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Can a Trademark Be Sold in India


Last Updated on May 17, 2024 by Sachin Jaiswal

Trademarks are the critical individual assets that represent a brand’s identity and popularity. They play a vital role in distinguishing a business from its competitors and gaining trust of customers. Trademarks can be bought through trademark assignments, which provide legal rights from the seller to the purchaser.

Legal Framework for Trademark Assignment in India

The transfer of trademark rights is ruled by distinct policies and regulations that make up the legal grounds for trademark transfer in India. India’s Trade Marks Act of 1999 units up the legal necessities for trademark assignment. This statute controls trademark registration, safety, and transfer in the country.

A trademark transfer is the transfer of registered trademark possession from one party to any other as defined through the Trade Marks Act 1999. Partially or completely finished, the transfer must be completed by a formal agreement between the parties. The assignment has to specify in full the trademark, the rights being transferred, and any limits or restrictions.

Recording the assignment with the Trademarks Registry is another feature of the Indian trademark assignment legal system. To keep the trademark registration current and guarantee that the new owner of the property is formally acknowledged, the assignment must be registered.

According to the Trade Marks Act 1999, the legal framework for trademark assignment in India generally stresses the need for formal agreements and correct registration to enable the seamless transfer of trademark rights between parties.

Who Can Buy a Trademark in India?

In India, everyone, inclusive of people, agencies, or groups, can purchase a mark, provided they adhere to the legal necessities and steps mentioned in the Trade Marks Act of India. The customer, referred to as the assignee, maybe someone or a commercial enterprise that acquires the legal rights to the trademark from the seller.

The procedure of getting a trademark in India includes writing and finishing a trademark transfer assignment, sending the necessary papers to the proper officials, and ensuring compliance with the set charges and procedures. The transfer of possession rights allows the buyer to use and defend the property, which can be a precious tool for constructing a mark’s identity, image, and aggressive aspect.

Types of Trademark Assignment

There are four different types of trademark assignments in India:

  • Complete Assignment: In this type of assignment, the trademark owner gives all rights related to the trademark to another person, including the right to earn income and to pass the trademark further. After a complete assignment, the assignor no longer has any rights with respect to the given name.
  • Partial Assignment: Under a partial assignment, the trademark owner gives the trademark rights to the receiver with respect to only specific goods or services while holding the rights for other items. The transfer of rights in the name is limited to the stated things or services.
  • Assignment with Goodwill: In an assignment with goodwill, the assignor gives the receiver all rights, benefits, and ideals related to the trademark. This gives the assignee the right to use the name for any type of goods or services, including those already used by the assignor.
  • The assignment without Goodwill: This assignment involves the assignor selling the trademark to the assignee while limiting the assignee’s right to use the trademark for goods already being used by the assignor. In this case, the trust connected to the brand is not passed to the buyer.

Limitations on Trademark Assignment

The Trade Marks Act 1999 in India sets specific boundaries on trademark transfer to avoid misunderstanding or confusion among the public or users. These limits are crucial to ensure that the transfer of trademarks does not create exclusive rights for the same goods or services by multiple groups or people, possibly causing confusion among customers.

  • Parallel Usage Restriction: One key limitation is the contract ban that gives exclusive rights to more than one person or group for the same goods or services. This means that a brand cannot be given in a way that would allow multiple parties to use the same mark for exact or similar goods or services, possibly confusing customers.
  • Simultaneous Usage Restriction: Another limitation is the ban on contracts that lead to joint usage of the trademark by multiple parties. This limit stops the transfer of a brand in a way that would allow different parties to use the same mark in different parts of India, possibly causing misunderstanding among customers.
  • Exceptions and Certificates: While these limits are in place, there are exceptions and rules for getting certificates from the Registrar of Trademarks to show the sale of a brand. The Registrar may issue a certificate saying whether the proposed assignment would be valid or invalid under the Act, and such a certificate is final as to the legality or illegality of the assignment.

The boundaries on trademark transfer in India are important to maintain the purity of the trademark system and avoid misunderstandings among customers. These limits ensure that trademark transfer respects the exclusive rights of trademark owners and prevents trademark misuse.

Procedure for Selling a Trademark in India

The method for selling a trademark in India includes a thorough process to ensure an easy and legally valid transfer of this valuable intellectual property asset.

Here are the full steps involved:

  • Due Diligence: The process starts with thoroughly studying the trademark’s legal position, ownership, and any present encumbrances. This includes checking its registration and legality and solving any open disputes or complaints to ensure clear ownership for transfer.
  • Valuation: Determining the trademark’s value is crucial and includes measuring things like name knowledge, market standing, financial success, and possible future earnings. Parties must agree on the brand’s acceptable value to set a fair price for the deal.
  • Drafting and Execution of Transfer Agreement: A legally binding agreement stating the terms and conditions of the property transfer is made. This agreement explains the rights and responsibilities of both parties, ensuring clarity and respect for the agreed-upon terms.
  • Submission of papers: The necessary papers, including the transfer agreement, are given to the proper officials for clearance. This step ensures that all legal requirements are met and allows the public ownership transfer.
  • Payment of Fees: The appropriate fees for the name transfer must be paid to the Registrar of Trademarks. This fee pays the extra costs involved with finishing the assignment application.
  • Approval and Recording: The Registrar of Trademarks checks the application and, upon approval, records the contract in the Trademark Registry. This final step formalises the shift of ownership and ensures that the new owner is widely known as the brand’s holder.

By following these careful steps, brand owners in India can successfully handle selling their intellectual property assets while sticking to legal requirements and ensuring a smooth transaction.

Benefits of Selling a Trademark in India

  • Capital Generation: Selling a brand can provide the owner with a valuable source of cash. This cash can be used to fund new business ideas and purchases or to grow present activities. Trademark owners can sell their intellectual property assets and make funds to support their growth and development.
  • Brand Expansion: For the buyer, getting a brand can be a smart move to grow their business and reach new markets. By leveraging the bought trademark, the owner can tap into the current brand recognition and customer trust connected with the mark. This can help the buyer quickly build a place in new product categories or regional areas, speeding their growth and market entry.
  • Increased Competitiveness: A strong, well-established brand can give the user a competitive edge in the market. The bought brand can be a powerful marketing tool, helping the owner separate their goods or services from their competitors. Additionally, the exclusive rights given by the trademark registration can prevent others from using similar names, which could cause misunderstanding among customers.


In conclusion, selling a trademark in India offers a valuable chance for owners to earn on their intellectual property assets. Governed by a clear legal framework, this method benefits both the assignor and assignee. To ensure a good and legally valid transaction, strict obedience to the set processes and boundaries stated in the Trade Marks Act, 1999, and the Trade Marks Rules, 2017, is required. By following these guidelines, stakeholders can handle the trademark sale process effectively and maximise the benefits of their intellectual property deals.

Sachin Jaiswal

Sachin Jaiswal B.A.(Hons)! Sachin Jaiswal has been writing material on his own for more than five years. He got his B.A.(Hons) in English from the well-known University of Delhi. His success in this job is due to the fact that he loves writing and making material that is interesting. He has worked with a lot of different clients in many different fields, always giving them high-quality content that their target audience will enjoy. Through his education and work experience, he is able to produce high-quality content that meets his clients' needs.