This is no joke … Don’t you hire Gabbar or Samba as your chief Marketing agents!!!
Ever since the re-makers of the Indian film “Sholay” were sued ( refer : Sholay Media Entertainment v Parag Sanghvi CS (OS) 1892/2006) where the defendant was restrained from infringing the plaintiff’s copyright and registered trademarks in the title of the film “Sholay” and its key character, “Gabbar Singh”, and any other deceptively similar marks/names. We have been wondering how cautious one has to be to avoid tripping in the trap of Trademark Infringement.
We have some Bizarre Law suits on trademarks which are too good to be true
(a) Spend 50 hours of community service in an old person’s home
(b) Spend 50 hours in an orphanage
When plaintiff had sued the defendant for infringing a well known mark , namely “POLO” and “RALPH LAUREN”.
The court restrained the defendant from the use of the mark 7 O’ CLOCK with respect to toothbrushes, even though the mark had been registered for blades. According to the court, the goods were sold across the same counter, and that use of that mark for toothbrushes would lead to confusion (Kamal Trading Co v Gillette UK Ltd (1988 PTC 1)
Baby Gift House,the defendant was penalized for selling miniature toys of Daler Mehndi. Daler Mehndi, a famous Punjabi pop star has made a mark in the hearts of many music buffs. The plaintiff’s company was incorporated in 1996 to manage the artist’s escalating career. The crux was that the defendant had prolific businesses and majorly cashed on to his popularity. Majorly aggrieved, the plaintiff company filed for permanent injunction from infringing the artist’s right of publicity and false endorsement leading to passing off.
The court gave a verdict to the defendant to buy spittoons for a Cancer Hospital for infringing a trademark used for tobacco based products. (Dharampal Premchand v Tara Zarda Factory (CS (OS) 2/2006)).
“Darjeeling” and the logo of a woman holding tea leaves are registered by The Tea Board as certification trademarks, in connection with “tea”. The Tea Board sued the ITC Sonar, a leading Kolkata hotel, for naming its executive lounge, “Darjeeling Lounge”.
The court noted that the Tea Board was admittedly neither a trader of tea nor was it in the hospitality industry. The Tea Board did not contend that ITC Sonar’s Darjeeling Lounge was trying to hijack this authority to certify in any way, and therefore had no case for passing off.
Look before you Leap; Trademarks are bliss don’t let them haunt you.