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Epic Games Sues VR Company, Mankind Pharma Secures Injunction and more
Epic games initiates trademark suit against Nreal, Besame launches Marilyn Monroe collection and more brought to you by the Trademark Attorneys at BananaIP (BIP) Counsel
INDIAN TRADEMARK UPDATES
Delhi High Court Grants Interim Injunction Against Novakind Bio Sciences
In a recent decision by the Delhi High Court, Mankind Pharma Limited, the fifth largest pharmaceutical company in India, was granted a favourable decision against another pharmaceutical company, Novakind Bio Sciences. Mankind Pharma Ltd. had instituted the present suit against Novakind Bio Science’s medicine “DEFZAKIND”, claiming infringement of its trademarks and passing off. Further, Mankind Pharma Ltd. contended that as it is the proprietor of around 120 trademarks under class 5, where the suffix ‘-kind’ is an essential feature of each of the marks, the usage of the suffix “-KIND” by Novakind would lead to confusion among consumers. The Delhi High Court observed that in the case of pharmaceutical products, the scope of confusion between the two products must be minimal, as it could lead to disastrous effects. Accordingly, the High Court granted an injunction against Novakind Bio Sciences, restraining them from using the mark “DEFZAKIND”, or the suffix “-KIND” in relation to any of its products, in light of the distinctiveness attained by Mankind Pharma Ltd. in relation to the same.
Citation: Mankind Pharma Limited v. Novakind Bio Sciences Private Limited [CS(Comm) 188/2021, I.A. 5700/2021)
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK UPDATES
Epic Games Sues VR Company
World famous video game developer, Epic Games, has recently instituted a suit for trademark infringement before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, against Nreal, a leading tech company in the field of augmented reality and virtual reality (“AR/VR”) glasses, and other AR/VR devices. In its lawsuit, Epic Games has claimed that Nreal’s company name looks and sounds virtually identical to Epic Games’ own trademarked gaming engine ‘Unreal’, and with the products of the two companies being in the same field of business, i.e. gaming, there exists a high chance of confusion among the consumers. Further, Epic Games has contended that Nreal is also venturing into the video game development sphere, which would only increase the chance of confusion between Nreal and Unreal.
Lidl and Hendrick’s Gin in Trademark Row
German grocery giant, Lidl, has recently faced a setback in its ongoing trademark dispute surrounding its own Hampstead brand of gin. The suit was brought before the Court of Sessions in Edinburgh by William Scott and Sons, the makers of the famous Hendrick’s Gin, alleging that Lidl had infringed upon its trademarks. The Court of Sessions noted that in trademark cases relating to gin and other spirits, the shape of the bottle and the label are often intended to be distinguishing features. Accordingly, Lidl’s Hampstead Gin, which featured a bottle shape and diamond-shaped label similar to that of Hendrick’s Gin, was found to cause confusion among consumers, and Lidl has been ordered to remove the infringing products from all of its stores.
BRAND LICENSING UPDATES
Bésame Cosmetics Releases Marilyn Monroe Collection
American cosmetics and makeup company, Bésame Cosmetics, has revealed the latest collection in its “Iconic Women” series of products in association with Authentic Brands Group, the owner of the Marilyn Monroe Estate. The Marilyn Monroe cosmetics line will feature a 15-piece collection, which includes historically accurate replicas of the Hollywood legend’s own personal effects.
Bulldog Licensing and Bamford London Reveal Sesame Street Collection
Bulldog Licensing, the licensing partner of the legendary children’s series ‘Sesame Street’, has recently launched a collaboration with luxury watch manufacturer Bamford London. The highly exclusive series will feature three designs, based on Big Bird, Elmo, and Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, with just over 100 pieces being produced in total. The collection is touted to be a success owing to the nostalgia associated with Sesame Street, and the elegant and luxurious designs of Bamford London.
DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE UPDATES
Bill Gates’ Investment Firm Faces Defeat in Cybersquatting Dispute
Cascade Investment, L.L.C., the investment firm of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, has recently lost out in a cybersquatting dispute against www.CascadeInvestment.us. The dispute was filed by Cascade Investment L.L.C. before the National Arbitration Form, an American dispute resolution service provider, alleging that the owner of the www.CascadeInvestment.us domain was cybersquatting, and was holding the infringing domain merely to secure profits by selling the same in the future. The Panel of the National Arbitration Forum, however, found that Cascade Investment L.L.C. had not procured any trademark registrations for its name, and therefore, the suit was dismissed.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION UPDATES
GI Tag Sought for Mayurbhanj’s Red Weaver Ant Chutney
The red weaver ant chutney (kai pimpudi), consumed in many parts of the Mayurbhanj district of Orissa by tribal communities, has been sought for geographical indication (“GI”) tagging. The GI tag has been sought by The Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology. The Mayurbhanj red weaver chutney, and preparations made therefrom, have, for a prolonged period of time, been used by tribal communities to treat common cold, jaundice, whooping cough, joint pain, among other illnesses.
Authored and compiled by Uma T.S, Shreya Chaddha & Varun Gopalakrishnan
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