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Weekly Trademark News Updates: GST implication on trademark registered goods, Saint Mother Teresa’s blue bordered saree gets trademark protection, Lidi in legal trouble with Kroger and more

Interesting Trademarks, Indian Trademark Updates, International Trademark Updates, Geographical Indication updates and more brought to you by the Trademark Team of BananaIP Trade Mark News:

TRADEMARK QUOTE OF THE WEEK

A great brand evolves from building a good reputation

                                                                                                —Abiodun A. Abiodun

TRADEMARK STATS FROM THE INDIAN TRADEMARK OFFICE

Particulars Last week This week Change in %
Total Trademark applications examined by Trademark Office 6231 9432 An increase of 51.3%

 

Total applications disposed through show cause hearings 623 1163 An increase of 86.6%
Total applications published in the trademark journal 10696 7221 A decrease of 32%
Total registrations granted 7701 10475 An increase of 36 %
Total hearing notices issued 1459 3484 An increase of 138%
Total renewal notices issued 1708 2278 An increase of 33.3%

Total number of Applications Examined by the Trademark Office in this year: 229560

INTERESTING TRADEMARKS

TEBOWING

The New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow is the owner of the trademark for the term ‘TEBOWING’, a move in which he goes down on one knee and holds a clenched fist against his forehead while praying during games. The trademark was filed in the name of XV ENTERPRISES LLC under class 25 mainly for apparels and the registration was granted in 2012.

INDIAN TRADEMARK UPDATES

Yahoo wins the trademark dispute against ‘YahooKochi’.

Yahoo Inc filed a suit for permanent injunction before the Delhi High Court against Mr. Rinshad Rinu, owner of the website named ‘YahooKochi’. The Plaintiff contended that the Defendant’s usage of the mark ‘Yahookochi’ as part of its domain name and part of the website was deceptively similar to the registered Yahoo trademark and it amounted to trademark infringement. On perusal of the documents filed and the arguments put forth, the Delhi HC granted an ex parte ad interim injunction in favor of the Plaintiff permanently restraining the Defendant from using any mark similar to YAHOO. The court noted that the mark YAHOO is a well-known mark. Further, the court held that the adoption of the mark by Defendant is dishonest as is evident from the fact that the font used by the Defendant to represent YAHOO in the trading name is identical to the unique stylized font which the Plaintiff used to represent its YAHOO trademark till 2014. The court also further added that the potentiality of harm is enormous on the internet as the Plaintiff has a very wide internet presence and operates various YAHOO formative websites. Court further directed the Defendant to pay Rs. 5 lakhs as damages.

GST implication on Trademark registered goods

The Finance Ministry clarified that only products/goods which are registered as a brand name under the Trademarks Act, 1999 will be subjected to the Goods and Service Tax (GST). Goods exempted under GST such as paneer, natural honey, rice, pulses and cereals which are packaged in ‘unit containers’ are levied a 5% GST. Recently, the Basmati Rice brand, India Gate was in news due to this GST implication. India Gate is exempted from paying 5% GST as it is not a registered brand under the Trademarks Act, 1999.

Saint Mother Teresa’s blue-bordered sari obtains trademark registration

The Trademarks Registry, Kolkata has granted trademark registration for the unique pattern of blue and white strips that the world associates with Mother Teresa. Missionaries of Charity, an organization started by Saint Teresa of Kolkata are now the intellectual property owners of the iconic white, blue striped saree. The Application was filed in December of 2013 for the use of the stripes on stationery items, textiles and for social and charitable services. The pro bono attorney working for the organization, Sarkar has made clear his intentions to copyright Saint Teresa’s name and the distinctive uniform of her order in other countries as the next step in protecting the organization’s identity from dilution.

INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK UPDATES

Nintendo files trademark for the term ‘Nintendo Check-In’

The Japanese gaming company, Nintendo has filed a trademark application in Japan for the term ‘Nintendo Check-In’ under Class 41. The news was released by the Twitter account of trademark bot, which automatically tweets out any public Japanese trademark application filed. The application also includes a logo which displays the well-known Mario’s cap inside the iconic map location symbol. No further details have been revealed till date.

Lidi in legal trouble with Kroger

Kroger, the American retailing giant have filed a trademark infringement suit against Lidl Stiftung & Co, a German supermarket chain, for using the name ‘Private Selection’. Kroger has filed a suit in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia, accusing Lidi of using the name ‘Private Selection’ for one of its house brands, claiming that it is likely to cause confusion in the minds of the consumers and will dilute the market value of its brand.  The name has been used by Kroger for more than 20 years in America.

GOVERNMENT UPDATES

Government promotes Intellectual Property Rights

The Government of India, under the aegis of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, has launched a program to promote IPR awareness in India. The scheme has been launched by Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) entitled as ‘Scheme for IPR Awareness – Creative India; Innovative India’. It aims to educate the rural as well as the urban population about the various facets of IP including topics such as international filing procedures, promotion of Geographical Indications and highlighting the ill effects of piracy and counterfeiting. Around 4000 seminars and workshops will be scheduled throughout India in school and colleges including MSMEs and Startups, to create a wholesome atmosphere for the same.

BIP TIP OF THE WEEK

GST implication for the registered brand products

Before branding their products in order to protect trademarks with respect to the same, companies must ensure that they are aware of the GST implication on the registered brands under Trademarks Act, 1999. The goods that are exempted from GST such as paneer, natural honey, rice, pulses and cereals which are packaged in ‘unit containers’ are levied a 5% GST.

 

 

 

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