Trademark

SpicyIP Tidbit: ‘ Greenpeace ‘advised’ to remove TATA logo from game


Readers have very likely already seen the news of TATA having dragged Greenpeace to the Delhi High Court in a defamation and trademark infringement suit over the use of its logo (stylized T in a circle) in an online game. TATA has alleged that the use of its logo is “disparaging” and “libelious”. The Greenpeace game was launched to mark the ongoing conflict between attempts to protect the endangered Olive Ridley Turtles and TATA Steel’s port located off the coast of the eastern Indian state of Orissa.

The Delhi High Court (Justice Ravindra Bhat) has “advised” the international environmental NGO Greenpeace to remove the TATA trademark from its online game – Turtle vs TATA, according to news reports here and here.

According to this story from the Indian Express, Justice Bhat is supposed to have told Greenpeace: “It (removing the logo) is only a suggestion and not a direction. We are not directing you to stop using the name but you can consider not using the logo.”

Greenpeace’s website, where you can (still) play the game, says:

“TATAs Dhamra port could be the beginning of the end for Gahirmatha’s turtles. Your objective is simple – get the turtles to eat as many of the white dots – jellyfish and other sea creatures – while dodging the TATA demons! If you eat a power pill, you will be gifted with super-turtle powers to vanquish the demons of development that are threatening your coastal home!

Of course, real life isn’t quite so rosy for the turtles, and they need your help to keep fighting for a safer future.”

DNA reports that TATA’s petition stated, “The aim of the colourful and noisy video game is to help the yellow turtles eat as many little white dots as possible without running into Ratty (presumably referring to Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group), Matty, Natty or Tinku… The NGO has not only infringed the trademark rights of the Tatas, but is also maligning the reputation of the company, thereby injuring the same in their profession.”

My first reaction to the news reports, I have to admit, was, wow, it’s thirty years since Pacman? (Apparently one of the reasons the Greenpeace game was launched was to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the original computer game). And I remember spending many wasteful hours addicted to my XT frantically trying to eat up the ghosts.
(Images from here)

Admittedly, we’ve been very late in picking this very interesting story up, but we shall be following this closely in the days to come. The case is scheduled to come up again on August 12, when Greenpeace is expected to file its reply to the allegations made by the Indian conglomerate.

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2 comments.

  1. AvatarAnonymous

    There seems to be some point that we are missing out here. Turtle nesting definitely sounds like a game for Greenpeace but it is certainly not so for an environmentally conscious corporate house like Tata Steel. If we go by facts, people should actually take note of a few turtle congregation figures. In 2009 almost 1.7 lakh turtles had come to Gahirmatha for their annual arribada. In year 2010 all nesting records in the last decade have been surpassed with almost 3.5 lakh turtles coming to Gahirmatha in a two-phase congregation. All this happened while construction work and dredging activities were going on in full swing at the port site. So what is the point in targeting a renowned name out of malice if Nature herself has no problems in following her usual course. Turtles have always come to the beaches of Orissa for nesting purposes and the fact that they have returned in large numbers in both 2009 and 2010 proves that nothing is amiss.

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  2. AvatarAnonymous

    further, what has noted is that the port is not of the TATA’s. the port is of the Govt. of Orissa. why hv greenpeace not proceeded against the govt. of orissa of the government of india. the DPCL has obtained all environmental clearances, n TATA’s r being singled out

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