This week’s trademark updates are as follows:
Hailey Bieber strikes a win!
Entrepreneur Hailey Bieber was sued for trademark infringement by Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, founders of RHODE, a clothing line. The founders sought for a preliminary injunction from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Bieber submitted a 17-minute YouTube video documenting the inspiration behind the word ‘RHODE’. Bieber stated in the video that ‘RHODE’ is her and her mother’s middle name and hence, the inspiration. The judge then decided in favour of Hailey Bieber. “We are pleased with the court’s thorough order denying plaintiff’s motion to preliminarily enjoin Hailey’s new company and skincare line,” Michael Rhodes, Hailey’s family lawyer said in a statement to E! News.
Delhi High Court: the threshold For Extending Exclusive Rights to the Shape Of A Product is Quite High
In the matter of Knitpro International V. Examiner of Trade Marks through the Registrar of Trade Marks, the Delhi High Court has opined that the threshold in extending exclusive rights in the case of the shape of goods is high as per the current trademark laws. The court added the registration of a trademark for the shape of goods can only be granted if it has acquired secondary meaning.
A Bond Game
The Delhi High Court has passed a permanent injunction against Neeraj Foods for using JAMES BOND as their trademark. The Court also imposed a penalty of over Rs.15 lakhs on Neeraj Foods. The court opined that it is an infringement of Cadbury’s trademark “GEMS” as Cadbury uses the character GEMS BOND for its promotion. As per the court, the defendant was using a deceptively similar mark and hence infringing the exclusive rights of Cadbury. “The ‘GEMS’ product is also usually consumed by small children, both in urban and rural areas. The test in such a matter is not that of absolute confusion. Even the likelihood of confusion is sufficient. A comparison of the defendant’s infringing product and the packaging thereof leaves no manner of doubt that the same is a complete knock-off, of the plaintiffs’ ‘CADBURY GEMS’,” as stated in the verdict. The Court also stated that, “The smallest selling unit of the plaintiffs’ product i.e., the pillow pack, is even available for Re 1 rupee to Rs 5. Hence, the product’s get-up, layout, as also, the colour combination of the packaging plays a significant role at the point of purchase”.
Tussle over ‘ISKCON’
In the matter of International Society for Krishna Consciousness Bangalore v. International Society for Krishna Consciousness and Ors, the Bombay High Court clarified that the question of trademark’s proprietorship is to be determined by the Registrar. In 2020. The Bombay High Court allowed a trademark infringement suit filed by ISKCON Mumbai against a clothing brand where the court recognised ISKCON as a well-known trade mark in India. In the recent case the Court clarified that it has not recognised ISKCON Mumbai as the sole and exclusive proprietor of the mark ISKCON.
Varanasi GI products went international
Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the G7 summit promoted and gifted various GI products of Varanasi to various foreign delegates. As per experts this will contribute to the publicity of GI products at an international level. There are also plans to obtain GI tag for eight more items like Banarasi paan, shehnai, tabla, Ramnagar bhanta (Brinjal grown in Ramnagar area of Varanasi), Karonda (A fruit that grows in abundance in Chiraigaon area of Varanasi), Lal Peda (a sweet dish), Langda Aam (mango variety grown around Varanasi) and Adamchini rice
Authored by Lavanya Anand (Associate, BananaIP Counsels) and Bharat Sharma (Intern).
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