietor of a trademark. A licence to use an unregistered trademark is not expressly dealt with under the act but is accepted as a common law licence.

Kavita Mundkur
Kavita Mundkur

Under the act, permitted use by a licensee registered under the act as a “registered user” or common law licensee should be: (i) in relation to goods or services with which the user or licensee is connected in the course of trade; (ii) in respect of which the trademark remains registered for the time being; (iii) for which the user or licensee is registered as a registered user or by consent of the proprietor in a written agreement; (iv) in compliance with any conditions or limitations to which such permitted use is subject and to which the registration of the mark is subject.

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Kavita Mundkur Nigam is an associate at Krishna & Saurastri Associates.

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