4 Famous Trademark Infringement Matters in India

Last Updated at: Nov 12, 2020
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On 27th August 2020, the Supreme Court refused to restrain Patanjali Ayurved from using the trademark “Coronil”. Patanjali released its immunity-boosting products in India during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Earlier, a High Court restrained Patanjali from using it while deciding a trademark infringement suit filed by Arudra Engineers Private Limited. In the suite, Arudra claimed that they had been using the trademark ‘Coronil’ since 1993 for their industrial cleaning products.

 

The overview of the popular trademark infringement matters gives a clear idea about the importance of trademark. You can know about businesses with the same trademark name. Knowing about the trademark infringement of popular companies would help you to avoid the trademark issues of your business.

PayPal has accused PayTM of copying its logo to grow its own user base. The US-based e-wallet, a pioneer in digital transactions, claims that PayTM had no other reason to use the same two-tone colour scheme in its trademark infringement complaint with the Indian Trademark Office. As it comes at a time when PayTM is enjoying massive gains from the demonetisation of large notes, the complaint does seem rather opportunistic; however, this is not what the courts will be analysing. And though the colours of a logo may not mean anything to the common observer, smaller matters have been at the centre of trademark infringement cases in the past. And, as we shall see, with very good reason.

Below you’ll find the list of essential and start up friendly services like how to apply for food license, time take for trademark registration or procedure for Udyog Aadhaar registration.

Zara: Fashion or Food?

One is a well-known fashion brand, operating all across the world; the other was a restaurant operating in a single Indian city. Would any consumer confuse one for the other — or assume that the restaurant was started by the fashion brand? The Delhi High Court thought so. This was so because the fashion brand Zara, which opened its first store in India in 2010, had a presence (through a joint venture) in the country since 1986 and had even applied for a few trademarks. The restaurant now operates simply as The Tapas Bar.

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Eclairs: Cadbury’s or Everyone’s?

Cadbury is very particular about intellectual property. In some jurisdictions, it even owns the right to the use of a shade of purple on chocolate wrappers. In India, it had registered three trademarks containing the word Eclairs (Chocolate Eclairs, Orange Flavoured Chocolate Eclairs and Chocolate Eclairs Pop). All three names were, however, not in use despite being registered way back in 1972. ITC won the case in 2015, after being in court over the matter for more than a decade.

London Dairy vs Londonderry

London Dairy sells premium quality ice cream, Londonderry sells inexpensive confectionery items. Phonetically, they are the same, and you might expect this to go the way of the Zara case. However, the Bombay High Court didn’t, in April 2016. This is because everything besides the sound of the brand was different. The order held there to be no visual or structural similarities between the products, and, for the want of demonstration of deceit or misrepresentation or differences in color, trade dress, the goods and their pricing, sided with the defendant (Londonderry).

Bata vs Bata

In the 1980s, the shoe maker Bata wanted to stop a company marketing foam materials from operating under the same name. The judge asked, “How would the customers know that Bata is not producing foam?” The judge reasoned that it is reasonable to assume that a customer would not ask a seller whether the product is manufactured by the shoe maker. For this reason, Bata won the case, despite the fact that its domain is completely different.

In the Paypal vs PayTM case, the two companies are in the same business and targeting the same market. The court’s verdict will be an interesting one.

It is really interesting to know about the trademark infringement matters of popular companies. The above information would be of great use when you wish to go for trademark registration of your business. You would also understand the importance of registering your business with a trademark name. so that you can avoid trademark infringement issues.

A lawyer with 14 years' experience, Vikram has worked with several well-known corporate law firms before joining Vakilsearch.