Others

SpicyIP Weekly Review (1-7 April)


Thematic Highlight 

I had written a two-part post on the Notice on Plant Breeders’ Rights. In the first post, I examined the history of seed price control orders in India and the main highlights of the Notice and the controversial relation between the Patents Act and the Plant Varieties  Act in relation to Monsanto’s dispute with Indian seed companies. In my post, I conclude that both the legislations co-exist harmoniously. In the follow-up post, I examine the the clash between the Central Government’s power to monitor prices of seeds and the Plant Authority’s power to monitor prices of Bt cotton plant varieties and conclude that the latter should have the power to monitor such prices. I also examine the Central Government’s power to monitor trait fees.

Topical Highlight

Rishabh wrote a post on the controversy surrounding the trailer of the biopic ‘PM Narendra Modi’ and Javed Akhtar’s alleged contribution to the soundtrack ‘Ishwar-Allah’ in the movie. In his post, Rishabh examines the ingredients of the right to integrity under Section 57(1)(b) of the Copyright Act. He argues that, in addition to distortion, mutilation and modification, “derogatory treatment” of work under the statute should also include use of the copyrighted work in a different context.

Other Posts

In the first application for the SpicyIP Fellowship 2019-20, Arushi wrote a post on the Delhi HC’s rejection of Croc’s suit for passing off of a registered design. In her post, she examines the legislative intent behind Section 2(d) of the Designs Act and revisits the Mohan Lal judgment. She argues that the Court is incorrect in its conclusion that a shape registered as a design cannot claim protection as a mark. She argues that Section 2(d) only prohibits a trademark from enjoying protection as a design and it does not prohibit a design from enjoying protection as a trademark.

We had an interesting guest post on the implications of AI on marketing and product branding and its consequent effects on trademark law. In their post, the authors examine different kinds of products which provide AI assistance to humans and conclude that trademark law concepts which centre around human capabilities will need revision in the context of these new developments.

Other Developments

Indian

Judgments

Technova Tapes (India) Private Limited v. Technova Imaging Systems Private Limited – Madras High Court [March 13, 2019]

The Court set aside a permanent injunction restraining the Appellant from infringing and passing off the Respondent’s registered mark “TECHNOVA”, by using an identical mark in respect of adhesive tapes. In arriving at this decision, the Court noted that the mark innovated by the Respondent could be used by anyone and it could not be concluded merely on the basis of such use that the Appellant possessed a dishonest intention. It was further noted by the Court that the goods of the Parties were altogether different, and registration of the Respondent’s mark under a Class would not grant it a monopoly to use it for all goods under that Class.

Super Smelters Limited v. SMC Power Generation Limited – Calcutta High Court [March 19, 2019]

The Court granted an interim injunction restraining the Defendant from infringing and passing off the Plaintiff’s registered mark “YY RIBS” by selling or offering for sale TMT Bars which were a colourable imitation of the Plaintiff’s mark. In arriving at the decision, the Court acknowledged that the shape of goods are considered as an element of a trademark, and thus copying the unique shape of goods on the mark could lead to infringement. The Court further noted that the Defendant had prima facie engaged in infringement of Plaintiff’s mark.

Metro Brands Limited v. Metro Footwear – Bombay High Court [March 26, 2019]

The Court granted an interim injunction restraining the Defendant from infringing and passing off the Plaintiff’s registered mark “METRO” and its formative marks by using identical marks, in respect of footwear. The Court however did not give any reasons for the decision.

Hindustan Unilever Limited v. JMS Industries – Bombay High Court [March 26, 2019]

The Court granted an interim injunction restraining the Defendant from infringing and passing off the Plaintiff’s registered mark “SURF EXCEL” by using deceptively similar marks “SARAF” along with the “SPLAT” device, in respect of footwear. However, the Court failed to give any reasons for the decision.

M/s. Nav Jagriti Niketan Education Society v. Delhi International School and Others – Delhi High Court [March 28, 2019]

The Court vacated an interim injunction restraining the Defendants from infringing and passing off the Plaintiff’s mark “DELHI INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL” by using an identical mark, in respect of offering educational purposes. The Court observed that the previously granted interim injunction was based on the wrong assumption that the Plaintiff had registered the word mark “DELHI INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL”. It was further noted that there was no restriction over the Defendants from using the word mark and domain containing “DELHI INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL” as it would be unlikely that students in Delhi would want to seek admissions in the Defendants’ schools.

Time Incorporation v. Mr. Anand Nadar and Another – Delhi High Court [March 29, 2019]

The Court granted a permanent injunction restraining the Defendant from infringing and passing off the Plaintiff’s registered marks “FORTUNE ASIA” and “FORTUNE” by using a deceptively similar mark “FORTUNE ASIA 2018 & CIO AWARDS” and the domain name “www.fortuneasiaevent.com” in respect of its blockchain technology and the marketplace. In arriving at this decision, the Court observed that the Defendant had no real prospect to defend the claim as the mark was registered in favour of the Plaintiff and was clearly infringing its reputation and goodwill.

Shyam Steel Industries Limited v. Shyam Sel and Power Limited and Another – Calcutta High Court [April 2, 2019]

The Court rejected the grant of an interim injunction restraining the Defendants from infringing and passing off the Plaintiff’s registered mark “SHYAM”, by using an identical mark in respect of TMT bars. In arriving at the decision, the Court noted that the mark was a part of the Defendants’ business name. The Court stated that the Defendants would be granted time to file affidavit-in-opposition within two weeks to show the honest adoption of the mark.

Louis Vuitton Malletier v. Iqbal Singh and Others – Delhi High Court [April 3, 2019]

The Court upheld its interim injunction granted previously in restraining the Defendants from infringing and passing off the Plaintiff’s marks “LOUIS VUITTON” and “LV” by using identical mark, in respect of garments. The Court observed that the Plaintiff was the registered proprietor of its marks and the Defendants had employed these marks in sale of its counterfeiting products. It was further noted by the Court that in doing so the Defendants intended to ride off the reputation and goodwill enjoyed by the Plaintiff. Consequently, the Court granted damages to the tune of Rupees 3.5 lakhs in favour of the Plaintiff in light of the flagrant infringing activities of the Defendants.

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