SPICY IP TIDBIT: Row over ‘ISEED’ mark

According to Business Standard report, a Gurgaon court issued an interim order restraining a management institute from using its name and acronym ‘ISEED’ noting that it is deceptively similar to the name of another business school, ‘iSEED’. The petitioner, while contending prior use, drew attention to the pending application for the registration of the trademark ‘iSEED’.

As it is an interim order, the Court wouldn’t have dealt with the merits of the case. In this context, I would like to draw your attention to the Delhi HC judgment in Times Internet v. M/s Belize Domian Whois Service Ltd & Others. In the aforesaid judgment, the Court held that “indiatimes” which was the essential component of the domain name, was used by the defendant without any explanation. Further, this could confuse an ordinary netizen and could result in associating defendant’s portal with that of the plaintiff company [covered here]. Also, a prefix or suffix, addition or deletion of dot, plurality or singularity of a registered mark would not create a distinct mark. Following the same line of reasoning and assuming the veracity of the report, ‘ISEED’ doesn’t seem to differ from ‘iSEED’. Further, it seems to be deceptively similar. In the light of incomplete facts, I cannot, however, comment further.

Mathews P. George

Mathews P. George

Mathews is a graduate of National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata. His interest in intellectual property was kindled when he bagged the second position in his second year of Law School (in the prestigious Nani Palkhiwala Essay Competition on Intellectual Property). His stint as a student of Prof. Shamnad Basheer further accentuated his interest in intellectual property. Winner of almost a dozen essay competitions in his Law School days, he was involved in various research and policy initiatives relating to intellectual property. Mathews is, currently, based out of Munich, Germany. He had earlier done his LLM in 'IP and Competition Law' from Munich Intellectual Property Law Centre (jointly run by Max Plank Institute for Innovation and Competition, University of Augsburg, Technical University of Munich and George Washington University, Washington).

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