Indian Courts on Trademark Law: Key Decisions Review – Part 8

The landscape of trademark law in India is continually evolving, shaped by the nuanced decisions of the judiciary. This series, focusing on the latest judgments from Indian courts, offers an in-depth examination of key rulings that define and clarify the parameters of trademark distinctiveness and registration. In this eighth installment, we explore significant decisions concerning trademarks such as ‘NATURE’S VARIETY‘, ‘Kavach‘, and ‘Oleev Active‘, aiming to provide a comprehensive understanding of their impact on the broader spectrum of intellectual property law in India.

Case Notes:
Setting aside registrar order, Delhi High Court holds “NATURE’S VARIETY” is a distinctive mark.

In a recent case, the Delhi High Court stated that though the mark “NATURE’S VARIETY” includes common dictionary words, it does not have any direct reference to animal/pet products. In the Court’s words: “It evokes a feeling that product is made of natural ingredients, but is not the usual way of referring to animal foodstuff or allied goods in trade. It would be far-fetched to say that ‘NATURE’S VARIETY’ immediately creates an association of subject mark to animal food/ healthcare products in the minds of public.” Based on this reasoning, the Court set aside the Registrar’s order of trademark refusal based on lack of distinctiveness.

Citation: M.I. Industries, Incorporated Vs. Registrar Of Trade Marks [C.A.(COMM.IPD-TM) 18/2021]

The word Kavach in marks may be common, but labels are dissimilar.

In a recent appeal decision, the Delhi High Court set aside a trademark refusal on the ground that the label mark had the word Kavach, which was there in a prior trademark. The Court stated that marks must be seen as a whole, and commonality of words may not necessarily give rise to double identity and related confusion if the labels as a whole look different.

Citation: Tci Foundation Vs. Registrar Of Trade Marks [C.A.(COMM.IPD-TM) 141/2021]

The trademark Oleev Active for oil is suggestive not descriptive.

In an appeal, the Delhi High Court set aside the refusal of the trademark, Oleev Active, for edible oils by the registrar of trademark. The Court in the case stated that Oleev Active for edible oils is suggestive and not descriptive. According to the Court, the variance in spelling is sufficient to make the mark registrable.

Citation: Modi Naturals Limited Vs. The Registrar Of Trade Marks [C.A.(COMM.IPD-TM) 90/2021]

The recent judgments from Indian courts in trademark law cases underscore the complexity and detail-oriented nature of legal adjudication in this field. These decisions, encompassing a range of trademarks, serve as a vital resource for legal professionals and stakeholders in the domain of intellectual property. They not only elucidate the criteria for trademark distinctiveness and registration but also highlight the judiciary’s role in interpreting and shaping intellectual property law in India, contributing significantly to its ongoing development.