Non-Conventional Trademarks in India by Dev Gangjee

Those of you looking for that extra spicy bite in law of trademarks,here is a treat.
Dev Gangjee of London School of Economics has recently penned his thoughts on Non-Conventional Trade Marks in India  [22 (1) National Law School of India Review 67 (2010)] on the accommodation of non conventional trade marks within Indian trade mark law. Its written with trade mark examiners, IP practitioners and adjudicators in mind and considers relevant provisions of the Draft Manual of Trade Mark Practice and Procedure.
The abstract of the article reads :
In recent years, trade mark registries and courts have grappled with trade mark applications for silhouettes, shapes, scents, textures and tastes, as well as short cartoons, single colours, body movements and Tarzan’s yell.This invasion of the unconventional is due to the open ended definition of a trade mark. On the one hand, trade mark law has embraced a definition that emphasizes the functional, rather than the ontological, status of a sign.Anything which does the communicative work of a trade mark, by distinguishing goods on the basis of trade origin, can be registered as one. On the other hand registration systems have historically developed around paradigmatic subject matter: a conventional or traditional trade mark that is visual and consists of words and/or figurative devices. The need to reconcile these conflicting imperatives – the system is open to all categories of signs and it’s apparently ‘business as usual,’ yet the registration system was designed with only words and figurative devices in mind – requires a careful reconsideration of certain basic assumptions in this area. The Indian Trade Mark Registry’s Draft Manual of Trade Mark Practice and Procedure provides the contextual framework for this reappraisal and this article evaluates to the approaches it has adopted to accommodate such signs.
This brilliant read is also available here.
We hope it tickles your tastebuds!

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