The Trade Marks Act,1999
40. Restriction on assignment or transmission where multiple exclusive rights would be created.—
(1) Notwithstanding anything in sections 38 and 39, a trade mark shall not be assignable or transmissible in a case in which as a result of the assignment or transmission there would in the circumstances subsist, whether under this Act or any other law, exclusive rights in more than one of the persons concerned to the use, in relation to—
(a) same goods or services;
(b) same description of goods or services;
(c) goods or services or description of goods or services which are associated with each other,
of trade marks nearly resembling each other or of identical trade mark, if having regard to the similarity of the goods and services and to the similarity of the trade marks, the use of the trade marks in exercise of those rights would be likely to deceive or cause confusion:
Provided that an assignment or transmission shall not be deemed to be invalid under this sub-section if the exclusive rights subsisting as a result thereof in the persons concerned respectively are, having regard to limitations imposed thereon, such as not to be exercisable by two or more of those persons in relation to goods to be sold, or otherwise traded in, within India otherwise than for export therefrom, or in relation to goods to be exported to the same market outside India or in relation to services for use at any place in India or any place outside India in relation to services available for acceptance in India.
(2) The proprietor of a registered trade mark who proposes to assign it may submit to the Registrar in the prescribed manner a statement of case setting out the circumstances and the Registrar may issue to him a certificate stating whether, having regard to the similarity of the goods or services and of the trade marks referred to in the case, the proposed assignment would or would not be invalid under sub-section (1), and a certificate so issued shall, subject to appeal and unless it is shown that the certificate was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation, be conclusive as to the validity or invalidity under sub-section (1) of the assignment insofar as such validity or invalidity depends upon the facts set out in the case, but, as regards a certificate in favour of validity, only if application for the registration under section 45 of the title of the person becoming entitled is made within six months from the date on which the certificate is issued.
This section contains restriction on assignments or transmissions of trade mark where multiple exclusive rights would be created in more than one person, which would be likely to deceive or cause confusion. Nevertheless, such assignment is not deemed to be invalid, if having regard to the limitations imposed, the goods are to be sold in different markets—either within India or for exports. The provisions also apply to services.