Weekly Trademark News: Samsung in Trouble over Smartwatches, Lifebuoy Trademark Victory, ITC Wins GI Infringement Case and Other News
Indian Trademark Statistics for February (Fourth Week), Zumba for Fitness, GST on Brands and Logos Too?, Lifebuoy Trademark Victory, ITC Wins GI Infringement Case and more, brought to you by the Trademark Attorneys at BananaIP (BIP) Counsels.
TRADEMARK QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“A brand’s job is to create a customer that creates and inspires other customers” – Think Marketing
INDIAN TRADEMARK STATISTICS
In the last week, the Indian Trademark Office has had a mixed week. The total number of registrations granted has increased by twenty eight percent (28 %). Similarly, the total number of hearing notices issued has increased by fourteen percent (14 %). However, the trademark applications examined has decreased by fourteen percent (14 %).
Weekly Indian Trademark Statistics
|Particulars||Last Week||This Week||Change in %|
|Total Trademark Applications Examined by Trademark Office||9425||8068||A decrease of 14%|
|Total Applications Disposed through Show Cause Hearings||7580||7606||An increase of .3%|
|Total Applications Published in the Trademark Journal||9208||9328||An increase of 1%|
|Total Registrations Granted||7239||9239||An increase of 28%|
|Total Hearing Notices Issued||8960||10210||An increase of 14%|
|Total Renewals Notices Issued||2386||2190||A decrease of 8%|
Trademark Statistics by Office
Total Number of New Applications Received from February 20th, 2019 to February 27th, 2019
|Sr. No||Jurisdiction||New Applications||Examined||Published||Registered|
Yearly Trademark Statistics
Trademark Statistics from January 01st, 2019 to February 27th, 2019
- Total Number of Trademark Applications Filed – 55236
- Total Number of Trademark Applications Examined – 29741
- Total Number of Trademark Applications Published – 54612
- Total Number of Trademark Applications Registered – 44242
INTERESTING BRAND NEWS
Zumba for Fitness
Zumba, the popular and fun aerobic workout, even though invented by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto Beto Perez, the trademark for the name is owned by Zumba Fitness, LLC. The mark has been granted registration in 2009 in a number of classes which includes providing fitness programmes, clothing, jewellery, accessories amongst others.
INDIAN TRADEMARK UPDATES
LIFEBUOY Trademark Victory
Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) filed for a permanent injunction to restrain Utkarsh Somani from using the trademarks “LIKEBOY” and “LOVEBOY” for selling and distributing soaps which are deceptively similar to HUL’s registered trademark LIFEBUOY and also bearing similar trade design, color scheme and packaging labels. The Calcutta High Court was, prima facie, satisfied that products sold by Utkarsh are infringing HUL’s trademark and trade dress. The Court, therefore, passed an interim injunction in favour of HUL. The Court further, has appointed a Special Officer to visit the go-down and outlet of Utkarsh and to seize the infringing goods.
GST on Brands and Logos too?
Indian conglomerates that use common brand name/trademark/logo across their subsidiaries will likely have to pay Goods and Service Tax (GST) on the speculative value of these brands. This didn’t attract GST previously as there were no regulations that dealt with free supply of services between related parties such as parent and subsidiaries. However, now Tax Department wants to discover the exact valuation of these brands and logos, calculate the fee paid by subsidiaries to their parent company, and levy a 18% GST on that amount. No official notices have been issued yet for this matter.
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK UPDATES
Samsung in Trouble over Smartwatches
The Swatch Group AG, a Swiss manufacturer of watches and jewellery, has filed a complaint against the South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics and Samsung Electronics America for trademark infringement. Swatch while filing the complaint in the Southern District of New York, has claimed that the watch faces on the Samsung smartwatches are identical/similar to the trademark owned by them, which is likely to confuse the consumers. The Swiss company is alleging unfair competition and unfair business practices. Samsung is yet to respond to the same.
Public May Not be Public Anymore: Theatre Sues Hotel Tycoon for Trademark Infringement
The Public Theatre, a theatre situated in New York, USA has filed a trademark infringement suit against Ian Schrager, owner of the hotel Public, based in New York, over the use of the term ‘Public’ along with a similar logo for entertainment events. The theatre has claimed in the lawsuit that the use of the trademark ‘Public’ in association with conducting musical and theatre events is likely to cause confusion amongst the consumers as to the source of origin. The lawsuit has been filed after a number of cease and desist notices being issued to the hotel in 2017, but infringement had continued. The hotel has yet to reply to the suit.
BRAND LICENSING UPDATES
‘Purple Turtle’ Licensing Program in India
Animation International (AI) India, a major in the licensing industry across Asia has entered into an agreement with Purple Turtle, a leading international educational brand having a presence in 30 countries, to bring a wide array of merchandizing products in India. AI India, being a pioneer in India has previously launched the licensing programmes for Hello Kitty, Marvel, WWE and many iconic brands over the last 14 years.
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION UPDATES
ITC Wins GI Infringement Case
The Calcutta High Court recently dismissed a nine year old appeal filed by the Tea Board of India against the usage of the mark ‘Darjeeling Lounge’ for an executive lounge at a five star hotel run by Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) in Calcutta. The Board claimed that use of ‘Darjeeling’ by ITC will amount to infringement of GI rights of ‘Darjeeling Tea’ held by the Tea Board of India. The Court held that rights of GI can only be enforced with respect to goods and not services as in the present case, and since the impugned use of the name is not in relation to any goods the Court dismissed the appeal.
BANANAIP TIP OF THE WEEK
If the shape of a product, its packaging and combination of colors is similar to that of your products, this would be considered passing off and trademark infringement as it has the propensity to confuse consumers about the product’s origin.
Author: BIP Trademark Attorneys
Led by Sanjeeth Hegde, BIP’s Trademark Attorneys are among the leading experts in the field. They work on trademark filing, prosecution, management, licensing, franchising, merchandizing, litigation, and strategy for clients such as PEPS, Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions, Essilor, Samsung and the IITs.
The weekly trademark news initiative is a part of their pro bono work and is aimed at spreading trademark awareness. You are free to share the news with appropriate attribution and backlink to the source.
If you have any questions, you may write to BIP’s Trademark Attorneys at [email protected]