Miss India in a Domain Dispute, Starbucks Fights Mountains & Mermaids, Irish Whiskey Gets GI Status in India and More
Superdry Collaborates with IMG, ChemDry Franchise in India, Miss India Domain Dispute and more, brought to you by the Trademark Attorneys at BananaIP (BIP) Counsel.
TRADEMARK QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time” – Elon Musk
INDIAN TRADEMARK UPDATES
Apollo Hospitals’ Enforces Trademark
Apollo Hospitals, the leading chain of multi-speciality hospitals in India, filed a trademark infringement suit against Sai Apollo Pharmacy for rendering pharmacy services under the mark “SRI SAI APOLLO PHARMACY”. It is also apparent from Sai Apollo’s use that the word ‘Sri Sai’ is sidelined and the word APOLLO is featured dominantly. The High Court of Madras passed an ex-parte order and ruled that there is no doubt that Sai Apollo is using the trademark ‘APOLLO” with a malafide intent to ride on the reputation and goodwill of Apollo Hospitals and it is a clear case of infringement. The Court therefore passed a permanent injunction in favour of Apollo Hospitals.
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK UPDATES
Ohio University Files Application for ‘The’
If you think that only movie stars file for bizarre trademarks, then your opinion is about to change. The Ohio State University in the US has pushed aside mega stars and filed a trademark for the word ‘The’ with the USPTO. The application is filed under class 25 for clothing, namely t-shirts, baseball caps, and hats. The term ‘The’ commonly precedes the institutions name and as such the university claims it should be considered a part of its trademark.
Starbucks in Battle with Apparel Company
Starbucks, the American coffee giant, has filed a trademark opposition against the mark Siren’s Brew, which was filed by the Alaskan apparel company Mountains & Mermaids. The opposition has been filed by Starbucks as the mark is very similar to its own trademark Siren’s Blend, which was applied for registration by Starbucks earlier this year. The Alaskan company has been selling its apparel with the image of a siren or mermaid holding a cup of coffee and has recently started using the same design on its coffee.
BRAND LICENSING UPDATES
Superdry Collaborates with IMG
British clothing brand Superdry has appointed International Management Group (IMG) as a licensing partner to expand into the lifestyle category. The collaboration will help Superdry broaden its portfolio to include new products like luggage and travel-related items, personal accessories, consumer electronics and sporting goods.
Hasbro Enters India
American toy and board game company Hasbro is all set to mark its second innings in India through licensing partner Black White Orange (BWO). The toy company has appointed BWO as its official licensing agent in India to expand its licensing portfolio for apparels, accessories as well as sporting goods for some of Hasbro’s iconic games like Nerf, My Little Pony, Play-Doh and Monopoly.
ChemDry Franchise in India
An Indian laundry start up, UClean has partnered with US based ChemDry to foray into the home service segment. UClean has acquired master franchise rights for ChemDry for India. As a part of this strategic partnership, UClean will open 100 franchisee run ChemDry stores in India by 2020, offering a range of home services such as carpet, upholstery cleaning, home cleaning, and all other forms of surface cleaning. ChemDry is an upholstery and indoor cleaning brand which has over 4000 franchisees across the world in Europe, North America, Africa, Middle East, the Pacific Rim and South America. UClean was set up in 2016 and has over 130 laundry stores across 38 cities in India.
DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE UPDATES
Miss India Domain Dispute
Bennett Coleman and Company (The Times Group) and Worldwide Media are the registered trademark owners of MISS INDIA related marks, and also the domain www.missindia.in. The Times Group is the organizer of the Miss India beauty pageant. Both the companies filed a domain dispute case with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Arbitration and Mediation Center alleging that Texan Hubert Louis, an individual, was infringing their trademark and domain name by registering the domain www.missindia.com. The Companies claimed that Louis was using the domain in bad faith to gain commercially by misleading internet users. Louis argued that the companies hold rights only for ‘Femina Miss India’ and ‘Pantallons Femina Miss India’ and not MISS INDIA, and further argued that he purchased the domain for ‘legitimate non-commercial or fair use’. The WIPO Arbitration and Media Center ruled that Louis’s pay per click links was a clear attempt for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the MISS INDIA trademark. Therefore, it was ruled that the infringing domain www.missindia.com be transferred to The Times Group and Worldwide Media Private.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION UPDATES
Irish Whiskey Gets GI Status in India
Irish Whiskey was recently granted GI Status in India, the largest whiskey market in the world. The GI status means that only spirits produced in Ireland can use ‘Irish Whiskey’ on their label. This will enable Irish Whisky to reinforce the authenticity of the product and also to take tougher enforcement action against fake Irish whiskey products sold in the Indian market. The application was filed in 2011 by Irish Whiskey Association, Ireland.
Authored and compiled by Shreya Chaddha & Uma T.S
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The Trademark News Bulletin is brought to you by the Trademark/Copyright, IP Transactional Strategy Divisions of BananaIP Counsels, a Top IP Firm in India. Led by Sanjeeth Hegde, BIP’s Trademark Attorneys are among the leading experts in the field. If you have any questions, or need any clarifications, please write to [email protected] with the subject: Trademark News.
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