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Latest Updates on Trademark Law – 1st August to 8th August, 2021
Indian Trademark Updates
Samsung India Faces Temporary Injunction in Trademark Infringement Suit
In a recent decision by the City Civil Court at Bengaluru, technology giant Samsung India, along with its service provider Story Experiences Pvt. Ltd., have been temporarily restrained from using the term “Concierge”. The suit was instituted by Dipali Sikand, the founder of Lesconcierges Services Pvt. Ltd. and Club Concierge Services (India) Pvt. Ltd., who claimed that she was the first person to introduce concierge services in India, and who had registered the trademark “Concierge” under classes 35, 39, 41, 43, and 45. It was asserted by Sikand that she was providing concierge services to Samsung India, however, after the expiry of her initial engagement with the tech giant, Story Experiences was appointed to provide the aforementioned services to Samsung India. Story Experiences subsequently began sharing pamphlets and brochures bearing the term “Concierge” to prospective clients, which led to Sikand filing this case, alleging infringement of her trademark rights. The City Civil Court at Bangalore thus granted a temporary injunction against Samsung India and Story Experiences Pvt. Ltd. until the conclusion of the suit.
Citation: Dipali Sikand and Ors. vs Samsung India & Anr.- OS.No.3588/2021- XVIII ADDL. CITY CIVIL JUDGE, BENGALURU
International Trademark Updates
Streetwear Brand Sues Adidas Yet Again
Milkcrate Athletics, a 25-year-old streetwear company has instituted a suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging trademark infringement by sportswear manufacturer Adidas. According to Milkcrate’s lawsuit, Adidas had recently released a line of sneakers in collaboration with designer Vic Lloyd, incorporating a logo on the tongue of the sneakers, which Milkcrate claimed to be “blatantly” copied from its own design. The present suit follows a previous settlement between the parties in another infringement proceeding in 2019, where a Milkcrate logo was used on a Brooklyn Nets T-shirt made by Adidas and Vic Lloyd.
Kim Kardashian Served with Cease-and-Desist Notice
International celebrity and reality television star Kim Kardashian has recently been served with a cease and desist notice in relation to her latest beauty venture ‘SKKN’. The notice was issued by another cosmetics brand Beauty Concepts, who claimed to be the proprietor of the trademark SKKN+, which has been in use since 2018, and which was applied for registration two days prior to Kardashian’s application for ‘SKKN’. Kardashian’s attorney, through a public statement, commended the small business’ success, but asserted that the issue will be dealt with strictly in accordance with trademark law.
Brand Licensing Updates
Coca-Cola Teams Up with PopSockets
In commemoration of its immensely popular 1971 television commercial, Coca-Cola has joined hands with mobile accessory company PopSockets to launch a limited-edition PopSockets: 1971 Unity Collection. The collection features Coca-Cola-branded PopGrips, can holders, can openers, and PopWallets, designed to relive the 1970s.
ViacomCBS Launches Nickelodeon-Themed Smartwatch
Entertainment conglomerate ViacomCBS has recently unveiled a Nickelodeon-themed smartwatch. The family-oriented ‘NickWatch’ was developed in collaboration with Watchinu, an Israel-based technology startup, who secured the license from ViacomCBS. The cartoon-character themed wearable has been designed to incorporate communication and entertainment features, and will be available for sale in 2022.
Domain Name Dispute Updates
Investment Company Skips Buying Domain; Loses Subsequent UDRP
Natixis, a French investment firm, was recently handed an unfavourable order from a WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) Panel, in a dispute under the UDRP (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy). Natixis had initiated a cybersquatting dispute under the UDRP against the owners of website “www.vega.investments”, which it intended to use for its sub-brand ‘Vega’. During the dispute, it was noted that the domain in question was put up for sale for $ 1,995, after the domain owner decided to scrap his potential business venture of the same name, and Natixis had instead decided to pursue this UDRP dispute. The WIPO Panel held that the term ‘Vega’ had a certain significance and meaning in Latin, and was used widely by a number of companies for their brands, and therefore, there was no evidence that the domain owner was aware of Natixis or its sub-brand Vega, prior to registering the disputed domain. The dispute was dismissed, having been filed by Natixis in bad faith to avoid purchasing the domain name.
Geographical Indication Updates
Goa Seeks GI Tag for Three Mango Varieties
The Goa State Council for Science and Technology has recently filed an application for Geographical Indication (GI) tagging of the Goa Makur Mango, which is endemic to the state. The State Council is further preparing similar applications for the Mangelar and Mussarat varieties of mangoes, in an attempt to boost sales of the three varieties. The Goa State Government is also taking steps to form an association of mango growers and local sellers, to further strengthen the trade of Goa’s local mango varieties.
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