Bombay High Court vacates injunction granted to ISKCON, Madurai Marikolunthu Sought for GI and more brought to you by the Trademark Attorneys at BananaIP (BIP) Counsel.
INDIAN TRADEMARK UPDATES
Bombay High Court Vacates Injunction Granted to ISKCON
In a recent decision by the Bombay High Court, an earlier injunction granted in favour of the Bombay branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has been revoked, in light of certain new facts that came to the fore. The interim injunction was granted on 18th December 2020 against Vishna Foods Private Limited, restraining them from using the “ISKCON” trademark. Vishna Foods claimed that they received a license to use the “ISKCON” mark from the Bangalore branch of ISKCON, which was vehemently denied by the Bombay branch. However, it was later revealed to the Bombay High Court that there was a dispute pending before the Supreme Court between the Bombay and Bangalore branches of ISKCON, regarding the licensing rights and independent usage rights of the “ISKCON” trademark. In light of these facts, the Bombay High Court revoked the interim injunction granted against Vishna Foods, and further passed an order impleading the Bangalore branch of ISKCON in the case as well.
Citation: International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) v. Vishna Foods (P) Ltd [I.A.(L) No. 1913 of 2021 with I.A.(L) No. 8962 of 2020 in COMIP (L) No. 8889 of 2020]
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK UPDATES
Burberry Secures Injunction in China Against Baneberry
Internationally renowned fashion brand Burberry recently secured a preliminary injunction from the Suzhou Intermediate People’s Court, against a Chinese entity, Xinobli Trading (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., which was found to be infringing several Burberry trademarks. The Chinese apparel retailer owned the brand ‘Baneberry’ and had registered the ‘Baneberry’ trademark, as well as a logo similar to Burberry’s “warrior on horse” logo. The Suzhou Intermediate People’s Court noted that the ‘Baneberry’ trademarks were deceptively similar to Burberry’s trademarks, and although they were registered since 2011, ‘Burberry’ was already a well-known mark at the time, with a wide presence in the Chinese market. The injunction was granted by the Court on an urgent basis, as both parties’ goods were sold through similar trade channels, and the sale of ‘Baneberry’ products was having an adverse impact on Burberry’s market share.
Chanel Initiates Trademark Suit to Protect Iconic “C” Monogram
Luxury fashion brand Chanel has recently instituted a trademark infringement suit before the New York Federal Court, against US based accessory manufacturer ‘Shiver + Duke’. In the suit, Chanel asserts that Shiver + Duke has been manufacturing jewellery by sourcing authentic Chanel buttons bearing Chanel’s iconic ‘C’ monogram logo, and using the same on chains, earrings, and bracelets. Chanel did issue a cease and desist letter to Shiver + Duke upon discovering the allegedly infringing goods, but the same was not complied with. The accessory manufacturer merely changed the description on the packaging of the jewellery to “Reworked” and “Reimagined” and continued to sell the same products as its own. Chanel has claimed monetary damages as well as an injunction to restrain Shiver + Duke from using the Chanel trademarks, or any other imitation thereof.
BRAND LICENSING UPDATES
Benetton Unveils New Garfield Collection
Entertainment network ViacomCBS Consumer Products and apparel manufacturer Benetton Group have signed a global license agreement, for the design, production, and distribution of the iconic comic character Garfield. The agreement which is valid from 2021-2022, will be the first-ever Garfield collection for Undercolors of Benetton brand. The collection will include apparels and accessories and will be inspired by the philosophy of the iconic lazy feline. The collection will be available in the Benetton retail network including United and Undercolors around the world.
New Sustainable Collection from Levis
Denim brand Levis has collaborated with Danish fashion label Ganni to launch a new sustainable line of clothing. The collection which is made from cottonized hemp is focused on providing sustainable design. The new collection will include Ganni prints, denim dresses with Peter Pan collars, and ‘70s-inspired shapes.
DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE UPDATES
Energy Drinks Manufacturer Vital Found Indulging in Reverse Domain Name Hijacking
Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc., one of the largest energy drinks manufacturers in the United States, was recently handed an unfavourable decision by a panellist under the WIPO’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”). Vital Pharmaceuticals is the owner of the energy drink brands ‘Noo’ and ’Noo Fuzion’ and had intended to acquire the ‘noo.com’ domain. It therefore submitted a cybersquatting dispute for the same under UDRP. However, the UDRP panel noted that the domain owner, Mahad Taheri, had acquired the domain in 2005 for a marketing business, which was 15 years before Vital Pharmaceuticals had registered any trademarks, including the ‘Noo’ trademark. Therefore, the WIPO panellist rightly held that the ‘noo.com’ domain name was not registered or used in bad faith, and no case of cybersquatting could be made out. Vital Pharmaceuticals was, therefore, found to be engaging in reverse domain name hijacking.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION UPDATES
Madurai Marikolunthu Sought for GI
Madurai Marikolunthu, an aromatic plant of South India has been applied for Geographical Indication (GI). Madurai Marikolunthu which originates from Madurai, is used for religious ceremonies and in making of garlands, bouquets, floral decorations and is quite popular due to its rich fragrance. The GI has been filed by the Madurai Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Malar Motha Vyabarigal Nala Sangam.
Authored and compiled by Uma T.S, Shreya Chaddha & Varun Gopalakrishnan
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