Justifying the Trademark Registration Regime

Tracing Origins[1]

Merchants have been using unique insignia on their goods since ancient Greek and Roman times. This was done mainly to inform buyers and other traders of the origin of their goods and to distinguish them from those manufactured by others. This practice was implicitly respected in the merchant community and guilds[2]. But for a long time, they possessed no justiciable right, except under the law of fraud, against any misappropriation of their merchandise marks. Continue reading


This Just In: Hindustan Unilever, Gilette Finally Bury the Hatchet in a 6-Year Old Trademark Dispute Over 7’O Clock

Harish Adwant 

Hindustan Unilever (HUL) and Gilette Co. penned the terms of settlement in a prolonged trademark battle arising in relation to the 7’O Clock label, with or without the device of Sun. Consequent to the substantial delay of 6 years, the parties managed to resolve the dispute without any judicial intervention.

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This Just In: For Microsoft Skype, the “Sky” is limited!


By Ritvik M. Kulkarni 

In a decade-old trademark tussle between Microsoft and BSkyB, the latter has prevailed over the use of the word SKY in the market. Owned by Rupert Murdoch, BSkyB is a British television broadcasting company which procured trademark registrations its brand-name “Sky” long before Microsoft came up with its online communications service named “Skype”.

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An Insight into Sound Trademarks (Part-II)

By Ritvik M. Kulkarni, III BSL LLB, ILS Law College, Pune 

Examination of a Sound Mark

Section 2(1)(i)(viii)(zb) of The Trade Marks Act, 1999 defines “trade mark” as a mark capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include shape of goods, their packaging and combination of colors. Therefore prima facie, graphical representability is a sine qua non for obtaining statutory protection in India. Concurrently it is also required under the trademark laws inter alia of Australia[1], Canada and Japan.

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An Insight into Sound Trademarks (Part-I)

By Ritvik M. Kulkarni, III BSL LLB, ILS Law College, Pune 

A sound trademark is a unique sound which performs the function of distinguishing the goods / services of their manufacturer or service provider from those manufactured by all others. The scope of sound trademark may vary from a musical note (such as Intel’s jingle) to a non-human sound note (such as a MGM’s Lion Roar).

An unregistered trademark can be protected in several jurisdictions through an action for passing off, but a registered trademark is in a far better position as it receives statutory protection. In order to get a trademark registered, one is ideally required by the concerned Trademark Authority to supply a graphic representation of the proposed mark. While compliance with this requirement is fairly simple for word and device marks, it may prove as a barrier for registration of non visual marks such as those for sound, color, scent etc

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