In this installment of “Trademarks in the Courtroom: Noteworthy Decisions from India – Part 7,” we delve into recent significant trademark rulings by the Bombay and Delhi High Courts. These decisions highlight the courts’ approach to trademark registration, emphasizing the balance between distinctiveness and potential confusion in the market.
“I am” device mark refusal set aside.
The Bombay High Court has set aside an order of the Senior Examiner of Trademarks refusing a device mark bearing the word “I am” based on pre-existing marks bearing the same word. The Court stated that the Senior Examiner did not apply his mind to the submissions made by I am the Ocean and that the order lacked reasoning. As per the Court, the order merely states similarity and likelihood of confusion but does not give reasons why similarity and likelihood of confusion exist.
Citation: I Am The Ocean, LLC Vs. Registrar of Trade Marks [Interim Application (L) No. 4264 of 2023 in Comm. Miscellaneous Petition (L) No. 3899 of 2023]
Delhi High Court allows the device mark containing the words “Smart Cities India” with buildings in the background for advertisement.
The Court states that this mark does not have a direct link with exhibition and conference services for which it is to be registered, and is not devoid of distinctive character. The allowance is subject to disclaimer with respect to the words” Smart Cities.
Citation: Exhibitions India Pvt Ltd Vs. The Registrar Of Trade Marks [C.A.(COMM.IPD-TM) 86/2022]
“Just” for milk products is arbitrary mark, says Delhi High Court.
Delhi High Court holds that “Just” for milk products is arbitrary. It accepts the label mark containing the words: “Just Milk”. The Court however clarifies that no rights will extend to the word “Milk”.
Citation: Amrit Corp. Limited Vs. The Registrar Of Trade Marks [C.A.(COMM.IPD-TM) 55/2021]
These rulings underscore the complexity and nuances of trademark law in India. The courts have demonstrated a keen understanding of the balance required between a mark’s distinctiveness and the potential for market confusion. Each decision reflects a tailored approach to the specific circumstances of the case, reinforcing the importance of detailed examination in trademark law.