Policybazaar Trademark Infringement, Narasapur Crochet Lace Applied for GI, Plant Based Dairy Alternatives Cannot use the Term “Milk” in the EU and more brought to you by the Trademark Attorneys at BananaIP (BIP) Counsel.
INDIAN TRADEMARK UPDATES
Delhi High Court Restrains Policybazaar’s Trademark Infringers
In a recent application for injunction before the Delhi High Court, PB Fintech, the operator of policybazaar.com and paisabazaar.com websites, obtained a favourable order against several infringing websites. The suit was filed against eight rogue entities, which were allegedly operating websites that incorporated PB Fintech’s ‘Policybazaar’ and ‘Paisabazaar’ trademarks, which led consumers to believe that these websites were associated with PB Fintech. Along with the unauthorised use of PB Fintech’s trademarks, these entities had also registered confusingly similar domains such as ‘policybazaarclub.com’, ‘paisabazaarfinance.in’, and ‘paisabazaras.com’ among others. The Delhi High Court found that PB Fintech had established a prime facie case of trademark infringement and passing off, and ordered the domain name registrars and internet service providers to block access to the infringing domains.
Citation: Pb Fintech Pvt Ltd vs Policy Bazar Finance & Ors [CS (COMM) 471/2020 & I.A. No. 9795/2020]
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK UPDATES
Termination of Trademark License Held Over Quality Control Provision
Team Rubicon Inc., a non-profit American disaster relief organisation, recently succeeded in terminating a trademark licensing agreement with its former affiliate Team Rubicon Global Inc., before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Team Rubicon Global Inc., the licensee, allegedly failed to address certain sexual harassment allegations against its sister organisations’ CEOs, which was an explicit quality control requirement under the trademark licensing agreement. Team Rubicon Inc. argued that if Team Rubicon Global Inc. were to continue using its trademarks, it would lead to irreparable harm to the ‘Team Rubicon’ trademark and brand name. The U.S. Court of Appeals held that Team Rubicon Inc. was entitled to terminate the trademark licensing agreement as Team Rubicon Global Inc. did not adhere to the quality control provisions explicitly mentioned therein.
Plant Based Dairy Alternatives Cannot use the Term “Milk” in the EU
The European Union Intellectual Property Organisation (EUIPO) recently refused to register the tagline ‘It’s like milk but made for humans’, filed by Oatly, an oats-based alternative food manufacturer from Sweden, by citing a new law passed in the European Union. The new regulation brought by the European Parliament restricts all plant-based dairy alternatives from incorporating dairy names such as ‘milk’, ‘yogurt’, or ‘cheese’ in their branding and marketing. Oatly’s tagline registration was therefore, denied, with the EUIPO stating that “people know cow’s milk is for calves”, and that using the term ‘milk’ in the marketing of an oats-based product was against the recent EU regulation.
BRAND LICENSING UPDATES
Rizzle Short Series Video App Now has Access to Sony Music’s Catalogue
Rizzle, Hyderabad based short series app, has partnered with Sony Music Entertainment (SME), to make SME’s music catalogue available on its application. Rizzle shot to fame after the ban of popular app Tik Tok. Just like Tik Tok, Rizzle allows users to create 60 second videos, with the difference that it did not have any soundtracks. However, with the current partnership with SME, Rizzle will have access to Sony’s collection of music, ranging from English, Bollywood to South Indian songs. The collaboration is also providing promotional opportunity for SME’s new releases and new artists on Rizzle Short Series, a scripted or unscripted episodic video series by Rizzle.
Levi’s Collaborates with Hello Kitty for Face Masks
Apparel manufacturer Levis has collaborated with Hello Kitty to launch new face masks featuring the iconic Sanrio characters. The reusable cotton masks will come in two styles- one with Hello Kitty and some of her friends, whereas the second one will have the traditional Hello Kitty pattern in her blue overalls. The face masks will be available in small and large sizes, retailing for $10 each.
DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE UPDATES
Peoples Bank of Mississippi Attempts Reverse Domain Name Hijacking
A panel of the Forum, an American domain name dispute resolution service provider, recently found that Peoples Bank of Mississippi attempted reverse domain name hijacking for the domain ‘PeoplesBank.com’ by initiating a cybersquatting dispute against Xedoc Holding SA, the domain name owner. Xedoc Holding refuted the allegations of cybersquatting and stated that there were thousands of banks which used the term ‘Peoples Bank’ all over the world, and the Peoples Bank of Mississippi could not claim exclusive rights over such term. The Forum panel held that there was no evidence to show that Xedoc Holding was targeting the Peoples Bank of Mississippi, which was a relatively small bank, and instead determined the case as one of reverse domain name hijacking.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION UPDATES
Narasapur Crochet Lace Applied for GI
Andhra Pradesh (AP) based Narasapur Crochet Lace has been applied for Geographical Indication. The Narsarpur cluster is known for handmade crocheted lace of lrish origin, which is the process of creating textiles by using a crochet hook to interlock loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials. The craft originated during the 1800’s in the 19 mandals of East and West Godavari districts of AP and has been passed down through generations. The application has been filed by three entities together, The West Godavari District Alankriti Lace Manufacturing Mahila Mutual Aided Co-operative Society’s Federation Limited, The Narasapur All India Crochet Lace Exporters Association, and the Andhra Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited. The laces are exported to UK, US, Canada and France.
Authored and compiled by Uma T.S, Shreya Chaddha, & Varun Gopalakrishnan
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