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10 May
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Trade Mark News: Interesting Trademarks, AASHIRWAD Trademark Dispute, CGDPTM Annual Report 2015-16, US Special 301 Report, Pokemon Merchandising License and more

Interesting Trademarks, Trademark Statistics, Recent Trademark Updates, International Trademark Updates, Licensing Updates, Geographical Indication Updates and more brought to you by Trademark team of BIP Counsels.

Trademark quote of the week

“Trademark law must not be used to inhibit the freedom of speech in this powerful and important medium”

– Kent Wills

Trademark Statistics

The Trademark Registry has been really busy this week. There has been an increase of 33% in the total number of applications examined by Trademark Office for this week compared to the last week.

Particulars Last week This week Change in %
Total Trademark applications examined by Trademark Office 7580 10111 An increase of 33%
Total applications disposed of through show cause hearings 603 438 A decrease of 27 %
Total applications published in the trademark journal 5730 8912 An increase of 55 %
Total registrations granted 5908 6938 An increase of 17 %
Total hearing notices issued 3151 2662 A decrease of 15 %
Total renewal notices issued 1475 1921 An increase of 30 %

Total number of marks published in trademark journal

S.No. Name of Office Publication
1. MUMBAI 1900
2. AHMEDABAD 873
3. KOLKATA 474
4. DELHI 3126
5. CHENNAI 1258
6. INTERNATIONAL REGISTRATION DIVISION 370
7. Total Trademarks published in Journal 8001

Total number of Applications Examined by the Trademark Office in this year: 124396

Interesting Trademarks

LEGALLY BLONDE by MGM Studios

In July 2015, MGM studios had applied for trademark registration of its mark LEGALLY BLONDE in Class 41 for entertainment services in the nature of an ongoing television series and for providing non-downloadable videos and images featuring television shows. Legally blonde is a 2001 American comedy film adapted from the novel of the same title by Amanda Brown. The USPTO has accepted the mark for registration and has directed the Applicant to file the statement of use.

Indian Trademark Updates

Green India Rice Millers and Exporters restrained from using the mark AASHIRWAD

Recently, in a trademark infringement suit filed by ITC Limited, the Calcutta High Court had temporarily restrained Green India Rice Millers and Exporters from manufacturing, marketing, selling, distributing or advertising any products bearing the marks AASHIRWAAD’, ‘AASHIRWAD’, ‘ASHIRWAD’, ‘AASHIRVAAD’, ‘AASHIRVAD’, and/or ‘ASHIRVAAD’.  ITC claims to be the registered proprietor of the mark AASHIRVAAD and claims to be using the mark since 2002. ITC alleges that the adoption and use of the mark AASHIRWAD, a single spelling variant of the petitioner’s mark, amounts to trademark infringement and passing off. While responding to the averments made by ITC, the Respondent argued that AASHIRVAAD is a common dictionary word and therefore, ITC cannot claim any monopoly over such mark. However, after hearing both the Parties, the Court granted a temporary injunction in favor of ITC on the ground that the Respondent’s mark is deceptively similar to ITC’s registered mark and is likely to cause confusion among consumers. The temporary injunction is valid only for a period of twelve weeks and in the meantime, the Respondent is directed to file its Affidavit in response.

Hike in trademark filing, examination and registration in 2015-2016 says CGPDTM

Recently the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks released the 57th Annual report of the activities carried out by the Trademarks Registry during 2015- 2016. The Annual Report indicates that there was an increase of 34.47% in the total number of filings, an increase of 59.42% in the examination and 56.42% increase in the registration as compared to the previous year. The trends for the last five years as per the Report are given below:

Year 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Filed 1,83,588 1,94,216 2,00,005 2,10,501, 2,83,060
Examination 1,16,263 2,02,385 2,03,086 1,68,016 2,67,861
Registration 51,735 44,361 67,796 41,583 65,045
Disposal 57,867 69,736 1,04,756 83,652 1,16,167

The report indicates that the total number of foreign applicants has doubled in 2015-2016 reflecting a renewed interest in the Indian market. The largest number of applications for the year 2015-2016 was filed in respect of pharmaceuticals, veterinary and sanitary substances under class 5.

International Trademark Updates

India needs to improve its examination standards says US Special 301 Report

Recently, the US has released the Special 301 Report for the year 2017 which analyses the state of IP protection and enforcement in US trading partners across the world. India continues to be on the priority watch list of the US for lack of measurable improvements to its IP framework. The Report alleges that the overall level of trademark counterfeiting in India continued to be high irrespective of the administrative improvements made by India during the last year. The Report also states that the Indian Trademark system continues to suffer from excessive delays for trademark registration, opposition and cancellation proceedings. Furthermore, the Report states that India needs to improve the quality of its trademark examination reports.

Trademark Licensing Updates

The Pokemon Company enters in toy license with Wicked Cool Toys

The licensing and marketing division of the popular game franchise, Pokemon has entered into a master license agreement with the US-based toy manufacturer Wicked Cool Toys for manufacturing and distributing action figures, playsets, plush, role play items and other toys based on the game.  The Pokémon Company has also become a strategic investor in the toy firm and has a seat on the board of directors of the Wicked Cool Toys.

Geographical Indications Updates

26 GI’s registered in India during 2015-2016

The Annual report released by the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks indicates that a total number of 26 Geographical Indications were registered in the year 2015-2016. The Report indicates that 17 new applications were filed before the GI Registry and 200 applications were examined by the Registry in the said period. The trends in GI applications filed, examined and registered during last five years are given below:

Year 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Filed 148 24 75 47 17
Examined 37 30 42 60 200
Registered 23 21 22 20 26

 

BANANAIP TIP OF THE WEEK

Trademark Risk Assessment

While adopting a new brand one has to ensure that his/her mark does not violate, and/or infringe the trademark rights of any third party. This can be easily accomplished by taking the following steps:

  1. Conducting a trademark search on the online database maintained by the Trademark office in the shortlisted classes;
  2. Conducting a trademark search on the common law databases; and
  3. Conducting a search on the well-known marks list maintained by the Trademark office.

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