Category Archives: Comparative Advertising

Comparative Advertising Copyright COVID-19 Others Patent Trademark

SpicyIP Weekly Review (June 22 – 28)


Topical Highlight To Mock the Corona Word: Disparaging During the Time of Crisis In a post co-authored with Praharsh Gour, Swaraj wrote about disparagement of the famous beer brand ‘Corona’ given its resemblance to the ongoing pandemic in the context of the Cerveciria Modelo De Mexico v. Whiskin Spirits case. Analyzing the order, it is noted that the Court has not recorded its assessment of the advertisement in granting the ex-parte interim injunction. The post goes on to highlight that…


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Comparative Advertising COVID-19 Trademark

To Mock the Corona Word: Disparaging During the Time of Crisis


a “Corona Extra'' labelled bottle is in the middle of eight circumscribing small bottles of another product, with arrows emitting from the Corona Extra labelled bottle and words “Stay home” inscribed below. In fact, in the ‘advertisement’, the defendants products are not even distinguishable as belonging to the defendant.

[This post has been co-authored with Praharsh Gour. Praharsh is a graduate from Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur and is presently an LL.M. candidate at the Faculty of Legal Studies, South Asian University, New Delhi] You know you are in for a roller-coaster ride when the name of your 95 year old brand resembles the ongoing pandemic. The recent Covid-19 outbreak has perhaps left the famous beer brand ‘Corona’ swinging like a pendulum between two wildly varying image issues. On…


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Comparative Advertising Copyright Innovation Others Patent Trademark

SpicyIP Weekly Review (May 18 – 24)


[This post has been authored by our intern, Bhavik Shukla, a 5th year student at NLIU, Bhopal] Topical Highlight The Delhi High Court and an Anti-Suit Injunction – Part I & II In a two-part post, Mathews wrote about the Delhi HC’s recent decision in HT Media Ltd. v. Brainlink Int., wherein it granted an interim injunction restraining a New York-based corporation from using the domain name ‘www.hindustan.com’ and proceeding with this suit or filing a related suit before any court. In…


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Comparative Advertising Trademark

Same Old Disparagement Story: Delhi HC Grants Interim Injunction Against Lifebuoy Ad


A single-judge bench of the Delhi High Court recently passed an order granting an interim injunction in the case of Reckitt Benckiser (India) Private Limited v. Hindustan Unilever Limited. The case concerned an allegation of disparagement caused to the Plaintiff’s product Dettol antiseptic liquid by the Defendant’s Lifebuoy soap commercial. After the Plaintiff proved a prima facie case of disparagement, the Court granted an interim injunction restraining the Defendant from airing the advertisement until the final decision in the suit….


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Comparative Advertising COVID-19 Trademark

India’s First Covid-19 IP Dispute? Dettol Handwash Ad Claimed to Disparage Lifebuoy Soap Trademark


In what seems to be India’s first (reported) coronavirus related IP dispute, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) took Reckitt Benckiser (RB) to the Bombay High Court over RB’s most recent Dettol handwash advertisement, alleging that it disparages HUL’s Lifebuoy soap trademark. Background The case came to the court after the HUL (‘Plaintiff’) came across RB’s (Defendant) advertisement promoting its Dettol handwash, which portrayed that bar/solid soaps aren’t as effective as the liquid soap for washing hands, which is particularly important for tackling…


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Comparative Advertising Others

Parachute Disparagement Case: A Trivial Error or Actual Malice?


I read with interest Latha’s post published yesterday on why the ‘Bearded Chokra’ would be liable for disparagement even under the ‘actual malice’ standard. Needless to say, I disagree because it is an incorrect understanding of the ‘actual malice’ standard that undermines the essence of the fundamental right to free speech under Article 19(1)(a) and goes against one of the core values that have sustained SpicyIP since its inception. I am yet to find an instance in our young history…


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Comparative Advertising Others

Parachute Disparagement Case: Free Speech, Yes; but Not at the Cost of Falsehoods


This is a rejoinder to Prashant’s recent post, replying to my post on the order of the Division Bench (DB) of the Bombay High Court in the Marico disparagement case. My post was primarily to point out the factual errors committed by the DB in arriving at its conclusions – not on Marico’s legal strategy, as Prashant has stated in his post. Now that Prashant has raised the important point of free speech, let me express my views on that…


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Comparative Advertising Others

Parachute Disparagement Case: In Defense of Free Speech and the ‘Bearded Chokra’


Over the last decade, after witnessing Shamnad getting sued for alleged defamation by a pharmaceutical company and Aparajita Lath getting a legal notice for alleged defamation from a leading media house (Shamnad’s brilliant response is over here), I have developed quite a fondness for the fundamental right to free speech and defendants in defamation cases filed by corporations. In this backdrop, I feel compelled to reply to Latha’s spirited defense of Marico’s legal strategy in its lawsuit against ‘Bearded Chokra’…


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Comparative Advertising Others

Bom HC Division Bench Stays Interim Injunction against Vlogger in Parachute Disparagement Case


Cartoon image of coconut with straw, with caption "This whole experience has left me feeling empty inside"

Last month, I had blogged about Marico v. Abhijeet Bhansali where a Single Judge of the Bombay High Court directed the defendant, Abhijeet Bhansali (‘Bhansali’) to take down (in the interim) an offending video because he prima facie made false and reckless statements about Marico’s coconut oil branded, “Parachute”. On February 14, a Division Bench (DB) of the Court lifted the injunction and permitted Bhansali (aka ‘Bearded Chokra’) to post the video subject to replacement of one line in the…


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Comparative Advertising Others

Brand Protection in the Age of Social Media Influencers: Bom HC in Parachute Disparagement Case


What happens when social media influencers such as bloggers and vloggers comment on the quality of branded products recklessly? Earlier this month, Justice Kathawala of the Bombay High Court had granted an interim injunction against one such vlogger’s video in Marico Limited v. Abhijeet Bhansali. The branded product in issue is PARACHUTE coconut oil sold by Marico Limited, the plaintiff, and the vlogger involved is Abhijeet Bhansali, the defendant. Background and Facts Bhansali makes a living solely by creating and…


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