ROYAL STAG AND INDIAN STAG
The Delhi High Court recently decided a case of trademark infringement and passing off between two liquor manufacturers/sellers, Royal Stag and Indian Stag. The court held that the word ‘Stag’ and the usage of the stag logo was an integral part of the Royal Stag brand, and since ‘stag’ is not inherently descriptive of alcoholic beverages, there is a likelihood that a consumer of average intelligence and imperfect recollection would confuse the 2 marks. However, the court held there was no prima facie case of ‘passing off’ since there was a visual difference between the two products as well as the fact that Indian Stag entirely exported their product.
EX-LICENSEE CAN NOT USE THE TRADEMARK AFTER REVOCATION
The Delhi High Court held in a case where the Respondents, developing a project ‘RPS Infinia,’ were granted license to rebrand the project as ‘World Trade Center Faridabad.’ However, after misusing the brand and damaging its image, the same was revoked. The respondents however continued with the usage, leading the public to believe that the 2 parties were associated. The court also held that the licensor has a right and a duty to ensure the consistency of goods and services being advertised under its mark is maintained and can take action against its infringement.
NIL- KAMAL OR KRANTI?
The Delhi High Court has disallowed plastic chair manufacturer Nilkranti to use a device mark confusingly or deceptively similar to the one used by chair manufacturer Nilkamal. The court however rejected the averment of trademark infringement of the word mark, since ‘Nil-‘is a common prefix and the Nilkamal and Nilkranti marks have to be considered as a whole and not be cutting them into pieces. The latter halves of the words mean completely different things – Lotus and Revolution.
A NEW BALANCE: BETWEEN ASSERTING TRADEMARK AND ALLEGEDLY MISUSING A PATENT
The Delhi HC in New Balance Athletics Inc. v New Balance Immigration Pvt. Ltd. recognised the ‘New Balance’ name and logo as a well-known mark of the sports-wear company and restrained an immigration and visa services company from using the same name. Internationally, sportswear companies New Balance Athletics as well as California-based Sketchers were sued by Nike for patent infringement of Nike’s ‘Flyknit’ technology, which used “high-strength fibres to create lightweight uppers with targeted areas of support, stretch, and breathability.” Nike has previously sued Adidas, Puma, and Lululemon for an infringement of the ‘Flyknit’ technology, and has already settled its lawsuits with Adidas and Puma.
VISHAL PIPES JUDGMENT OVERRULED BY THE DELHI HC
The Delhi HC in Pankajbhai Ravjibhai Patel v SSS Pharmachem Pvt. Ltd. overruled the directions given by the single judge bench in the Vishal Pipes judgment that mandated all IP related judgments to be sent to commercial courts, on the basis that IP was often falsely valued below 3 Lakh INR to escape the stringency of commercial courts. However, this assumed the value of all IP disputes was more than 3 Lakhs, and which was not conducive to cases where there was an actual mismatch between the specified value of the IP and the value of the suit, based on relief sought.