This article explores the nuances of trademark revocation in India, examining the legal grounds and procedural aspects involved. It delves into various reasons for revocation, including non-use, deceptive similarity, and failure to disclose material facts. The process of revocation, from application to hearing, is outlined, highlighting the roles of both trademark holders and challengers. Understanding trademark revocation is crucial for businesses to protect their brand identity and market presence amidst evolving intellectual property laws in India.



Trademark law plays a vital role in protecting businesses in India. Formal registration offers a powerful defence, but registered trademarks can still be revoked under certain circumstances. This article explores the complexities of trademark revocation, examining the different legal grounds and mechanisms that can lead to the cancellation of a registered trademark. As businesses navigate the ever-changing intellectual property landscape, it is important to understand the nuances of trademark revocation to protect their brand identity and market presence.


Major Aspects of Trademark Revocation

Trademark revocation is a complex process in India that requires a thorough examination of specific grounds that can result in the cancellation of a registered trademark. The cancellation can arise out of numerous reasons, such as non-use, genericity, deceptive similarity, and more. This comprehensive analysis delves into all the possible causes that can trigger revocation and provides a detailed understanding of each. Additionally, the article sheds light on the procedural aspects of the revocation process, outlining the legal steps and considerations that both trademark holders and challengers must navigate. With this in-depth knowledge of trademark revocation, businesses and legal practitioners can effectively manoeuvre the intricate landscape of intellectual property law in India.


What Does the Revocation of a Trademark Mean?

After a successful brand registration process in India, a business can legally enjoy several benefits under the protection of the Trademark Act, of 1999. These benefits include the right to exclusive use of the registered trademark and the right to assign or transfer it to others. However, even after registration, there are certain grounds on which the registered trademark can be revoked. This process of revocation means the partial or complete removal of an already registered trademark. Cancelling a trademark results in the removal of its name from the official trademark journal, which serves as a register of all registered trademarks in India.


Grounds for the Revocation of a Trademark

The Trademark Act of 1999 provides clear guidelines for the cancellation or revocation of a registered trademark. First, a registered trademark can be revoked if it has been used in a way that causes confusion or deception to the public. Secondly, if a trademark is registered with the goods or services without any genuine intention of usage or any bonafide, it becomes eligible for cancellation. Thirdly, a registered trademark can be revoked if it has not been used for a period of five years. However, the petitioner has to provide solid proof that the mark is unused for the aforementioned timeline to apply for such revocation on such grounds. Fourthly, if a registered trademark is not validated due to a change of circumstances after registration, the registrar can cancel the trademark. Fifthly, if the proprietor of the trademark fails to disclose any material fact or if there is misrepresentation during the registration process, the trademark becomes eligible for revocation. Lastly, anyone can apply to cancel or revoke a registered trademark if there is a violation or failure to observe any condition mentioned by the Registrar of Trademarks.


Who has the authority to start the procedure of cancelling a registered trademark in India?

In India, if a registered trademark is causing harm or potential damage to someone's interests, then that person or company can seek recourse to revoke the trademark. This means that any aggrieved party who has a vested interest in the trademark can take legal action to have it removed from the trademark journal. This is an important measure to protect the rights and interests of individuals and businesses in the country.


The Process of Revocation of a Registered Trademark in India

·         Application

To initiate a legal process, the person who feels wronged must submit an application in Form ™-O. This application should provide all the necessary details about the applicant's interest, the facts that support their case, and the relief they are seeking. It is essential that the application is verified by the applicant or their authorized agent.


·         Counterstatement

When an application for a trademark registration is made, the registered owner of the trademark has a period of three months to file a counterstatement. This counterstatement is a response to the application and the statement made by the applicant. If the registered proprietor fails to file a counter statement within this period, the applicant is then allowed to file evidence in support of the application. This evidence can be submitted in the form of an affidavit.


·         Evidence

After the applicant submits the required evidence, the registered proprietor has a window of two months to submit their evidence in support of their claim. Once the registered proprietor's evidence is received, the applicant is given an additional month to submit any further evidence they may have. It should be noted that if any documents are in a language other than Hindi or English, translated copies of all documents, duly attested, must be provided in either of these two languages.


·         Hearing

After the registrar receives a complaint or a petition, they will send out a formal notice to all parties involved. This notice will inform them about the date and time of a hearing which is scheduled to take place at least one month from the date of such notice. During the hearing, all parties will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments before the registrar makes a final decision.



Trademark revocation in India is a critical aspect of protecting intellectual property rights and maintaining a fair market environment. Understanding the grounds and procedures for revocation is essential for both trademark holders and challengers. The process involves a thorough examination of evidence and legal arguments, ensuring fairness and justice in trademark disputes.

Businesses should be vigilant in protecting their trademarks from potential revocation by ensuring genuine and continuous use, adhering to disclosure requirements, and respecting conditions set by the Registrar of Trademarks. On the other hand, individuals and companies with legitimate grievances against registered trademarks have a legal avenue to seek revocation, safeguarding their interests and promoting fair competition.

In navigating the complex landscape of trademark law in India, stakeholders must remain informed and proactive. By staying abreast of legal developments and engaging with competent legal counsel when necessary, businesses can effectively protect their brand identity and market presence in an ever-evolving commercial landscape.