Trademark protection does not stop with its registration. Counterfeiting of trademarks is a very prevalent menace in the present generation. Counterfeit, as defined in the English dictionary and as commonly understood by the general public stands for a fraudulent imitation of something, or an exact imitation of something with the intention to deceive or defraud. Counterfeiting involves manufacturing and/or distributing cheap imitated products under someone else’s brand/business/trade name and trademark.

The Trade Marks Act, 1999 does not explicitly define or talk about counterfeit of trademarks. However, Section 102 of the Act, which deals with “Falsifying and falsely applying trademarks” correspond to the concept of trademark counterfeits.

Besides trademark infringement and passing off actions (civil actions), the proprietor of a trademark may resort to criminal actions against trademark counterfeiting. Section 103 & 104 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 provide for criminal penalties for applying and selling goods and services under false trademarks. The penalty ranges between imprisonment for a term not be less than six months, which may extend to three years and with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees, but may extend to two lakh rupees.