Honest Commercial Practice Can Be A Defense In A Trademark Infringement Suit

A Singapore freight forwarder, Megastar Shipping won a lawsuit against various well known and famous brands namely Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry and Hermes. These brands had filed a lawsuit against the said freight forwarder in Singapore High Court in March, 2013 for trans shipping fake and trademark infringing goods. These goods were inspected by Singapore Customs on duty officers during its route from China to Batan via Singapore, wherein the concerned officers found and siezed 40 foot containers, 436 cartons containing fake fashion accessories such as China-made bags, shoes, belts and other fashion accessories. During court proceedings, it was heard... Read More

Tale Of The Contentious Broccoli Patent

GRANT OF PATENT The European Patent Office accorded a patent on a special kind of Broccoli, containing high content of glucosinolates with health benefits; vide patent number EP1069819, in 2002. This particular kind of broccoli plant stems from the cross breeding of wild variants of broccoli, consisting of native traits, with broccoli of commercial varieties. The patent granted covers not just the grown plant but also the seeds and the harvested food. Owned by the company Monsanto, the patented broccoli is marketed as “super broccoli” in the countries of US and UK.[1] In 2013, Seminis, a company owned by Monsanto... Read More

Character Merchandising

INTRODUCTION Character merchandising is a clever marketing method through which goods and services similar to well-known imaginary or even real characters are made for appealing customers. In other words, it is a profitable manipulation of a renowned personality using their well-recognized national/international appeal. Overtime, the possibilities of character merchandising have amplified in such diverse forms that what perceived as an ancillary source of commercial abuse by the entertainment industry has become the sign in terms of revenue. From the initial days of character merchandising when Walt Disney Studios began licensing their famous characters in 1930s, to the present day film... Read More

Case Brief: Simonelli Innovation Llc V. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS)

Plaintiff:  SIMONELLI INNOVATION, LLC Defendant:  TATA AMERICA INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION and TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES LIMITED (TCS) Case Number:  5:2018cv00840  Case Filed On :    August 15, 2018 Court:   Texas Western District Court US Presiding Judge: Fred Biery Nature of Suit:  Contract - IP Infringement Cause of filling Suit – Breach of Contract Facts: US-based Simonelli Innovation LLC sued Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) in Texas Court for violation of Defend Trade Secrets Act, breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentations, gaining unfair advantage by wrongful and improper use of Simonelli’s intellectual property (IP) and trade secrets to build its own consulting practice.  Simonelli, a... Read More

Trademarks and Trade Secrets: Know the Difference with Coca-Cola

Though they may include the same word, the two concepts- Trademarks and Trade Secrets- are not alike at all. It is true that both are valuable assets that give your business an edge against rivals in the market. However, their scope of application covers totally different areas. This article analyses the meaning of the concepts, the law regarding them and studies Coca-Cola to better understand the distinction. 1. Trademarks In India, trademarks are given protection under the Trademarks Act, 1999. Trademark has been defined under section 2 (zb) of the Act as, “….a mark capable of being represented graphically and... Read More

The Cocoa Wars!

Two premier chocolate brands recently locked horns in the market. Hotel Chocolat alleged that Waitrose had launched a luxury chocolate bar which was deceptively similar to their trademark chocolate bars. The firm also got backing from a fellow chocolatier ‘Choc on Choc’ which believe that Waitrose’s Easter eggs are deceptively similar to their own. Waitrose, of course, denied all allegations in this regard despite the fact that all theirs bars are about the same size as that of Hotel Chocolat’s and also have the distinct wavy edges as they do as opposed to the straight edges the usual chocolate bars... Read More

How Far is Comparative Advertising, Not an Infringement?

Comparative advertising is also a form of advertising a product. When a person uses a competitor’s brand of a product to compare his brand for the same product while advertising for it, it is termed as COMPARATIVE ADVERTISING. Sometimes it may also lead to infringement of trademark. But usage of a mark to certain extent does not result in infringement. This article deals with the extent of usage of a mark in advertising which does not result in infringement of a mark. The provisions of The Trademarks Act, 1999 says that usage of a registered trademark without the proprietor’s permission... Read More

Trade Dress

What Is A Trade Dress? Trade dress means the packaging, visual appearance, shape, graphics, colour combination which can be registered and protected from being exploited by the competitors related to their goods or services. In other words, trade dress is a product's "total image" or "overall appearance" and "may include features such as size, shape, color or color combinations, texture, graphics or even certain sales techniques. For example, packaging of Mc Donald’s burger or shape and packaging of coca cola bottles or registered store layout design of Apple store. The objective of protection of a trade dress is to protect... Read More

Recognition of A Trademark As Well – Known

Earlier a trademark used to get the status of a well-known trademark only after a long and tedious process of court proceedings preceded by a trademark infringement or by objections raised by others at the time of registering the trademark. After the new amendments came into force the process to acquire, the status of a well-known trademark has become easier and less expensive. Now, the question arises that whether inclusion in the list of well-known Trade Mark, the only way by which Trade mark can obtain the status of a ‘Well Known Trade Mark’? The answer to this question is... Read More

Explanation of Section 3d of Patents Act, 1970 and Medicines

Pre-2005 amendment of Patent law, product patenting to pharmaceutical substances were not acknowledged. Introduction of section 3(d) of patent act has helped in preventing the multinational pharmaceutical companies from extending the life of a patent or from ‘ever greening the product’. Hence, this very provision attempts to regulate the granting of such patents by limiting the scope of protection available for derivatives of known substances and new uses of known substance, which results in only a trivial development. This provision of was challenged in the case of Novartis AG vs. Union of India[1], when Novartis patent application for newer version... Read More