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30 May 2012

Mark removed from register based on public interest

In Hindustan Unilever Limited v Three N Products, the IPAB has ruled that the mark AYUR should be removed from the Trademarks Register. Among other things, the IPAB found that the registration was against the public interest, as the word 'Ayur' has been widely used in India for several thousand years.

02 February 2012

‘Red Label’ held to be common to the trade

In Hindustan Unilever Limited v Girnar Exports, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board has dismissed four appeals against orders of the deputy registrars of Kolkata and Chennai that had denied registration of RED LABEL marks for tea. Among other things, the board found that the words ‘Red Label’ are common to the trade.

12 December 2011

Trademark Registry takes steps to reduce backlogs

Earlier this year the Trademark Registry embarked on the process of digitising its records. Now that the process is almost complete, the registry is introducing a number of additional initiatives to help reduce current backlogs. For example, the registry has introduced a free express service facility to expedite the processing of cases.

03 October 2011

IPAB can form independent view, says court

In United Biotech Private Limited v Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd, the Delhi High Court has dismissed United Biotech Private Limited's appeal against an order of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board allowing the cancellation of the trademark FORZID. Among other things, the court found that the marks FORZID and ORZID, which are used for identical goods, were deceptively similar.

08 June 2011

Champagne maker fails to prevent registration of almost identical mark

In Champagne Moët and Chandon v Union of India, the Delhi High Court has dismissed an appeal filed by Champagne Moët and Chandon against an order issued by the Intellectual Property Appellate Board. Moët had opposed an application filed by M/s Moets for the registration of the mark MOETS in Class 29.

10 February 2011

Major changes to trademark registration procedure introduced

The Indian Trademarks Registry has brought about major changes to the trademark registration procedure by amending the Trademarks Rules 2002. Among other things, the official fees for filing an application for the registration of a single trademark in a single class have increased from Rs2,500 to Rs3,500. In addition, the registry has introduced a free online search service.

02 December 2010

Use of descriptive phrase held to be in good faith

In Marico Ltd v Agro Tech Foods Ltd, the division bench of the Delhi High Court has dismissed an appeal by Marico Ltd, the owner of the LOSORB mark, against a decision of the trial court in which the latter had vacated an interim injunction. Among other things, the court found that Agro Tech Foods Ltd's use of the expression 'low absorb' was descriptive and in good faith.

19 November 2010

Supreme Court clarifies meaning of ‘person aggrieved’

In Infosys Technologies Ltd v Jupiter Infosys Ltd, the Supreme Court has set aside a decision of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board in which the latter had ordered the cancellation of Infosys Technologies Ltd’s registrations for the mark INFOSYS on the grounds of non-use. In doing so, the court provided some guidance on the meaning of ‘person aggrieved’.

30 September 2010

Clarification on new service classes issued

Following the introduction of three new classes (Classes 43 to 45) into the Indian trademark classification of goods and services, the controller general of patents has issued a notification clarifying certain points. At this stage, marks owners are not required to take any immediate action, since their rights will be protected on the basis of their earlier filings in Class 42. However, they may review the description of services in pending applications.

06 July 2010

Nice Classification adopted in its entirety

With effect from May 20 2010, the Indian Trademark Rules on the classification of goods and services have been amended to provide for 45 classes, so as to conform with the Nice Classification. In order to achieve this, the former Class 42 has been sub-divided into four classes. However, this development has raised several concerns.

03 June 2010

Automobile giant cannot monopolize letter 'T'

In Super Cassettes Industries Ltd v Union of India, the Delhi High Court has set aside an order of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board and affirmed an order of the deputy registrar, holding that there was no likelihood of confusion between Super Cassettes' T-SERIES mark and Tata's T mark.

16 March 2010

Decision set aside in case involving family of VOL marks

In the 12-year dispute between Glaxo Group Limited and Voltas Limited, the Delhi High Court has reversed an order of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board in which the latter had held that Glaxo's VOLMAX mark was confusingly similar to Voltas' trademark VOLTAS. Among other things, the court held that the IPAB had failed to apply the relevant test with respect to the concept of series or family of marks.

11 January 2010

Sun decision brightens the way for trademark assignees

In Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited v Cipla Limited, the Delhi High Court has held that an assignee acquires title to a registered trademark upon assignment itself, and not upon registration of the assignment. Entry of assignment in the Register of Trademarks aims merely to record the proof of such title.

04 November 2009

Gandhi dispute with Montblanc "almost settled"

Montblanc is close to reaching a settlement with a non-governmental organization in India over the use of Mahatma Gandhi's name and image on a limited edition pen, WTR has learnt.

18 March 2009

Supreme Court decision opens door to sham assignments

In Thukral Mechanical Works v PM Diesels Pvt Ltd, the Supreme Court has held that the Intellectual Property Appellate Board had correctly rejected PM Diesels Pvt Ltd's petition for the cancellation of the trademark FIELD MARSHAL, which had been assigned by Jain Industries to Thukral Mechanical Works. Arguably, the decision opens the door to sham trademark assignments.