Judicial determination of a "Well-known" Indian mark- TATA

This post provides a review of a recent judgment of the Delhi (CS(OS) No. 264/2008 and CS(OS) No. 232/2009), Tata Sons Ltd. vs Mr. Md. Jawed & Anr., (judgment available on Indiankanoon here).  

Amongst others, the plaintiffs stated that the defendant’s use of the mark (A-One TATA) was inherently deceptive.  The Court after referring to the provisions of the Trademark Act, Article 6bis of the Paris convention, Article 16 of the TRIPS provisions, and judicial recognition given to well known marks concluded that as far as India was concerned, “TATA is almost a household name.”   The Court also referred to a decision of the  High Court of Sindh, where the High Court of Sindh dismissed an application for mark TATARA tea.  The Court imposed punitive damages to the tune of Rs. two lakhs (Rs. 200,000) on the defendants and also retrained them permanently from using the TATA mark.  
The penultimate paragraph of the judgment provides a rationale for imposition of the punitive damages and the permanent injunction. It states:  “More and more foreign companies are entering our markets, with latest products. They would be discouraged to enter our country to introduce newer products and make substantial investments here, if the Courts do not grant adequate protection to their intellectual property rights such as patents, trademarks and copyrights..”  

Rajiv Kr. Choudhry

Rajiv did his engineering from Nagpur University in 2000 in electronics design technology. He has completed his LL.B. from Delhi University, Law Center II in 2006, while working as an engineer at ST Microelectronics in NOIDA. After his LL.B., he went on to The George Washington Univeristy, Washington DC to do his LL.M. in 2007. After his LL.M., he has worked in the US at a prestigious IP law firm based out of Philadelphia. Till 2014, he was Of-Counsel to a Noida based IP law firm where he specialized in advising clients on wireless, telecommunication, and high technology. Rajiv is the founder of Tech Law Associates, a New Delhi based law firm specializing in IP law, with a focus on high - technology, and patent law. His core IP interest areas are the intersection of technology and IP, Indian IP policy, innovation, and telecommunications patents. He is also an inventor with pending applications in machine-to-machine communications domain (WO2015029061).

One comment.

  1. priyawansh

    distinctiveness can be of two types either its having a non dictionary meaning or it can be acquired in this case i think the distinctiveness of TATA company is acquired by serving Indian people from a long time .


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