Legal Maxim

Home » Publici Juris

Literal Meaning

Of public right




The Latin phrase in the legal parlance, means, ‘of public right’ or ‘belonging to the public’. It signifies a thing or a right that is open and exercisable by all persons. In general, it designates things that belong to an entire community, and not to any private party. Although States can grant a franchise to private parties to maintain such general resources, these grants remain under state supervision to preserve public right access.

Publici Juris is used in cases involving Intellectual Property Rights. When a thing is a common property, so that anyone can make use of it who likes, it is said to be publici juris; as in the case of light, air, and public water.


Roads and bridges regulated by a state for the general public benefit relates to publici juris.

Case Laws

In K.R. Jadayappa Mudaliar Trading vs. K.B. Venkatachalam Trading, the Madras High Court observed that “The proper test to decide whether a mark which was originally a Trade Mark has become publici juris is to see whether the use of it by other persons is still calculated to deceive the public.”

In Schering Corporation & Ors. vs. Alkem Laboratories Ltd., the Delhi High Court held that “even if the word fragment is publici juris, such word fragment may acquire distinctiveness for that pharmaceutical substance in the context of certain formulations containing that pharmaceutical substance for certain indications i.e. for the particular goods, by acquiring a secondary meaning from registrations and use, ceasing thereby to be generic/publici juris for that pharmaceutical substance in that limited context.”

error: Content is protected !!