Category Archives: Trademark

Trademark

IP vs Morality vs Free Speech: What the Fuct?


As some of you may have heard, the USPTO denied a trademark to Erik Brunetti’s “FUCT” line of apparel on grounds that the mark was immoral/scandalous! The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruled that the refusal was unconstitutional since it violated the constitutional guarantee of free speech. The US government appealed and the US Supreme Court just granted cert and will hear arguments soon. As Dennis Crouch notes in Patently O: “..the Federal Circuit sided with Brunetti…


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Trademark

Trademarking “Hakuna Mata”: A Problem Free Philosophy For IP?


Even as we were bidding adieu to 2018, one of the most contentious IP issues cropped up. Thanks to Disney’s trademark over Hakuna Matata (from the Lion King) and an online petition protesting against this blatant cultural (mis)appropriation! I reflect on this in the Hindustan Times and excerpt some portions below. Hardly a stress free issue. But then again, these are complex cases not amenable to easy resolution. The best we can do is to continue to debate and remain…


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Designs Overlaps in IP Trademark

Delhi HC: Clearing the Confusion Around Design-Trademark Overlaps


A few days ago, I had written a post on the Delhi HC’s judgment in Greenlight Planet India Pvt. Ltd. vs Gee Lighting Technology dealing with a design-trademark overlap. The Court, in this order, had deliberated on the issue of whether a separate suit of passing off can be filed for a registered design after having filed a prior suit of design infringement. In their order, they limited their analysis to Order II, Rule 2 of the CPC (which does not allow…


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Designs Overlaps in IP Trademark

Delhi HC Deals with Yet Another Design-Trademark Overlap!


IP overlaps take place when multiple overlapping IP rights vest in an owner for a single subject matter. These overlaps have given way to numerous debates regarding over-protection, policy implications, statutory interpretation  and many more issues. (To get a better understanding of the same, do refer to Prof. Basheer’s chapter in Overlapping Intellectual Property Rights.) Design-trademark overlaps, in particular, have had an interesting history in Indian litigation. A recent decision of the Delhi HC yet again brings these overlaps to the fore. In…


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Copyright Trademark

The Rihanna-Trump Showdown and The Use of Music in Political Campaigns


This month saw a highly publicised altercation between pop queen Rihanna and US President Trump.  She called out the President for playing her popular hit song “Don’t Stop the Music” at his rally. In her cease-and-desist letter, Rihanna’s legal team specified that the idol’s consent should have been taken before playing her song at the rally. The issue, however, is more complicated than the simple matter of the artist’s consent to such usage and has been highly debated in the past….


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Trademark

Delhi High Court Examines Intermediary Liability for Trademark Infringement (Part – II)


In my previous post, I broke down Ms. Justice Prathiba Singh’s recent judgement in Christian Louboutin v Nakul Bajaj, and noted its importance for intermediary liability and e-commerce players in India. In this post, I examine the Court’s approach towards intermediary liability, and attempt to outline what exactly the judgement means for e-commerce platforms. (Update: On November 12, the Court also made a similar ruling on similar facts in L’oreal v Brandworld, relying upon its earlier judgement in Christian Louboutin.)…


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Trademark

Groundless Threats of Trademark Infringement Result in Ex-Parte Order Preventing the Defendant from Initiating Ex-Parte Proceedings


In Kokanratna Holiday Resorts vs. Millennium & Copthorne International Limited, the Bombay High Court recently passed an order that required the Defendant to give prior, written notice of 7 days to the Plaintiff before initiating any legal proceedings against them pertaining to the trademark ‘Hotel Millennium Park’. The order passed ex parte by Justice Kathawala, therefore precludes the Defendant from initiating ex parte proceedings to claim interim relief against the Plaintiff. Background and Decision The Plaintiff is a hotel based…


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Trademark

Delhi High Court Examines Intermediary Liability for Trademark Infringement (Part – I)


In a significant judgement for e-commerce in India, the Delhi High Court in Christian Louboutin SAS v Nakul Bajaj and Ors., (decided on November 2), has recently attempted to clarify the responsibilities and liability of online intermediaries for trademark infringement. The judgement both clarifies and in some part obfuscates India’s intermediary liability regime as it relates to trademark infringement. Ms. Justice Prathiba Singh’s judgement is particularly important considering it is the first time the issue of trademark infringement by online…


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Trademark

SC on Passing Off and Delays


In a recent decision, Wockhardt Limited vs. Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a 2-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court clarified certain important principles of passing off of trademarks and delays and acquiescence.  Factual and Procedural Background Pharmaceutical company, Torrent (“Plaintiff/ Respondent”) owns branded drugs named “CHYMORAL” and “CHYMORAL FORTE”. These drugs are used to alleviate swellings and wounds which may occur post-surgery. Rival company, Wockhardt, (“Defendant/Appellant”) started selling products under the name of “CHYMTRAL FORTE”, thereby merely substituting the letter ‘T’ with…


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Trademark

Skechers USA v. Pure Play Sports – Implications of Actual Costs and Taxation of Costs – A Notable And Welcome Change In the IP Regime


We’re pleased to bring to you a guest post by Abhimanyu Chopra. Abhimanyu is a Senior Associate at AZB & Partners. He has obtained his B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) degree from Amity Law School, New Delhi and his LL.M. degree from New Law College, Pune and is currently pursuing his PhD in Cyber Law from Amity Law School, Noida. He is also a qualified cyber forensics expert. He is currently practicing in the area of commercial litigation and arbitration with special focus…


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