Eris Acquires Novartis Trademarks for $13 Million, HUL Active Wheel Keeps Active Sangita Out of Stores, New Amendment to China’s Trademark Law in Effect, Harry Potter Spins Jewellery Magic, Crocs are Frozen, OYO Forays into Thailand, Whose Domain is VisitQatar.com?, and Manipur Black Rice Gets GI, brought to you by the Trademark Attorneys at BananaIP (BIP) Counsel.
INDIAN TRADEMARK UPDATES
HUL Active Wheel Keeps Active Sangita Out of Stores
Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), the FMCG major has filed for a trademark injunction to restrain Sambhu Das, an individual from selling or marketing his detergent powder “ACTIVE SANGITA” in packets/labels similar to HUL’s product “ACTIVE WHEEL”. HUL claims that the packets, labels and/or cartons, in which the “ACTIVE SANGITA” detergent powder is sold are a deceptive imitation of their well-known “Active Wheel” label. The Calcutta High Court noted that the mark used by Sambhu Das was prima facie infringing HUL’s mark, and the detergent packets and labels were a colourful and deceptive imitation of the “Active Wheel” product. Therefore, the Court passed an ad interim order against Sambhu Das.
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK UPDATES
Eris Acquires Novartis Trademarks for $13 Million
Eris Lifesciences, one of the fastest growing Indian pharmaceutical companies, has acquired the trademark Zomelis and its associated trademarks, from Switzerland based pharma major Novartis International AG, for thirteen million dollars. Zomelis, commonly used for Vildagliptin formulations, an anti-diabetic drug that is used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. This is the first innovator pharmaceutical acquisition by Eris, which shall strengthen its position in the diabetes care market in India. The drug has been promoted in India since the last ten years and will be sold in India from 10th December.
New Amendment to China’s Trademark Law in Effect
The Thirteenth Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress passed the fourth amendment to the Trademark Law of China on 23rd April 2019. The new law has come into force on 1st November 2019. The current amendment has been passed in order to curb bad faith filings, willful infringements and counterfeit commodities. Under the new law, any new filings will be rejected if made without an intention to use. The amendment has also provided for an increase in the compensation for trademark infringement. The new changes will be beneficial for foreign trademark owners who have lost many trademark battles in China due to squatting.
BRAND LICENSING UPDATES
Harry Potter Spins Jewellery Magic
We have got great news for all Harry Potter merchandize fans. Pandora, the Danish jewellery manufacturer, has collaborated with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to bring out a Harry Potter inspired jewellery collection. Pandora has launched a hand finished collection of charms, pendants and a bracelet inspired by Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dobby, and other characters and symbols of the franchise. The collection is available on their official website and also at their Pandora retail outlets.
Crocs are Frozen
Capitalizing on the release of the movie Frozen 2 and also the on-set of winter, Crocs has partnered with Disney to bring a new Frozen inspired Crocs collection. The footwear will feature Elsa, Anna, and Olaf characters from the movie and also make available themed Jibbitz Charms to accessorize the footwear.
OYO Forays into Thailand
Oyo Hotels and Homes has now entered Thailand as part of its Southeast Asia expansion plans. The hotel chain has opened 250 franchises with over 8000 rooms in 13 cities including popular destinations like Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket and Hua Hin. Oyo already has operations in other tourism markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines. Adding Thailand to the Southeast Asia Portfolio is expected to play a significant role in its business growth.
DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE UPDATES
Whose Domain is VisitQatar.com?
Qatar National Tourism Council had recently won a domain name dispute against the domain VisitQatar.com. Teymur Mehdiyev, the proprietor of VisitQatar.com, filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in Colorado, after the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) ordered that his domain be transferred to the Qatar Tourism Council, despite Mehdiyey having a “Visit Qatar” registered trademark in the US. Mehdiyev in the lawsuit has requested the court to declare his ownership of VisitQatar.com does not constitute cybersquatting, and also find for reverse domain name hijacking, which comes with a penalty as high as $100,000. Now it is to be seen how Qatar National Tourism Council will respond to these claims.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION UPDATES
Manipur Black Rice Gets GI
The Manipur Black Rice GI application has been accepted by the Geographical Indication (GI) Registry. Black rice of Manipur, locally known as Chakhao, is a scented glutinous rice which has been in cultivation for centuries, and has a dark purple hue on its outer bran layer making it appear almost black. Chakhao is famous for its characteristic aroma and high concentration of fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. It is mostly used during community feasts and ceremonies. The application was filed by the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC) in 2017.
Authored and compiled by Shreya Chaddha & Uma T.S
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