BMW Wins over DMW E-Rickshaw, Ford Files Trademark for G.O.A.T Modes, Levi’s Launching Super Mario Collection and more, brought to you by the Trademark Attorneys at BananaIP (BIP) Counsel.
INDIAN TRADEMARK UPDATES
BMW Wins Over DMW E-Rickshaw
BAYERISCHE MOTOREN WERKE AG, commonly referred to as BMW, the luxury car and motorcycle manufacturers filed an application in the Delhi High Court for an ad interim injunction against Om Balajee Automobile (‘Defendant’) out of Ghaziabad, for using the trademark “DMW” for e-rickshaws. BMW submitted that the earliest Indian registration for the BMW mark dates back to 1956. Further, it was submitted that BMW is a well-known mark and has been so accepted in decisions of courts and other judicial bodies across the world. In the suit, BMW submitted that the mark DMW is similar to their registered mark in appearance, sound and structure. In the reply filed by the Defendant, it was submitted that the marks are not similar and further the nature and class of buyers are different as DMW is engaged in manufacturing only e-rickshaws and not cars or motorcycles as BMW. The Court observed that the DMW trademark was created to “mislead an average man of ordinary intelligence” and DMW is visually, as well as phonetically, similar to BMW’s trademark. Further, BMW is a well-known trademark and use of the aforesaid mark by the Defendant on its product constitutes infringement under the Trademarks Act. Therefore, an ad-interim injunction was granted against the Defendant from using DMW or any other trademark similar to BMW with respect to e-rickshaws.
Citation: Bayerische Motoren Werke AG v. Om Balajee Automobile (India) Private Limited (IA No.4800/2017)
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK UPDATES
Ford Files Trademark for G.O.A.T Modes
Ford Motor Company has filed for a new trademark for the term ‘G.O.A.T Modes’ with the USPTO for “drive systems comprised of automatic controls for vehicle chassis and powertrain controllers, integrated as an integral part of a passenger vehicle”. Goats, especially mountain goats are famous for their climbing ability. It is reasonable to assume that G.O.A.T Modes could be a crafty name for an off-roading system and each letter to represent a different feature of the system.
BRAND LICENSING UPDATES
Rollingstone Forays into Craft Beer
The Rollingstone magazine has partnered with Elysian Brewing Company, a Seattle based brewery rooted in music and art, to produce ‘Elysian Rolling Stone Lager’ that embraces the spirit of music. The Lager is said to be crisp, smooth and sweet, with tantalizing hints of caramel and orange marmalade. It has a moderate hop profile from Cascade, Crystal and Mandarina Bavaria hops, giving the beer an orange zest and Manuka honey finish. The lager will be made available at all grocery stores in the US market.
Levi’s Launching Super Mario Collection
The denim major Levi’s, has collaborated with Nintendo in launching Super Mario themed apparel collection in the US and Canada. Super Mario is Nintendo’s 35-year-old popular video-game franchise. The collection for men, women and kids includes denim overalls, jackets, hoodies and t-shirts featuring Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Bowser, Bullet Bill, Toad, Yoshi, the collectible coins, power-up mushrooms, and the fire flower. In addition to the apparel, Levi states there are also tote bags, printed slings, hats and bandanas. The collection is available only at Levi’s online store currently considering the Covid-19 situation and practice of social distancing.
DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE UPDATES
Coca-Cola Fights Domain Dispute
The Coca-Cola Company (“Complainant”) filed a domain name dispute complaint with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center against an individual, Alberto S. Somohano (“Respondent”), for registering identical/confusingly similar domains www.alwayscoca.com, www.coladecoca.com, www.the-coca-cola.company, www.cocacoca-energy.com, www.coca-cola.energy, www.cocacola.energy, and www.coke.energy (collectively referred as “Domain Names”). The Complainant has been using the COCA-COLA mark to advertise and sell beverages and other products and services for 130 years and is the owner of 700 domain names incorporating its COCA-COLA or COKE marks. It was contended that the Domain Names included the terms ‘Coca’ or ‘Cola’ or ‘Coke’ which are confusingly similar to its well-known and long-established trademarks. The Respondent contended that “Coca” and “Cola” are generic terms that the Complainant should not be able to trademark and that the Respondent legitimately uses those terms, and variations of them, to refer to coca derivatives and soft drinks. It was further contended that Respondent has been using such terms legitimately online and in social media since 2011 to advertise products containing cocoa extracts, unlike the Complainant’s products, and requested for a finding of reverse domain name hijacking. After considering the submissions, the Panel finds that the Domain Names are confusingly similar to Complainant’s marks and were registered in bad faith without any legitimate interests. For the foregoing reasons, the Panel ordered that the Domain Names be transferred to Complainant. Further, the Panel considered the complaint well-grounded and therefore there is no evidence of abuse. Accordingly, the Panel declined to enter a finding of reverse domain name hijacking.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION UPDATES
Attappady Avara Applied for GI
Attappady Aathrkombu Avara (Dolichos bean) is the traditional crop of tribal farmers in the Attappady area of the Palakkad district of Kerala. The name “Aattukombu Avara” is derived from its distinct and unusual shape similar to a goat’s horn where the pods are curved at both ends. The name indicates its indigenous origin and association with the local tribal people. This GI application was filed by Aattukombu Avara Uthpathaka Sangham in March 2020.
Authored and compiled by Uma T.S
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