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Trademark Battle for Social Distancing, Tripura Jackfruit Loses GI Battle and more
Trademark Battle for Social Distancing, Starbucks Fights for its Frappuccino, Unbrand Asia Expo to be held in August 2020 and more, brought to you by the Trademark Attorneys at BananaIP (BIP) Counsel.
INDIAN TRADEMARK UPDATES
Starbucks Fights for its Frappuccino
Starbucks, the renowned coffee chain filed an application in the Delhi High Court for a permanent injunction against Copamocha Café and Restaurant based in Kerala for the use of the trademark ‘FRAPPUCCINO’ for beverages. Starbucks submitted that it adopted the mark FRAPPUCCINO in the year 1994 and has registered the mark in over 185 counties. Starbucks also has obtained several top level domain names where FRAPPUCCINO is a prominent part. It was contended in the suit that Copamocha has adopted the mark with the malafide intent to derive benefits from the existing reputation and goodwill of Starbucks. The Court observed that Starbucks had sent legal notices and subsequently followed up with Copamocha with respect to the name change of the beverage, but the name remained unaltered. The Court therefore granted an ex-parte permanent injunction restraining Copamocha from using the trademark ‘FRAPPUCCINO’ for beverages.
Citation: Starbucks Corporation v. Copamocha Café and Restaurant and Another (CS(COMM) 676/2019)
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK UPDATES
Trademark Battle for Social Distancing
Facing a pandemic brings out different characteristics of human nature, one of them being able to cash-in on popular terms being used in such times. After a plethora of applications being filed for ‘COVID-19’, ‘I survived COVID-19’, people have now filed applications for the terms ‘Social Distancing’, ‘Social Distancing Photography’ as well as ‘Social Distancing The Game’ with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The applications have been filed under various classes which range from beer and CBD oil, to common merchandise like t-shirts, hats, signs, stickers and games.
Volkswagen Files New Trademark Application
Volkswagen Group of America, subsidiary of the German automobile manufacturer, has filed for a new trademark for the term ‘Peak Edition’ with the USPTO. The application has been filed under class 12 for automobiles; engines for land vehicles; automotive interior trim; insignia for vehicle. It may be assumed that the new trademark filings are hinting at a special edition car to be released in the US market.
BRAND LICENSING UPDATES
New Emoji Collection for Undergarments
Handcraft Manufacturing, an American undergarments manufacturer, has joined hands with Emoji brand to launch a new undergarments collection. The new line of underwear will feature some of the emoji brand’s most vibrant icons and designs for boys and girls, ages 2 and up. The agreement has been brokered by Retail Monster, the North American licensing agent of The Emoji Company. The collection will be launched in May and will be available at Walmart, Target, Amazon and other retailers starting in the fall of 2020.
Magic Gaming Partners with RIOTORO
Magic Gaming, the e-sports arm of the National Basketball Association (NBA) team Orlando Magic, has announced a new partnership with US based gaming hardware company RIOTORO for gaming technology. The multi-year, exclusive deal makes RIOTORO the official gaming partner of Magic Gaming and will provide RIOTORO exclusive rights in manufacturing keyboards, mouse, mouse pads, headsets and earbuds for Magic Gaming. The partnership will also provide fan engagement opportunities on social media through giveaways and promotional campaigns.
Unbrand Asia Expo to be held in August 2020
Unbrand Asia LLP, in partnership with Franchise India, is organizing a business and networking expo which will be held at the Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre on 28th-29th August 2020. The expo will be beneficial for start-ups, private labels and retailers as it will give them a platform to create new opportunities. The expo will showcase innovative product and packaging solutions from various entities. The event is expected to have more than 8000 visitors.
DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE UPDATES
Groupon Fights its Domain Infringer
Groupon Inc, a major player in local commerce, filed a domain name dispute complaint with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center against Domain Admin, Whois Privacy Corp., Bahamas (“Respondent”) for registering a confusingly similar domain www.ggroupon.com. Groupon, currently active in 15 countries with over 45 million customers worldwide, is the registered trademark holder of “GROUPON” in several countries including Bahamas where the Respondent is located. It was contended that the addition of an additional ‘G’ to GROUPON is a case of ‘typo-squatting’ and intended to cause consumer confusion. The Respondent did not submit any response. The Panel found that the domain name was confusingly similar to the trademark “GROUPON” and the Respondent has registered the domain in bad faith. Therefore, the disputed domain www.ggroupon.com was ordered to be transferred to Groupon.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION UPDATES
Tripura Jackfruit Loses GI Battle
On 2nd March, 2020, the Geographical Indication (GI) Registry, Chennai refused to grant the GI tag to Tripura Jackfruit as the applicant failed to prove the historical data and origin of the product. Upon the receipt of the application in December, 2018 the Registrar of GI proposed to convene a consultative group meeting consisting of experts to verify the contents of the application. The meeting was held and the expert committee after deliberations and verifications of documents, made their recommendation that the indication is a newly coined term and therefore does not qualify to obtain the tag. The applicant was further granted an opportunity to justify the application via hearing. However, the applicant was not able to demonstrate the uniqueness of the product, nor provide any historical data supporting the origin of the product. The application was filed by the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited.
Authored and compiled by Uma T.S & Shreya Chaddha
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