Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace hotel has acquired an ‘image trademark‘ under the Trademark Act of 1999, making it is the first building in the country to acquire intellectual property rights protection for its architectural design. Henceforth, the image of Taj Mahal Palace hotel’s dome and exterior can be used only with the consent of Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris.
The hotel which was opened on December 16, 1903, has a distinctive red-tiled Florentine Gothic dome and sits 240 feet above the street level. The dome for a long time has been used by the Indian Navy as a `triangulation point’ which guides its vessels to the harbour. The architects of the dome have modelled it on the dome of the Victoria Terminus (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus).
The Taj Mahal Palace hotel has hosted many celebrities like Neil Armstrong, John Lennon and Barack Obama.
The other trademarked properties around the world include Empire State Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Sydney Opera House in Australia.
Trademark Act of 1999
‘The Trade Marks Act of 1999‘ replaced the ‘The Trade and Merchandise Marks Act of 1958‘ as the current governing law relating to registered trademarks. The Act deals with the precise nature of rights one can acquire in respect of trademarks.
Henceforth, as the Taj Mahal Palace hotel has acquired image trademark, no one can use the Taj Mahal Palace’s images for commercial purposes without paying the company a licensing fee. Violators are liable to be prosecuted. However, the locals and tourists can click pictures of the iconic building as long as they do not use it for commercial benefits.