KARIM HOTELS PVT. LTD. V/S KAREEM DHANANI
The plaintiff, Karim Hotel Pvt. Ltd., filed a trademark infringement and passing off suit against the defendant, Kareem Dhamani since the defendant’s mark ‘Kareem’ was deceptively similar to the plaintiff’s mark ‘Karim’. The plaintiff had also filed a rectification petition before the IPAB under Section 57 of the Trademarks Act to remove the defendant’s registered trademark and had instituted a suit seeking interlocutory injunctive relief both on the grounds of infringement and passing off, which are identical to the present suit. The Court had adjourned the case sine die until the outcome of the IPAB regarding the rectification petition was delivered since the same could be challenged by either party to the suit. The present suit was disposed of by the Court, stating that the plaintiff had the liberty to file an appropriate proceeding after the order by the IPAB was passed.
However, after the IPAB was abolished, the rectification proceeding was transferred to the Bombay High Court in terms of the Tribunals Reforms Act, 2021. The Court held that the plaintiff would be required to explain why the present suit should not be dismissed under Order VII Rule 11 of the CPC, especially since the reliefs sought in the previous suit are the same as this one.
(1) Karim Hotels Pvt. Ltd. V/s Kareem Dhanani, CS(COMM) 112/2022 & I.A. 2695/2022
VISTARA AIRLINES V/S VISTARA BUILDTECH
The Delhi High Court recently restrained Vistara Buildtech and others from using the mark ‘VISTARA’ in any manner till the next date of hearing in a plea filed by TATA SIA Airlines Ltd. The single judge bench of Justice C. Hari Shankar while hearing the suit seeking an injunction against Vistara Buildtech allowed the application under Order XXXIX Rules 1 & 2 of CPC, 1908. The court observed that TATA SIA Airlines is a well-known collaboration between Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. and Singapore Airlines Ltd. which under the mark VISTARA is engaged in the commercial aviation industry. The plaint also pointed out that the plaintiff had been declared as a well-known mark by judgment dated 5th August 2019 passed by the same court in 2019. It was also mentioned that the plaintiff would also be entitled to benefit from Section 29(4) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999.
DHRUV RATHEE’S FRUIT JUICE VIDEO IS TO BE REMOVED, AFTER NON-COMPLIANCE WITH AN INTERIM ORDER
The The Hon’ble Calcutta High Court has ordered the removal of a video by popular YouTuber Mr. Dhruv Rathee, that was critical of Dabur India’s packaged ‘Real Juice’. Dabur had filed a suit alleging that the video contained false and misleading information about its products. The company contended that the video was specifically aimed at denigrating and disparaging packaged fruit products. Justice Ravi Krishan Kapur also noted that the direction issued in the previous order dated 15th March, 2023 had not been complied with to date. The Court had categorically permitted Mr. Dhruv Rathee to publish, circulate and upload the impugned video subject only after removing the offending portions in it, which made any reference to Dabur’s product. The Hon’ble Court found that Mr. Dhruv Rathee’s video made “unsubstantiated and misleading claims” about Dabur’s juices and ordered the video to be taken down from all platforms. Mr. Dhruv Rathee has since removed the video from his YouTube channel and social media accounts. The court also directed Rathee to refrain from making any similar claims in the future.
SPOTIFY DROPS ZEE MUSIC SONG REPERTOIRE OVER A LICENSING DISPUTE
As per reports, Spotify has removed the songs of Zee Music after negotiations for a renewal of their licensing agreement fell through. Speaking of the matter, Spotify told Billboard, “Spotify and Zee Music have been unable to reach a licensing agreement.” The music streaming platform further added, “Throughout these negotiations, Spotify has tried to find creative ways to strike a deal with Zee Music and will continue our good faith negotiations in hopes of finding a mutually agreeable solution soon”.
‘BASMATI’ NOT GRANTED GI TAG IN AUSTRALIA
Australia has rejected India’s application for a geographical indication (GI) tag for Basmati rice, citing a lack of clarity on India’s claim over the aromatic long-grain rice variety. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), a part of the Indian Government’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry applied for a GI tag for Basmati rice in Australia in 2018, seeking to prevent Australian companies from using the name “Basmati” for their products. APEDA contended that Basmati was a geographical indication in respect of rice grown in particular areas of India and Pakistan. However, Australia’s intellectual property office has found that India’s claim does not meet the country’s legal requirements for a GI tag, which includes evidence of long-standing usage and distinctiveness of the product in the relevant region. APEDA has appealed to the Federal Court of Australia, against the rejection of the GI tag. The rejection could lead to Australian companies using the name “Basmati” for their rice products, which could in turn jeopardize the export prospects of Indian Basmati rice.
REGISTRATION OF A DESIGN CAN BE CONSIDERED INITIAL EVIDENCE OF ITS VALIDITY
In a recent case of Sirona Hygiene Private Limited Vs Amazon Seller Services Private Ltd, the Hon’ble Delhi High Court, held that the registration of a design can be used as prima facie proof of its validity. According to the plaintiff, their registered design for a disposable female urination device called “Pee Buddy” has been infringed by the defendant, who supposedly produces and markets identical devices under the name “Namyaa”. The Hon’ble Delhi High Court noted that the registration of a design is a statutory recognition of the design’s novelty and originality and that it provides the owner with a right to the exclusive use of the design for a limited period of time. Therefore, the HC held that in a case of an alleged infringement of a registered design, the registration of the design can be used as prima facie proof of its validity and that the burden of proving that the design is not valid rests with the defendant. The decision provides further protection for registered designs and strengthens the position of design owners in infringement cases.
(1) Sirona Hygiene Private Limited V/s Amazon Seller Services Private Ltd; CS(COMM) 503/2022 & I.A.20127/2022, I.A.458/2023, I.A.2491/2023, I.A.4887/2023
PATENT GRANTED TO A HYDERABAD-BASED DOCTOR
A Hyderabad-based doctor has received patent rights for his invention, a cardiac device, that can help treat infants born with congenital heart defects. The KONAR-MF occluder, named after Dr. Koneti Nageswara Rao, is unique in its design of incremental diameter and stretchability to prevent clamping force and shear stress. Having received European EC approval in 2019 and Euro-African and Korean patents in 2021 and 2022, the KONAR-MF occluder was granted the Indian patent after several critical examinations in February 2023. KONAR-MF is available commercially through the company Lifetech Scientific. According to an official release, more than 10,000 patients benefitted in the last 3 years from the device in more than 72 countries including Germany, Italy, UK, USA and Japan.