MTR Badam Drink’s Hot Win Against Counterfeiters, Srivilliputtur Palkova Gets GI Tag, Apple in Trouble over Memoji and more, brought to you by the Trademark Attorneys at BananaIP (BIP) Counsel.
INDIAN TRADEMARK UPDATES
MTR Badam Drink’s Hot Win Against Counterfeiters
MTR Foods, a well-known FMCG in India since 1924, is the registered trademark owners of the brand name “MTR”. Among its several products, Badam Drink Mix is one of the most popular. Recently it was brought to MTR’s notice that several shops and supermarkets in Tamil Nadu were selling badam drink mixes with the trademark “MTR” resembling the real MTR’s appearance/trade dress. In court proceedings, the Madras High Court noted that the carton, get up, label design of the cartons, of the counterfeiters are similar to MTR product’s design and label. The Court, therefore passed an ex-parte injunction against the sellers from using the trade dress of MTR Badam Drink Mix and passing off the goods as that of MTR. The Court further ordered the sellers to surrender the cartons, packing materials, catalogues, publicity materials bearing similar trade dress as MTR for destruction.
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK UPDATES
Apple in Trouble Over Memoji
It looks like the tech giant’s legal trouble with Memoji are not yet over. US based tech company Social Technologies, has filed a lawsuit against Apple for falsely indicating that the trademark Memoji is owned by Apple. In the suit filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Social Techologies accused the iPhone makers of including the trademark Memoji in its trademark list since June 2019 by putting the symbol ® next to it and claiming to be the owners of it. Memoji by Social Technologies is a facial recognition app owned which can “capture the facial expression of the end user with full-motion capabilities, and transpose the image into a custom, personalized emoji of the users actual face”. Although Apple owns the Memoji trademark in several countries, in the US the mark is owned by Social Technologies and it had previously filed a lawsuit against Apple in 2018 for trademark infringement. Social Technologies is seeking an injunction to stop Apple from using the ® symbol next to the Memoji mark as well as monetary damages.
Liverpool FC Fails to Secure its Trademark
Liverpool FC, the professional football club based in England, has failed in its attempt to trademark its name with the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). Liverpool FC had filed the trademark in connection with football products and services, which was met with aggressive opposition by several local clubs as well as the mayor of the city of Liverpool. UKIPO rejected the application stating that the mark cannot be granted registration as it has a geographical significance. Liverpool has however given a statement that it had filed the trademark application to protect its IP right as well as to prevent the spread of counterfeit products.
BRAND LICENSING UPDATES
Rubik’s Cube Now in Apparel
Rubik’s Brand, the manufacturer and distributor of the iconic Rubik’s cube, has partnered with sports manufacturer Puma for a new apparel collection. Puma in collaboration with Rubik’s will produce a fall collection inspired by the different colours contained in the Rubik’s cube and will include sneakers, sweatshirts and t-shirts for both children as well as adults.
Lego Partners with BBC
In exciting news for all automobile enthusiasts, BBC Studio has collaborated with the Lego Group to launch LEGO Technic set, inspired by the British series Top Gear. The set created for children above the age of nine years, provides a challenging build and real-life functionality inspired from real world cars and will be launched in early 2020. Top Gear is one of the longest running motoring entertainment television show spanning over forty-two years.
Aakash Educational Services Announces Franchising Opportunities
Aakash Educational Services Limited, instituted in 1988, the national leader in entrance exam preparations has announced franchising opportunities for its popular Aakash Digital and Distance Learning Programmes, and is looking at expanding across India. This will enable entrepreneurs to become a part of the rapidly expanding education brands helping students crack the toughest of engineering and medical competitive exams.
DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE UPDATES
Facebook’s COO Loses Cybersquatting Claim
Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg has lost a cybersquatting claim against the domain name LeanIn.com. The case had been filed by Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) against the domain owner Hecham Ghazal, who also runs a business by the same name. Ghazal had acquired the domain name in 2010, three years before the release of Sandberg’s book Lean In. The foundation had claimed in the suit that Ghazal had acquired the domain name only in 2015, however, the deciding officer rejected the claim as proper evidence was provided by him of his domain acquisition. Since, no bad faith was found, the case was ruled in favour of Mr. Ghazal.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION UPDATES
Srivilliputtur Palkova Gets GI Tag
Srivilliputtur Palkova, a traditional milk sweet produced in and around the town of Srivilliputtur in the Virudhunagar District of Tamil Nadu, received the GI Tag recently from the Geographical Indications Registry of India. Palkova is made out of milk and sugar and is light yellow to brown in colour, with a smooth texture in a semi-solid state. While ‘Khoa” is a generic sweet that can be made using cow or buffalo milk, Srivilliputtur Palkova is only made using the milk of cows reared in and around Srivilliputtur area. This adds to its uniqueness and distinguishes it quality from others. The Application was filed by Srivilliputtur Milk Producers Co-Operative Society, and Rajapalayam Co-Operative Milk Producers Society in 2013.
Authored and compiled by Shreya Chaddha & Uma T.S
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