Market Insight

Updates from an international team of correspondents who report on recent developments in trademark law and practice in their home jurisdictions, as well as strategic issues and those relating to brand protection, portfolio management and value creation.

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18 MAY 2023

Influencer dispute highlights need to regulate denigrating content featuring brands

The High Court of Calcutta’s ruling on the row between a juice producer and an influencer underlines the lack of legislative clarity on differences between the honest use of a mark as part of free speech and disparaging use on social media.

11 MAY 2023

Decision sidesteps anti-dissection rule to insist that trademark components matter

The Delhi High Court’s analysis of a trademark conflict involving media conglomerate BCCL emphasises the shared, dominant feature of competing marks, which could well prove seismic for owners of marks with common characteristics. 

27 APRIL 2023

Alcohol labelling spat highlights jurisdictional limits

The Delhi High Court’s ruling on the conflict between competitors in India’s alcoholic beverages industry sheds light on the influence of jurisdictional restraints on where plaintiffs can file suits and whether a court can hear them.

20 APRIL 2023

Use of reverse confusion theory proves increasingly popular

In trademark disputes between junior and senior users of shared or similar marks, the reverse confusion theory is emerging as a helpful argument for Indian rights holders fighting possible infringers that enjoy a larger market share and greater public awareness.

06 APRIL 2023

Repeat showdowns between Swiggy and GoDaddy shed light on key aspects of intermediary liability

In battles before the High Court of Bombay, the two companies drew attention to the nature of a domain registrar’s intermediary liability for infringement of another entity’s trademark in the lead-up to the impending Digital India Act.

16 MARCH 2023

Bicycle dispute clarifies range of protection for numeral trademarks

The Delhi High Court’s ruling on the conflict between two bicycle manufacturers highlights the importance of a numeral mark’s arbitrary nature and spells out key principles for resolving similar disputes.

09 MARCH 2023

Subway emerges victorious in battle against copycat

Following an unsuccessful attempt against Suberb, a former franchisee turned copycat competitor, Subway’s victory on appeal highlights the extent of the fast-food giant’s reputation, goodwill and the strength of its comprehensive IP portfolio.

23 FEBRUARY 2023

Appeal makes sense of contrary submissions before Trademarks Registry and Delhi High Court

A fresh appeal from a two-judge bench weighs the plaintiff’s attempts to claim that the defendant’s trademark “is deceptively similar” to its own against its previous declaration before the Trademarks Registry that there was “no likelihood of confusion” between the two marks.

16 FEBRUARY 2023

Recurring tyre dispute shines spotlight on the strength of proprietary rights

The Delhi High Court has affirmed that a tyre tread pattern can function as a source indicator, thus meaning that it qualifies for protection against copycat products.

09 FEBRUARY 2023

Playing card spat highlights that prior rights are a winning hand

An opposition before the Indian Trademark Opposition is a powerful example of how proof of prior rights through registration and use can be used to defeat new entrants, even if they have managed to make inroads into the market.

15 DECEMBER 2022

WIPO Indicators and EAC report show India’s trademark landscape is in excellent health

The growth of the IP sector is pivotal to India's ascension as an economic superpower. Recent data demonstrates a highly encouraging boom in Indian trademark filings, however, the country now faces challenges in expanding its capacity to process applications.

10 NOVEMBER 2022

“Food, glorious food”: cooking up trademark rights in India

No law currently outlines protection of culinary intellectual property in India, so restaurants and chefs must instead rely on two palatable alternatives to enforce their IP rights.

13 OCTOBER 2022

Delhi High Court finds KHADI and charkha logo marks to be well known

Over the last few months the Khadi & Village Industries Commission has won multiple successes before the Delhi High Court enforcing its rights to the KHADI mark, including an award of Rs1 million and costs of Rs200,000 following an infringement claim.


E-commerce platform’s suggested-seller function leads to finding of passing off

An online seller has scored an important point against a major Indian e-commerce site before the Delhi High Court. The site has a function that suggests users visit other sellers’ pages, which, in this case, promoted the products of unrelated third-party sellers that were taking advantage of the plaintiff’s brand.

11 AUGUST 2022

Shaping the law: high court clarifies requirements for shape marks

A recent case has prompted the Delhi High Court to reiterate the necessity for shape marks ― which have a notoriously high threshold for registration ― to have a secondary meaning.

27 JULY 2022

Supreme Court elevates copyright infringement to a serious non-bailable offence

New interpretation of copyright law makes infringement a cognisable, non-bailable offence for which an individual can be arrested. The effect of this strong ruling on creative freedom remains to be seen.

21 JULY 2022

Courts examine keyword advertising as trademark infringement

Indian courts are deciding whether using a registered trademark as a keyword on the Google Ads service amounts to use of a mark, and, if so, whether this provides an unfair advantage by misleading consumers.

07 JULY 2022

Spotlight on the right-to-repair movement and IP rights in India

The growing right-to-repair movement is demanding that manufacturers stop suppressing consumer and third-party repairs; however, manufacturers claim that this will force them to reveal proprietary technology and that poor-quality repairs will create brand dilution. Trends in India favour access to quality goods at free market prices.

16 JUNE 2022

Landmark interpretation could bring significant changes to Indian trademark practice

In a recent ruling, the deputy registrar concluded that the processing of a trademark application can be expedited at any stage up to its final disposal by filing a suitable application at the appropriate time. The decision has wide-ranging ramifications and is bound to come up for analysis again sooner rather than later.

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