The need of advertisement is important for businesses for making them known to the public by the displaying it visually. The human mind is developed in manner that it retains when it sees something visually.

This advertising takes a more aggressive turn when in advertisement the product of one company is compared with another companies product showing it in negative light which is not a healthy competitive practice as well it is something which violates the rules of trademark regulation.

What is trademark?

Trademark is basically a mark which represents your trade. Your goods and services are identified with the mark. Trademark is defined as mark of any company or an organization which could be unique Name, symbol, logo, image or design which helps to define the repute of the company.

This marks are registered as trademarks which are used in advertising however if trademark is use without the permission of the owner it amount to infringement or passing off action however these companies play smart and do not directly adopt the trademark they either use the similar colour combination, design or similar word pattern making impression on consumer so that they can relate to the brand. The motive of comparative advertising is showing the product of one’s company better than others the question is whether in such advertising derogation of others trade name is allowed and also whether is it really good trade practice?

Definition of comparative advertisement states comparative advertising is concept which helps in comparing the goods and services of one seller with another in context of its price, quantity, efficiency, durability. This tactic is adopted by the advertiser to increase his visibility. Comparative advertising can be further classified into indirect comparative advertising where the positive traits are shown in the products and which product has more positive traits gets the competitive edge. The second classification is of direct comparative advertising were one product is compared with another and compared in negative traits were one product is shown in derogation of another. Hence, the classification of comparative advertisement in to direct and indirect advertising can be further classified into positive and negative comparative advertising.

Comparative advertising falls in gamut of trademark legislation and it is a fact that comparative advertisement has not been defined in the Trademark Act, but in the legislature enacted inUK defines comparative advertisement as well as the term competitor.

Continue reading:
Part-1: Background of Comparative Advertising in light of Indian trademark and patent Laws
Part-2: Introduction Comparative Advertising in legal framework.
Part-3: Comparative advertising and its connotation in Constitution
Part-4: Legal provisions regarding trademark in India with reference to Comparative advertising
Know Indian Trademarks Act, 1999


[1] Simone VerducciGalletti and Marco Lucchini, The interplay between comparative advertising and unfair competition law, World Trademark Review magazine issue 63,November 2016. (https://www.bugnion.eu/approfondimenti/documenti/wtr63_TheInterplayBetweenComparativeAdvertisingAndUnfairCompetitionlaw.pdf)

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Kajal Dubey

Experience Legal Consultant with MNC, Legal Compliance, Legal document Preparation , Legal Writing.

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