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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.

11 May 2017

DPS World Foundation barred from piggybacking on Delhi Public School’s reputation

The Delhi High Court Division Bench recently upheld the interim injunction restraining DPS World Foundation from infringing the marks of Delhi Public School Society and passing off its educational services as those of the school. The appeal was made against the order of a single Delhi High Court judge.

24 April 2017

Brand owners “are not taking appropriate steps to stop counterfeiting”, claims Indian regional official

A minister from the government of the Indian state of West Bengal has called on trademark owners to be more diligent in reporting suspected counterfeiting to local authorities, arguing that many “do not take it up seriously” when it comes to fighting fakes.

10 April 2017

Indian trademark registry sees examination numbers increase 60% year-on-year

Trademark application and registration rates in India went through the roof last year, indicating success in terms of both streamlining the prosecution process and dealing with a hefty filings backlog. However, it remains to be seen whether the national registry’s human resources can keep up with this positive trend.

29 March 2017

Trademark procedures and strategies: India

The Trademarks Act and related rules prescribe the procedure to be followed before the Trademarks Registry. In the case of civil proceedings initiated before the courts, the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 applies, while in the case of customs recordal, the Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules 2007 apply.