Lacoste Protects its ‘Crocodile’, Bareilly Terracotta Filed for GI, #FridaysForFuture Trademark, Forever 21 Gets New Lifeline and more, brought to you by the Trademark Attorneys at BananaIP (BIP) Counsel.
INDIAN TRADEMARK UPDATES
French Clothing Brand ‘Lacoste’ Enforces Rights
Lacoste S.A., the French clothing major, had filed an application for a permanent injunction in the Delhi District Court against Suresh Kumar Sharma. Lacoste contends that Suresh Kumar Sharma was selling shirts bearing the “Lacoste” mark and thus infringing its trademark and passing off. The Court observed that Suresh Kumar Sharma had no right to use the “Lacoste” mark and further held that his actions led to undue enrichment and created confusion amongst the general public. Thus, the court granted permanent injunction restraining Suresh Kumar Sharma from using the “Lacoste” mark.
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK UPDATES
Climate Change Activist Greta Thunberg Claims Trademark for Her Name and Movement
Greta Thunberg, the 17 year old Swedish climate change activist, who had gained popularity after her speech (in which she exclaimed “how dare you”) at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit, seeks to protect her name and her movement “#FridaysForFuture”. Through a post on Instagram, Greta claimed her name and the #FridaysForFuture movement were constantly being used for commercial purposes without any consent whatsoever. She finds trademark registration necessary, after realising that products were being sold and people were collecting money in her and the movement’s name. She also intends to get a trademark registration for “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (School Strike for Climate), the phrase written on the sign that jump-started her activism.
Inter Milan’s Legal Tussle to Protect its “Inter” Trademark in the US
Inter Milan, the Italian professional football club based in Milan, which had previously filed for trademark protection of “Inter” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2014, has scored a preliminary ruling in its favour against the opposition raised by Major League Soccer, which owns ‘Inter Miami’, an American professional soccer club based in Miami. Major League Soccer had approached the USPTO and contended that the term “Inter” was merely descriptive and there existed likelihood of confusion, thus seeking dismissal of registration of the term “Inter” by Inter Milan. Major League Soccer also claimed that there were a number of clubs that used “Inter” in their name and thus “Inter” cannot be registered as a trademark. However, the USPTO dismissed the opposition as it was not convinced by the argument that “Inter”, too frequently appears among the names of soccer clubs and could not be associated with any one club.
BRAND LICENSING UPDATES
Kareena Kapoor Khan to be the Brand Icon for “IMARA”
Universal Sportsbiz Pvt Ltd, a Bengaluru based youth oriented fashion retailer, has announced Kareena Kapoor Khan, the Bollywood actress and the style icon, to be the brand ambassador for its women’s ethnic wear brand “IMARA”. This fashion line is conceptualized as a contemporary interpretation of the conventional, offering a refreshing take on ethnic designs. With this partnership, the company looks to expand the brand’s footprints across the country.
Forever 21 and Barbie Collaborates to Launch New Fashion Collection
Forever 21, the American fast fashion retailer dealing in women’s clothing and accessories has entered into a brand licensing deal with Mattel Inc.’s Barbie, to bring out a new fashion collection. The collaboration is celebrating the classic doll with a new collection that blends Barbie’s love of pink with her girl-power ideals. The collection is mainly targeting young girls and includes shirts and tank tops in Barbie’s signature pink, pastel barrettes, pink hoodies and skinny jeans, among other items.
Plus Fitness Starts Franchise in Mumbai
Plus Fitness, an Australian gym chain, has recently started its franchise at a prime location in Central Mumbai. Plus Fitness was established 24 years ago in Australia and began franchising 2011. They have a revised model that has helped them to turn the network of gyms into 24/7 value-based gym operations with exclusive territories and low staffing costs. The Gym chain after the successful franchising of 280 units across New Zealand and Singapore has in India, established at Ahmedabad and looks forward to expand in Pune and other regions in Mumbai in the upcoming future, after starting its new franchise at Central Mumbai.
DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE UPDATES
A Spanish University Held Liable for Reverse Domain Name Hijacking
Universidad Privada De Madrid (the University), a university based in Spain, had filed a complaint at the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Centre against Domain Capital, a financial services company bases in New Jersey. The University contended that the disputed domain name www.uax.com was identical or confusingly similar to its domain name www.uax.es and as such was being used in bad faith. However, Domain Capital had requested a finding of reverse domain name hijacking against the University. The Panel denied the contentions of the University and held that the University was liable for bringing up the suit in bad faith and constituted an abuse of the administrative proceedings.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION UPDATES
Bareilly Terracotta Filed for GI
The Bareilly Terracotta, originated from Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh, is known for the artistic and intrinsic work of the artisans. Bareilly Terracotta is a unique handicrafted product and has been providing a livelihood to thousands of artisans in Uttar Pradesh. Like pottery, terracotta is made in several parts of India where craftspeople use local clay available in river beds to make items such as articles of daily use, utilities, decoratives, lamps, candle stands, figures of deities, animals, toys, etc. The Uttar Pradesh Export Promotion Council, Lucknow and the AL Madar Social Welfare and Educational Society of Uttar Pradesh, have filed an application for registration of the GI for ‘Bareilly Terracotta’ under the Handicrafts Category. The Application has now entered the Pre-Examination Stage.
Authored and compiled by Uma T.S, Shreya Chaddha & Poorvika Chandanam
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