The general Assembly of the United Nations Organisation recommended in 1946 that members of the United Nations should take necessary legislative or other appropriate measures to prevent the use, without proper authority, and in particular for commercial purposes, of the emblem, the official seal and the name of the United Nations and of the abbreviations of that name. A similar recommendation was also received from World Health Organisation for presentation of the use of its name (and abbreviations), emblem and official seal. Instances were also come to light of the use in India (and abroad) of the Indian National Flag and emblem and of the names or pictorial representation of Mahatma Gandhi and other national leaders, for commercial and trade purposes and in the manner likely to offend the sentiments of the people.

Accordingly, to prevent the improper use of certain emblems and names for professional and commercial purposes, the Emblem and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 came into force on 1st March, 1950. The Emblems and Names Division deals with implementation of the Act and related issues.