Common Law Rights of Registered User
Trademark Registration merely recognises rights which are already pre-existing in common law and does not create any new rights. Registration of trade mark, therefore, is no defence to passing off action as Act of 1999 does not bar passing off action.
Registered proprietor of trade mark (TM) has: (i) exclusive right to use trade mark, and (ii) to obtain relief in case of infringement of trade mark. However, such a right is not absolute but subject to rights of prior user for passing off that are available to him under common law.
[S. Syed Mohideen v. P. Sulochana Bai, (2016) 2 SCC 683]