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Tata Motors wins Jaguar trademark battle

May 02, 2013 12:20 IST

Tata Motors Jaguar Cars Ltd, owned by Tata Motors, has received a favourable order from the Intellectual Property Appellate Board against Switzerland-based watch maker, Manufacture Des Montres Jaguar S A, who had applied to used the trademark Jaguar for its watches in India.

The order comes in response to a petition filed by Jaguar Cars Ltd seeking to quash the decision of deputy registrar of Trade Marks, Kolkata.

The registrar’s decision allowed the Swiss company to proceed with using the Jaguar name in watches and parts thereof, excluding clocks.

The registrar stated Jaguar Cars had not filed any evidence of use of the trade mark 'Jaguar' for watches and there was no evidence of use and advertisement of Jaguar in India.

Brochure and promotional materials of the company do not provide evidence that they have any manufacturing facilities in India.

Besides, Jaguar was a common dictionary word, both companies mark co-exists in over 30 countries, the registrar noted.

Reacting to this, the car-maker said, “. . . clearly proves the bias of the registrar and is contrary to the established principles of the trade marks law.

"This is contrary to the settled position in law that the use of a mark may inure to the proprietor even though goods are manufactured through permitted user, common-law licensees, contact manufacturers etc”.

The company also noted that it succeeded in canceling the registration of trademark Jaguar by the Swiss company in France, Singapore, etc.

Criticising the observations of deputy registrar, the IPAB said, “The registrar has concocted a new and novel test of manufacturing facilities in India to draw an inference of non-use.

"This is a unheard of theory in trade marks jurisprudence and almost amounts to a trade barrier not envisaged by law.”

“We conclude that the registrar’s order is full of infirmities and exhibits pronounced bias necessitating the Board to step in to right a terrible wrong", said S Usha, vice chairman, and V Ravi, technical member of IPAB.

IPAB recommends scrapping Haldiram Kolkata trademark

The IPAB has asked the Registrar of Trade Marks to cancel the trademark of Kolkata-based Haldiram Bhujiawala, the sweets and snacks brand.

The IPAB order was on a dispute between the family members of, Ganga Bishan, who had adopted the trademark in 1941.

The IPAB ruled in favour of Delhi-based Haldiram (India) Pvt Ltd, which filed a petition against the Kolkata firm.

The board comprising S Usha, vice chairman and V Ravi, technical member (Trademarks) observed that Lal was not the inventor of the trademark as claimed by the respondents (the Kolkata firm).

“We, therefore, are of the view that the trademark has to be removed from the register,”said the order.

Gireesh Babu in Chennai
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