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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.

26 November 2008

Scrabulous: not yet game over

The Scrabulous Case is not over. Mattel may have won an injunction in India to stop the Agarwalla brothers’ infringing use of the SCRABBLE mark but the toy company has now launched an appeal against the copyright ruling. Practitioners expect it to go all the way to the Supreme Court.

29 September 2008

Yahoo! yodel becomes first registered sound mark

Yahoo! Inc's yodel has become the first sound mark to be registered by India's Trademark Registry. The application was accepted on the grounds that the Yahoo! yodel had acquired distinctive character in India and was well known worldwide. Mobile phone company Nokia has also applied to register its famous tune as a trademark in India.

29 July 2008

PETER SCOT can remain on register, says Supreme Court

In Khoday Distilleries Limited v Scotch Whisky Association, the Supreme Court has held that the trademark PETER SCOT for whisky could remain on the register. Among other things, the court stated that an action for rectification may be dismissed on the grounds of acquiescence and waiver, even though there is no limitation period for bringing such an action.

13 June 2008

Toshiba triumphs in Supreme Court following 19-year battle

In Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba v Tosiba Appliances Co, the Supreme Court has held that Indian company Tosiba Appliances Co had failed to show that it would be injured if Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba's trademark TOSHIBA were allowed to remain on the register. The decision ended a 19-year battle between Toshiba and Tosiba Appliances.

17 January 2008

PETER SCOT stays on the register - for now

In Khoday Distilleries Limited v Scotch Whisky Association, the Supreme Court has stayed a Madras High Court decision in which the High Court directed that the trademark PETER SCOT be removed from the register. The lower court had found that use of the word 'Scot' would deceive the average consumer into thinking that whisky sold under the mark PETER SCOT originated from Scotland.

20 July 2007

Silverwork GI registration shows increase in awareness of protection

The Geographical Indications Ministry in Chennai has granted a registration for an intricate form of silverwork made in the Andhra Pradesh region of India. The registration is a further sign that local producers and associations are coming together increasingly to protect their natural or manmade products through the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999.

16 July 2007

Issues on recovery of sales tax on trademark royalties clarified

The case of GlaxoSmithKline Asia P Ltd v Assessing Authority, Special Zone Trade and Tax Department, is part of a recent trend of fiscal actions in which the Indian courts are required to examine trademark issues. In the case at hand, the Delhi High Court has clarified the law in relation to the recovery of sales tax on trademark royalties.

08 May 2007

Accession moves implementation of Madrid Protocol closer

India acceded to the Madrid Protocol in February of 2007. However, accession to the protocol is only the first step. The Indian Parliament is currently reviewing a bill that will make certain amendments to the Trademarks Act 1999 and introduce regulations which will allow for the final implementation of the protocol in that country.

27 June 2006

Delhi High Court takes a strict stand on licences

The Delhi High Court has issued a ruling clarifying that the rights of a registered proprietor take priority over those of other parties, and that invading those rights is tantamount to infringement. The decision, which arose out of a licensor-licensee relationship sends a strong message to licensees to respect contractual arrangements.

21 October 2005

Indian IP offices modernized

India has officially opened a new IP office in New Delhi, the first of four interlinked regional offices that will be opened in cities across India. The government hopes that these improved facilities will help to overhaul the country's notoriously inefficient IP rights administration system.

06 October 2005

Preventing use of unregistered marks by ex-licensees now easier

The Delhi High Court has rendered a significant judgment protecting the interests of foreign licensors in respect of unregistered trademarks licensed to Indian entities. The court held that a licensor is not required to prove transborder reputation or satisfy the conditions of a passing off action to prevent a licensee (of an unregistered mark) from using the mark after the termination of a licence agreement.

16 November 2004

INFOSYS decision may put trademarks at risk

The Chennai IP Appellate Board has ordered the cancellation of the INFOSYS mark, which is registered for goods in Classes 9, 7 and 16 of the Nice Classification on the grounds of non-use, despite evidence that it had been used for related services. The board interpreted the non-use provision strictly and did not consider the fact that service marks were not available at the time Infosys Technologies Ltd registered its mark.