ISKCON Declared as a Well-Known Trademark, Booking.com isn’t Generic, Held by US Supreme Court, and more
ISKCON declared as a well-known trademark, Move over Fair & Lovely, it’s now Glow & Lovely time, Qualcomm, Flipkart, and HRX unite to launch wireless audio devices and more brought to you by the Trademark Attorneys at BananaIP (BIP) Counsel.
INDIAN TRADEMARK UPDATES
ISKCON Declared as a Well-Known Trademark
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), had filed an application in the High Court of Bombay, seeking a permanent injunction to restrain Iskcon Apparel, a Delhi based clothing manufacturer, from using the trademark ‘ISKCON’. Colloquially known as the Hare Krishna movement, ISKON is a Gaudiya Vaishnava Hindu religious organization founded in New York in 1966. ISKCON contended in its suit that the recognition, reputation and goodwill of its trademark – ISKCON is no longer restricted to any particular goods and/or services but pertains to a diverse range of categories and therefore requested for the well-known trademark status in India. It was further submitted that ISKCON is a coined mark and has obtained several trademark registrations. ISKCON also owns the domain www.iskcon.org which has been operational since 1994. The single judge bench of the Court recognized that the mark ISKCON is a coined term by the organization and undoubtedly deserves the highest degree of protection. Its mark has also acquired immense and long-standing reputation and goodwill throughout India and abroad. In view of the above, the Court declared that ISKCON is a well-known trademark in India within the meaning provided in Section 2(1)(zg) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999. The Court therefore granted a permanent injunction restraining Iskcon Apparel from using the trademark ISKCON.
Citation: International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) v. Iskcon Apparel Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. COMMERCIAL IP SUIT (L) NO. 235 OF 2020
Move Over Fair & Lovely, It’s Now Glow & Lovely Time
The ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in the US have forced several companies to introspect their brands’ racial, discriminatory, derogatory practices or image. Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), is one such example. HUL has renamed its popular skin whitening cream ‘Fair & Lovely’ to ‘Glow & Lovely’, and the skin cream for men will be called ‘Glow & Handsome’. In a bid to protect from competitors, the company has filed new trademark applications with the Indian Trademark Registry for the terms ‘Glow & Lovely’ and ‘Glow & Handsome’ in a stylized format under class 3 which covers soap, creams and lotions amongst other products. It is interesting to note that HUL had earlier applied for the word mark “Glow & Lovely” as well as “Glow & Handsome” in 2018 but these applications were refused by the Trademark Registry. Earlier this week, companies like Lipton Tea and Dove announced that they would drop words such as ‘fair’, ‘fairness’ ‘white’ and ‘whitening’ from their marketing.
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK UPDATES
Booking.com isn’t Generic, Held by US Supreme Court
In a huge win for the popular online travel portal Booking.com, the US Supreme Court (USSC) has ruled that the Netherland based company can trademark its name. In a 8-1 decision, the USSC affirmed the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s ruling that adding the term “.com” to a generic word can make the entire combination eligible for trademark protection, even if “Booking” alone could not. Booking.com had filed a trademark application with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) which was refused on the grounds that generic terms are not eligible for trademark protection. The decision was later overruled by a US Federal District Court and further upheld by the US Court of Appeals. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on behalf of the bench, held that “consumers understand that Booking.com refers to a particular company, and not online hotel reservation services in general. Since Booking.com’ is not a generic name to consumers, it is not generic”. However, Justice Stephen Breyer, in his dissent stated that ‘the court’s majority had put too much emphasis on consumer surveys, which he said were of limited value’.
BRAND LICENSING UPDATES
New Makeup Collection From MAC
MAC, one of the most popular global cosmetics brands, stylized as M·A·C, has partnered with American singer Teyana Taylor, to launch a new makeup collection. The collection inspired by the 1990’s, will consist of 12 products including a highlighter, lipliner, lipsticks and lipglasses, and will be adorned in neon packaging with Teyana Taylor Branding. The collection will be available on MAC’s website.
Care Bear Launches New Accessories Collection
Irregular Choice, a UK based fashion accessories brand, has partnered with Cloudco Entertainment, owner of entertainment brand Care Bears, to launch a new Care Bear-inspired accessories collection. The line consists of a 34-piece collection and showcase’s each bear’s individual personality. Each style is filled with intricate details featuring vintage art style, including rainbows, plushie stars, sparkling gems and colour combinations. Care Bears is a fictional group of multi-colored bear characters, developed in the year 1981 by artist Elena Kucharik, to be used on greeting cards.
Qualcomm, Flipkart, and HRX Unite to Launch Wireless Audio Devices
American chipset maker Qualcomm Technologies has collaborated with Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart, to launch a range of wireless audio devices for the Indian market under the HRX brand. The new audio collection includes three products-two wireless neckbands and one wireless earbud. The products are priced in between INR 1,499- INR 2,999 and will feature Qualcomm’s cVc technology.
DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE UPDATES
Entertainment Earth Grabs Back the Infringed Domain
Entertainment Earth (‘Complainant’), an online retailer and wholesaler of toys and collectibles headquartered at California, filed a domain name dispute complain with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center against Colin Avraam (‘Respondent’) an individual based in Canada for registering a confusingly similar domain www.entertainmentearth.shop.com. As per the complaint, the impugned domain name was used to redirect traffic from the Complainant’s website www.entertainmentearth.com. The impugned domain name currently resolves to a Pay Per Click (PPC) page. The Respondent did not formally reply to Complainant’s contentions.
The Panel finds that the impugned domain name is practically identical with the ‘Entertainment Earth’ trademark of the Complainant as it incorporates the said trademark in its entirety, and the use of the impugned domain to host a parked page comprising PPC links does not represent any legitimate or bona fide interests in respect. Therefore, the Panel ordered the domain www.entertainmentearth.shop.com to be transferred to the Complainant.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION UPDATES
Thammampatti Wood Carvings to Get GI Tag
The Thammampatti wood carvings, the signature artwork of artisans from the Salem region for over 75 years, is all set to become Tamil Nadu’s 36th Geographical Indications (GI) product. The Thammampatti wood carvings are generally derived from architectural details of temples or heritage idols, mythological events or stories, temple doors, and pooja mandapams. The artisans use woods such as superior teak wood (yellow teak), sandal wood, rose wood, etc. and are popular for its big sized sculptures. The process of wood carving is environment friendly with minimum exposure to chemicals. The seasoning of the wood is done naturally by exposing it to different climatic conditions and is not through a regulated process. The application was filed by the Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation in 2013.
Authored and compiled by Uma T.S & Shreya Chaddha
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