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06 November 2017

Is SRI KRISHNA SWEETS mark a trademark inheritance?

Sri Krishna Sweets is a popular Indian sweet manufacturer based in Coimbatore. The case involved a trademark dispute between two brothers and their claim to use the SRI KRISHNA SWEETS mark by virtue of their equal share in the mark as part of their inheritance from their father. The court relied on earlier jurisprudence to maintain the balance of convenience and ordered the parties to maintain the status quo.

01 November 2017

India: Food and beverage products in the branding crosshairs

As the Indian food and beverage market becomes increasingly alluring to brand owners, the courts are witnessing an eruption in trade dress protection and advertising disputes.

03 October 2017

MLB’s top TTAB user, Thai IP Office gets an upgrade and Russia to introduce “Made in Prison” label: news round-up

In this news round-up, we look at how India may remove the controversial Goods and Services Tax exemption for unbranded food products and how the Chicago Cubs are tackling an increase in counterfeiting.

27 September 2017

‘Pinch of spice’ not to be taken with ‘pinch of salt’

Mehar Wing Services Private Limited, owner of the mark PINCH OF SPICE, filed for trademark infringement and passing off against Jindal Restaurant for the mark PINCH OF SALT in relation to its restaurant business. The Delhi High Court found that the marks were distinct and the word 'pinch' was generic; therefore, Mehar had failed to establish a prima facie case.

14 September 2017

Registration or GST – food for thought

The recent implementation of the long-awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST) is one of India’s most important economic reforms. The GST has subsumed most of the multiple indirect taxes which had fragmented the economy and has paved the way for a unified common market. However, goods bearing brand names and sold in a unit container may still escape GST if not registered under the Trademarks Act.

01 September 2017

India: Courts step up to protect unregistered trademarks and trade dress

While rights holders face numerous issues when it comes to protecting unregistered trademarks with no direct or substantial sales in India, the courts have started to take a more liberal approach

16 August 2017

Don’t panic, prepare: As Indian office steps up examinations, spike in refusals observed

As the Indian trademark office steps up its efforts to clear its long-standing backlog and process the rapidly rising numbers of applications, one practitioner has observed a resulting spike in clients receiving provisional refusals to international applications designating the country. However, rather than a cause for alarm, she argues that this trend is a natural consequence of the office upping its game.

02 August 2017

Establishment of an IP stock exchange in India

As part of the new national IP rights policy, India is set to get its own IP rights exchange (IPRX), like the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. The new IPRX will be operated under the aegis of the Ministry of Science and Technology through the National Research Development Corporation.

20 July 2017

Food brands in India abandoning registered rights to avoid “trademark tax”; expert decries short-sighted reaction

Reports have emerged of a number of food traders in India giving up their registered trademarks to avoid a newly implemented 5% goods and services tax. One senior IP expert confirmed to World Trademark Review that this new tax affects both domestic and international companies, but accused companies giving up trademark registrations as taking a “myopic outlook” as the benefits of a trademark far outweigh a 5% tax outlay.

18 July 2017

Iconic Indian hotel is now an image trademark

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, owned by the Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), has become the first building in India to get an image trademark. IHCL may now prohibit others from using images of the 114-year-old building for commercial purposes with regard to the services which are same or similar to the description of services under the trademarks obtained by IHCL.

10 July 2017

Paramount pays high price for suppression of material facts

Paramount Surgimed Limited (PSL) was recently rebuked by the Delhi High Court for suppressing material facts and acting dishonestly. The court was considering an application to set aside an ex parte injunction obtained by PSL against Paramount Bed India Private Limited and its Japanese parent company.

30 June 2017

A HAUS with a view

In a recent case before the Delhi High Court, a restaurant was restrained from using the plaintiff’s mark HAUS in relation to its food delivery business. The court concluded that there was a strong likelihood that customers ordering from the defendant’s CURRY HAUS outlet would believe it to be an extension or elaboration of the plaintiff’s delivery outlets.

28 June 2017

Guidelines issued for determination of well-known mark

The new Indian Trademarks Rules 2017 came into effect on March 6 2017. Among other things, modalities for determination of well-known trademarks have been laid out for including the mark in the list of well-known marks maintained by the Indian Trademarks Registry.

13 June 2017

Carlsberg bottle design not so novel

The Delhi High Court has recently ruled in a case brought by Carlsberg Breweries A/S against Som Distilleries and Breweries alleging design and trademark infringement, and passing off. The court held that Carlsberg’s bottle by itself was not new or novel and was like any other bottle existing in the prior art.

22 May 2017

Mere similarity not enough to succeed in passing-off action

In Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd v Wockhardt Ltd, the Bombay High Court dismissed Torrent’s application for an interlocutory injunction against Wockhardt and held that mere similarity is not enough to succeed in a passing-off action at an interlocutory stage. This decision highlights that other aspects can become a factor in a core passing-off claim and simply demonstrating high sales may not prove goodwill and reputation.