Roaring Win for FUCT: US Supreme Court Strikes Down USPTO’s Ban, Dream Theatre Associates with Ninja Hattori, Kolhapuri Chappals Gets GI Tag and Other News
Indian Trademark Statistics for June (Fourth Week), Barco’s-Grey’s Anatomy Licensing Agreement Renewal, PolicyBazaar Pays Hefty Fine of 10 Lakhs, Dream Theatre Associates with Ninja Hattori and more, brought to you by the Trademark Attorneys at BananaIP (BIP) Counsels.
TRADEMARK QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“What is immoral and scandalous? Certainly not personal feelings of the trademark examiner. There is a lot to learn from the US Supreme Court’s Judgment in the FUCT case on immoral and scandalous marks.” – Dr. Kalyan C. Kankanala, BananaIP Counsels.
INDIAN TRADEMARK STATISTICS
Last week, the Indian Trademark Office has picked up its pace. The total number of applications disposed through show cause hearings has increased by forty three percent (43%). Similarly, the total number of hearing notices issued has increased by fifty four percent (54%). However, there has been a decrease of seventeen percent (17%) in the total applications published in the trademark journal.
Weekly Indian Trademark Statistics
|Particulars||Last Week||This Week||Change in %|
|Total Trademark Applications Examined by Trademark Office||7387||7943||An increase of 8%|
|Total Applications Disposed through Show Cause Hearings||3126||4465||An increase of 43%|
|Total Applications Published in the Trademark Journal||7871||6498||A decrease of 17%|
|Total Registrations Granted||6959||6226||A decrease of 11%|
|Total Hearing Notices Issued||6881||10574||An increase of 54%|
|Total Renewals Notices Issued||1800||2082||An increase of 16%|
Trademark Statistics by Office
Total Number of New Applications Received from June 19th, 2019 to June 26th, 2019
|Sr. No||Jurisdiction||New Applications||Examined||Published||Registered|
Yearly Trademark Statistics
Trademark Statistics from January 1st, 2019 to June 26th, 2019
- Total Number of Trademark Applications Filed – 166073
- Total Number of Trademark Applications Examined – 75878
- Total Number of Trademark Applications Published – 115364
- Total Number of Trademark Applications Registered – 144402
INDIAN TRADEMARK UPDATES
PolicyBazaar Pays Hefty Fine of 10 Lakhs
Delhi High Court imposed a fine of INR 10 Lakhs on PolicyBazaar, an online insurance aggregator, for concealing facts to obtain a favourable decision in a trademark infringement matter filed against Acko General Insurance. On May 16th this year, the Court passed an ex-parte order restraining Acko, which is also an online insurance provider, from using the trademark ‘PolicyBazaar’ in any manner or form or as an adword/keyword programme through Google. Acko however submitted to the Court that PolicyBazaar has misrepresented, concealed and distorted the facts and made false statements to obtain the ex-parte interim injunction. PolicyBazaar had filed a trademark infringement suit against Acko alleging that the latter was using its trademark ‘PolicyBazaar’ as a keyword when PolicyBazaar themselves were using Acko’s name as a meta tag/keyword and therefore its website was showing up as a sponsored link whenever someone was searching for Acko. PolicyBazaar contended that they stopped using ‘Acko’ since April 23rd this year. However, the Court did not accept the contention and considered it as a deliberate act of concealing of facts and directed PolicyBazaar to deposit INR 5 lakhs with the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and 5 lakhs with the Delhi Legal Aid Services Authority. The Court has also ordered PolicyBazaar to submit an undertaking and unconditional apology.
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK UPDATES
Roaring Win for FUCT: US Supreme Court Strikes Down USPTO’s Ban
In what will go down as a landmark judgment in the history books of trademark law, the US Supreme Court has ruled that the USPTO cannot reject trademarks which are ‘immoral’ or ‘scandalous’ in nature, as it is a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which gives the right to freedom of speech. The USPTO had earlier rejected the trademark application for FUCT, an acronym for Friend’s U Can’t Trust, a clothing line designed by Mr. Erik Brunetti, on the basis that the mark was ‘offensive, vulgar and suffused with decidedly negative sexual connotations’, and the same was upheld by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. While rejecting the reasoning of the USPTO, Justice Elena Kagan held that ‘The First Amendment does not allow the government to penalize views just because many people, whether rightly or wrongly, see them as offensive’. The decision while providing a win for Mr. Brunetti to get his mark registered, has paved the way for trademark owners to apply for any marks which were otherwise refused by the USPTO for being obscene.
Adidas Loses Trademark Protection For Three Striped Trademark In EU
In a huge blow to Adidas, the Germany based shoe and apparel manufacturing company, the European Union General Court (EUGC) has denied protection to its three striped logo. The EUGC while upholding the decision of the European Union Intellectual Property Office, has held that the ‘three parallel equidistant stripes of equal width applied to the product in whichever direction’ is not distinctive enough to be granted a trademark protection and is just an ‘ordinary figurative mark’. Adidas was required to prove that the mark has acquired distinctive character in all 28 European Countries, however, it was unable to do so and was able to provide in only five. Adidas now has the option to appeal the case.
Taylor Swift Attempts to Trademark Her Cat’s Names
This might be purrrfect news for our furry feline lovers, singer Taylor Swift has filed new trademark applications, for her cat. Yes, you heard it right. The Grammy winner has filed new applications to register MEREDITH, OLIVIA & BENJAMIN SWIFT, the names of her cats. The marks have been filed under a number of classes which includes musical sound recordings, jewellery, apparels, toys and entertainment, amongst others. Earlier Swift had applied for the mark Meredith & Olivia Swift also.
BRAND LICENSING UPDATES
Dream Theatre Associates With Ninja Hattori
Brand management and licensing representation company, Dream Theatre has inked a licensing and merchandising deal for ‘Ninja Hattori’ in India. Ninja Hattori is a popular 1981 anime series on kids’ television. As part of the association, Dream Theatre intends to diversify the portfolio of Ninja Hattori apparel, home and personal care, food, promotions and technology to cater to Ninja Hattori’s audience in India. The show is now available on Amazon Prime, Voot and Netflix too.
Barco’s-Grey’s Anatomy Licensing Agreement Renewal
Barco Uniforms, a premium healthcare apparel manufacturer, has renewed its licensing agreement with the popular ABC network show Grey’s Anatomy, which has been extended through 2027. Barco had launched the highly successful Grey’s Anatomy collection in 2017, and has now launched six new sub brand collections. Barco’s is known for designing high quality clothes for healthcare professional.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION UPDATES
Kolhapuri Chappals Gets GI Tag
The Geographical Indication Registry of India recently granted GI tag to the widely popular Kolhapuri Chappals, an ethnic handmade footwear native to both Karnataka and Maharashtra. This footwear is essentially known for its aesthetics, durability, decorative woven patterns fixed over the upper bands, and also for its resistance to abrasion and water absorption. The ethnic Kolhapuri Chappal is exclusively made from vegetable tanned leather. The application was filed by Sant Roahidas Leather Industries & Charmakar Development Corporation Limited (LIDCOM) and Dr. Babu Jagjivan Ram Leather Industries Development Corporation Limited (LIDKAR) facilitated by Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai in 2009.
Authored and compiled by Shreya Chaddha & Uma T.S
About BIP’s Trademark Attorneys
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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