Weekly Trademark News Bulletin: Suzuki Declared as a Well-Known Trademark, The Dindigul Lock Gets GI Tag, Cornetto Defends its Little Horn and Other News
Indian Trademark Statistics for September (First Week), Ariana Grande Sues Forever 21 for 10 Million, Salman Khan to Launch Gym Franchise and more, brought to you by the Trademark Attorneys at BananaIP (BIP) Counsel.
TRADEMARK QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Brand is the promise, the big idea, the expectations that reside in each customer’s mind about a product, service or company. Branding is about making an emotional connection” -Alina Wheeler
INDIAN TRADEMARK UPDATES
Cornetto Defends its Little Horn
Unilever PLC, filed a trademark infringement case against Royal Ice Cream for manufacturing, marketing and selling “KORNETTO” brand ice-creams which is deceptively similar to Unilever’s well-known CORNETTO ice-cream. Unilever has been using CORNETTO as the umbrella brand for frozen dessert/ice-creams, i.e., Kwality Walls since 1997. The High Court of Calcutta noted that Unilever has acquired a wide and enviable reputation and goodwill with respect to the mark CORNETTO, and it is prima facie evident that Royal Ice Cream knowingly and deliberately adopted the mark “KORNETTO” to make unlawful gains. The Court therefore, passed an ex-parte ad interim order and also appointed a Special Officer to inventory the infringing products at Royal Ice Cream’s go-down.
Suzuki Recognized as a Well-known Trademark
In a welcoming judgment by the Delhi High Court, Suzuki has been recognized as a well- known trademark in India. The High Court in the case of Suzuki Motor vs. Suzuki India, has held that Suzuki Motor, the Japanese automobile company, is the rightful proprietor of the well-known mark, and Suzuki India has dishonestly adopted the mark in order to encash on the goodwill and reputation of the automobile manufacturer. The court further stated that Suzuki India has not provided a sufficient reason as to why the name has been adopted by it, even after knowing the fact that Suzuki has become a well-known brand in India. Suzuki Motor had entered the Indian market in 1982, in collaboration with the Government of India and Maruti Udyog Limited, to manufacture cars, and had registered its trademark in 1972. The Japanese company had also filed a suit for permanent injunction against Suzuki India in 2005, wherein an interim order was passed in favour of Suzuki Motor.
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK UPDATES
Taco Tuesday for Lebron James
LeBron James, one of the most successful basketball players of National Basketball Association (NBA), has filed a new application for the mark ‘Taco Tuesday’ with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The mark has been filed by his company LBJ Trademarks LLC under a number of classes which includes downloadable works, advertising, podcasting services, as well as entertainment services. The basketball player has been very active on his social media with his Taco Tuesday celebration videos in the past few months.
Ariana Sues Forever 21 for 10 Million
US pop star Ariana Grande filed a suit against the clothing retailer Forever 21 and Riley Rose, a cosmetics company owned by Forever 21, for promoting their products by using her image without her approval. In the suit filed before the Los Angeles Federal Court, the singer has accused the fashion retailer of unauthorized use of her likeness and lyrics from her song “7 rings” in a recent campaign. The photos and videos of the campaign features the singer’s name, music and likeness along with a look-alike model which could lead her fans to believe that Grande is backing the new line of products. The singer had been in talks with Forever 21 for a joint marketing campaign, however the same did not pan out. The pop star is seeking damages of at least $10 million for the violation of her rights of publicity, false endorsement, trademark and copyright infringement.
BRAND LICENSING UPDATES
Nautica Sails into India with Flipkart
Indian e-commerce major Flipkart is all set to bring Nautica, a US apparel brand to India. Flipkart has obtained the licensing and distribution right of Nautica, and will be managing the online and offline business of the apparel company in India through franchise partners. The collaboration will provide a wide reach for Nautica with Flipkart being the fore-runner of e-commerce in India.
Salman Khan to Launch Gym Franchise
The Bhai of Bollywood is all set to launch his own chains of gyms and fitness centres under the brand SK-27 in India. Along with spreading the message of the Fit India Movement, SK-27 aims to make every individual fit and healthy apart from creating job opportunities for fitness trainers and entrepreneurs. Salman plans to open 300 gyms across India by 2020. This is his third venture after ‘Being Human’ and ‘Being Strong Fitness Equipment’.
DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE UPDATES
WhatsApp Reclaims Infringing Domains
The popular messaging platform, WhatsApp, has recently recovered three domains through the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Arbitration and Mediation Center. In the first dispute, a domain whatsappgroupjoinlink.com was registered by Sudheer Kumar, an Indian national via Godaddy.com. WhatsApp argued that the domain contains its registered trademark and moreover it was registered in bad faith as it contained many pay-per-click advertising links to third party services, thus intending to derive commercial gains. In Kumar’s informal email correspondences with the Center, he claimed he was unaware of the issues in using a trademark in a domain name. In the second dispute, the domains whatsappgroupjoinlinklist.com and whatsappgrouplinkslists.com were registered by Sruthan Goud, an Indian national. The Center’s panels found that the disputed domains had been registered in bad faith in an attempt to commercially gain from users who intend to visit the legitimate WhatsApp, and ordered the transfer of all three domains back to WhatsApp.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION UPDATES
The Dindigul Lock Gets GI Tag
After a six year wait, Tamil Nadu’s Dindigul lock finally gets a GI tag. The mango shaped iron and brass locks are all hand-made and each lock is unique in its design and system. The Dindigul locks are famous throughout for its design, quality, durability and safety and even the city is called the Lock City. There are over 50 varieties of locks made by traditional artisans and are used in prisons, go-downs, hospitals and even temples. The application was filed in 2013 by the Dindigul Lock, Hardware and Steel Furniture Works Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd.
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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Disclaimer: Kindly note that the news bulletin has been put together from different sources, primary and secondary, and BananaIP’s reporters may not have verified all the news published in the bulletin. You may write to [email protected] for corrections and take down