Indian Case Law
WhiteHat Jr. Stops WhiteHat Sr. for Now
The Delhi High Court, in a recent decision, passed an interim order against a YouTuber, for allegedly infringing upon and causing harm to the trademark of WhiteHat Jr., a platform that teaches coding to young children. Pradeep Poonia, who operates the YouTube channel ‘WhiteHatSr.’, as well as the twitter handles ‘WhiteHatSr.’ and ‘WhiteHatPoonia’ had consistently posted tweets and videos questioning the integrity and legitimacy of WhiteHat Jr. and its instructors. While WhiteHatJr. contends that these acts amount to trademark infringement, Poonia responded, stating that as he is not gaining any commercial benefit from the usage of the name ‘WhiteHatSr.’, the claim of infringement cannot stand. The Delhi High Court, however, observed that if Poonia is allowed to continue using the name ‘WhiteHatSr.’, it may cause irreparable loss to WhiteHatJr. The Delhi High Court has, therefore, restrained Poonia from naming his YouTube channel ‘WhiteHatSr.’, and from posting further derogatory tweets about the company without proper evidence, until the present suit is decided.
Citation: Karan Bajaj & Anr. v. Pradeep Poonia [I.A. No. 10874/2020 in CS (COMM) 515/2020]
International Trademark News
No DogHouse for Brewdog
In a recent decision by the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (‘UKIPO’), BrewDog PLC, a UK based beer manufacturer, failed to register its trademark “DogHouse”. BrewDog had filed the trademark with the UKIPO in relation to its craft beer hotel as well as brewing services, which was later opposed by Doghouse Distillery Ltd, another UK based beverage manufacturer.
Doghouse Distillery had claimed in the opposition that the mark is similar to its mark DogHouse, which has been registered in relation to its brewing, restaurant, and pub services. The Registrar held that the marks were phonetically similar, and although Doghouse Distillery’s mark was not registered in relation to hotel services per se, due to the similarity of the fields of operation of the two beverage manufacturers, there did exist a possibility of confusion between the two marks. The UKIPO, therefore, allowed the notice of opposition, and rejected BrewDog PLC’s application.
Burberry Initiates Infringement Suit Against Rapper Burberry Jesus
Luxury fashion company Burberry has recently instituted a case against Chicago-based rapper Burberry Jesus, for infringing its trademarks in an Illinois Federal Court. The rapper, whose real name is Marvel Yarbrough, had adopted the stage name ‘Burberry Jesus’, and consistently uploads photos on social media featuring Burberry products, and even pictures of cars featuring the Burberry logo. The fashion giant has contended that Yarbrough has been using its 160-year-old trademark for his personal gain, and to promote his musical career, and such use may lead consumers to infer an association between the rapper and the luxury brand. Burberry is seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief to permanently stop Yarbrough from using its trademark.
Brand Licensing News
Hasbro Announces Multiple Licensing Deals for Monopoly’s 85th Anniversary
Toy manufacturing giant, Hasbro, has recently announced a number of licensing deals, to commemorate the 85th anniversary of its widely popular board game Monopoly. The collaborations include a line of Monopoly themed t-shirts with 80s Tees, as well as Monopoly themed belts from Beltology. Besides apparel, Hasbro has also partnered with PlayDate Digital, a children’s mobile application designer, to create an immersive Monopoly Junior iOS application. Hasbro has also unveiled a collaboration with luxury jewellery brand Swarovski and has released a Monopoly board adorned with Swarovski crystals.
Discovery Partners with NAOKO for Animal Planet Apparel Line
Polish clothing brand NAOKO has recently joined hands with television network Discovery Channel, to launch a new line of apparel inspired by wildlife and wilderness. The new NAOKO x Animal Planet ‘Into the Wild’ collection was envisioned to support Discovery’s Project CAT, which aims to provide a sustainable habitat for future tiger generations. The apparel line includes jackets, dresses, t-shirts, socks, and tracksuits, featuring a range of wild cat patterns in vibrant colours.
Domain Name Dispute
Spase, Inc. Founder Found Repeatedly Attempting Reverse Domain Name Hijacking
The National Arbitration Forum, an American domain name dispute resolution service provider, recently found Sahil Gupta, the founder of Space, Inc., attempting reverse domain name hijacking a second time against ‘spase.com’. Gupta had already filed a case with the National Arbitration Forum under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) earlier this year, and was unsuccessful in his claim of trademark infringement, as the owner of the spase.com domain, Mrs Jello LLC, had acquired the domain in 2005, whereas Gupta had only commenced business under the name Spase, Inc. in 2019. As no new relevant information had come to light, the Panel of the National Arbitration Forum ruled against Gupta and stated that the case was one of reverse domain name hijacking.
Goa Mankur Mango Applied for GI
Goa Mankur Mango also known as Malcorado, Kurad or Mankurad, has been applied for Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Department of Science & Technology & Waste Management. The mango is known for its uniform yellow colour, less fibre, perfect balance of sugar and acidic taste and aromatic sap, which makes it a great choice for making pickles.
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