Delhi High Court prohibits the use of ‘DEVTOL’, Victoria Beckham settles dispute over “VB” in Australia, Kovilpatti Kadalai Mittai bags GI tag and more, brought to you by the Trademark Attorneys at BananaIP (BIP) Counsel.
INDIAN TRADEMARK UPDATES
Delhi High Court Prohibits the Use of ‘DEVTOL’
Reckitt Benckiser, a British multinational consumer goods company, filed an application at the High Court of New Delhi, seeking a permanent injunction against Mohit Petrochemicals for selling hand sanitizers under the brand name ‘DEVTOL’. Mohit Petrochemicals claimed this product protected against COVID 19. Reckitt Benckiser is the manufacturer and trademark owner of a well-known antiseptic sold under the brand name ‘DETTOL’. The Court, after hearing arguments from both the parties through videoconferencing, passed a decree of permanent injunction restraining Mohit Petrochemicals from using the trademark ‘DEVTOL’ or any similar marks for their products. It was further added that the infringer has already instructed their agents and dealers to withdraw the ‘DEVTOL’ product from the market and had confirmed that they would no longer manufacture or sell the infringing product. Moreover, the Court directed Mohit Petrochemicals to deposit INR 1 lakh in the fund for juvenile justice.
Citation: Reckitt Benckiser (India) Pvt. Ltd. v. Mohit Petrochemicals Pvt. Ltd CS(COMM)No.141/2020 & I.A.Nos.4034-37/2020
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK UPDATES
New Trademarks Filed for Black Lives Matter & I Can’t Breathe
The death of George Floyd, and African American man, at the hands of the US police, is turning out to be a pivot point in the history of racial injustice. Banking on the current protests, a number of trademark applications have been filed in the European Union, UK, and the US for terms such as “I CAN’T BREATHE” and “BLACK LIVES MATTERS” for apparels as well as charitable organizations. These terms have become a rallying cry during the protests against racial injustice and police violence sparked by the killing of George Floyd.
Victoria Beckham Settles Dispute over “VB” in Australia
The ongoing battle between former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham and Australian cosmetics company VB Skinlab has finally reached a conclusion. The former signer turned fashion designer had filed a suit against VB Skinlab, for using the initials VB, after the Intellectual Property (IP) Australia had rejected her opposition application. VB Skinlab had filed applications with IP Australia to register the marks VB Salon as well as VB Skinlab for beauty salon services, skincare products and cosmetics. However, the matter has been settled between the two entities and the appeal has been vacated by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. Further, the presiding judge has ordered the two marks of VB Skinlab to proceed for registration.
BRAND LICENSING UPDATES
HyperX Collaborates with Panda Global for Gaming Eyewear
HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, has partnered with American e-sports brand Panda Global, to create a new collection of HyperX Gaming Eyewear. The collection, which is available in a variety of colours, has been designed specially to reduce eye strain. The products will be available online through e-commerce website Amazon as well as Panda Global’s online store.
Heinz Partners Casetify to Launch Cases & Accessories for Apple Products
Heinz, the food products major, popularly known for their ketchup, has partnered with Casetify, the manufacturer of tech accessories and phone cases, to bring out a new line of accessories. The collection, which is inspired by the ketchup brand, features a range of accessories for iPhone, AirPods, Apple Watches, iPads and Macbooks. The collection will be available online and will be shipped worldwide. The deal has been brokered by Kraft Heinz’s licensing agency, Brand Central.
DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE UPDATES
Facebook Fights its Domain Infringer
Facebook (‘Complainant’), the American online social media conglomerate, has filed a domain name dispute complaint with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center against Colin Chiat (‘Respondent’) from Canada for registering confusingly similar domains www.facebookstore.ca and www.facebook-deals.ca. The Complainants sent a cease and desist notice asserting their rights in the term ‘Facebook’ and requested a transfer of the domain names. The Respondent did not respond to the notice. The Complainant contended that their main website www.facebook.com is currently ranked as the 3rd most visited website in the world and is the exclusive owner of a number of registered trademarks consisting of the word FACEBOOK in several countries, including Canada. The Complainant asserted that the disputed domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith. The Respondent did not submit a formal reply to the Complainant’s contentions. The Panel finds that the infringing domains were registered in bad faith and the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domains. Therefore, the Panel ordered that the disputed domains be transferred to the Complainant.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION UPDATES
Kovilpatti Kadalai Mittai Bags GI Tag
After a five-year wait, Kovilpatti Kadalai Mittai (peanut candy) has been granted GI registration by the Geographical Indication (GI) Registry in April, 2020. It is mainly manufactured in Kovilpatti and the adjacent villages of Thoothukudi district in Tamil Nadu. The candy is prepared using palm and sugarcane jaggery, and groundnuts sourced locally, along with water from the Thamirabarani river which enhances the taste naturally. The production of the peanut candy happens over firewood, giving Kovilpatti Kadalai Mittai its distinctive flavor. The application was filed by Kovilpatti Regional Kadalaimittai Manufacturers and Retailers Association in July, 2014.
Authored and compiled by Uma T.S & Shreya Chaddha
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