India: Legal Recognition / Enforcement of Well Known Marks in India –A Service Marks Perspective

Last Updated: 13 July 2005
Article by Ashish Gosain

With the rise and growth of the services sector in India, Trade marks have evolved into uncharted realms of regulatory issues. Therefore, it is never understated that the understanding of Trademark and passing-off law is to be revisited in terms thereof. This coupled with Franchising emerging as a vehicle of foreign investment in areas like consumer goods in last few decades raised novel and intricate issues of protection of good will of marks possessing international or transborder reputation. The rise and spread of transnational corporations in liberalised economies like India have underscored the issue in concept and reality. To begin with, a look at the international developments help us put any legal framework in appropriate perspective.

Although there is no specific indication within the Agreement, it appears that trademarks having international repute in other jurisdictions be accorded with a national treatment no less favourable than those owned by it’s own nationals.

In order to further understand the concept and definition of well known marks, we refer to the definition under Article 6 bis of the Paris Convention as incorporated in various legal systems. Under Section 56 of the Trade Marks Act, 1994 of England states1 that:

  1. the applicant be a member of a Convention country; or
  2. is domiciled in , or has a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in, a convention country,

whether or not that person carries on business, or has any goodwill, in the United Kingdom; and references to the proprietor of such trade mark are to be construed accordingly.

Earlier, the law as stated in the celebrated British decision in the Crazy Horse2 case was in effect requiring the existence of use or commercial activity in the particular jurisdictions3 where relief was sought, in light of the territorial nature of the rights provided by trademarks. However, certain jurisdictions had divergent views even then, as was the case of Hongkong4 where international reputation was recognised.

In this back drop of International developments we shall study the Indian legal position on this aspect.

Position Of Law In India With Respect To Well-Known Marks

To begin with there are two aspects to the scope of protection of Well-Known Marks in India, which are:

  • Determination of a mark as a well-known mark has to be done in accordance with certain criteria outlined below; [As per Trade Marks Act, 1999]
  • Establishment of "Bad faith" in the registration of a mark violative of rights in well-known mark.

In India, to begin with, under the Trade Marks Act,1999, use of the mark is neither a relative nor absolute grounds for refusal of registration of a mark.

Further, Section 2 (1) (zg) of Trade Marks Act, 1999 defines a well-known trade mark as " in relation to any goods or services, means a mark which has become so to the substantial segment of the public which uses such goods or receives such services that the use of such mark in relation to other goods or services would be likely to be taken as indicating a connection in the course of trade or rendering of services between those goods or services and a person using the mark in relation to the first –mentioned goods or services."

The protection to well-known marks has been accorded by enshrining the concept as a relative ground of refusal of registration of a trademark. Section 11 (2) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 states that:

(2) A trade mark which-

  1. is identical with or similar to an earlier trade mark; and
  2. is to be registered for goods or services which are not similar to those for which the earlier trade mark is registered in the name of a different proprietor,

shall not be registered if or to the extent the earlier trade mark is a well-known trademark in India and the use of the later mark without due cause would take unfair advantage of or be detrimental to the distinctive character or repute of the earlier trade mark .

An interesting aspect outlined in sub-section (3) of Section 11 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 is another relevant consideration that works to the assistance in protection of well-known trade marks.

(3) A trade mark shall not be registered if, or to the extent that, it’s use in India is liable to be prevented-

    1. by virtue of any law particular the law of passing off protecting an unregistered trade mark used in the course of trade; or
    2. by virtue of law of copyright .

Sub section (4) of the said provision states that:

(4) Nothing in this section shall prevent the registration where the proprietor of the earlier mark or other earlier right consents to the registration, and in such case the Registrar may register the mark under special circumstances under section 12.

Further the explanation states that:

Explanation- For the purposes of this section, earlier trade mark means –

  1. a registered trade mark or convention application referred to in section 154 which has a date of application earlier than that of the trade mark in question , taking account, where appropriate, of the priorities claimed in respect of the trade marks;
  2. a trade mark which, on the date of the application for registration of the trademark in question, or where appropriate, of the priority claimed in respect of the application , was entitled to protection as a well-known trade mark .

Subsection (5) requires that registration can be refused on these grounds if and only if objection is raised on the grounds stated above in opposition proceedings.

Determination Of Well-Known Marks- Some Factors Of Consideration

Now the determination as to what is a well-known mark has been based on the following factors mentioned in sub-section (6) of section 11, Trade Marks Act, 1999 which reads as follows :

(6) The Registrar shall, while determining whether a trade mark is a well-known trade mark , take into account any fact which he considers relevant for determining a trade mark as a well-known trade mark including-

    1. the knowledge or recognition of that trade mark in the relevant section of the public including knowledge in India obtained as a result of promotion of that trade mark ;
    2. the duration, extent and geographical area of any use of that trade mark;
    3. the duration, extent and geographical area of any promotion of the trade mark , including advertising or publicity and presentation, at fairs or exhibition of goods or services to which the trade mark applies;
    4. the duration and geographical area of any registration of or any application for registration of that trade mark under this Act to the extent they reflect the use or recognition of that trade mark;
    5. the record of successful enforcement of rights in that trade mark, in particular, the extent to which the trade a mark has been recognised as a well-known trade mark by any court or Registrar under that record.

Sub section relates to the determination of knowledge outlined in clause (i) of sub-section (6) of section 11 of Trade Marks Act, 1999. It shall take into account-

-The number of actual or potential consumers of the goods or services;

-The number of persons involved in the channels of distribution of the goods or services;

-The business circle dealing with those goods or services,

Subsection (9) does not require that for a trade mark to be a well-known one that-

- it has been used in India;

- That the trade mark has been registered;

- that the application for the registration has been filed in India;

(a) that the trade mark is well known in; or

(b) has been registered in; or

(c) in respect of which an application for registration has been filed in any jurisdiction other than India; or

- that the trade mark is well known to the public at large in India.

While considering an application for registration of a trade mark and opposition filed in respect thereof, the Registrar shall-

(i) protect a well-known trade mark against the identical or similar trade marks;

  • (ii) take into consideration the bad faith involved either of the applicant or the opponent affecting the right relating to the trade mark.
  • Thus, it is clear that once bad faith of the applicant in filing an application for registration can be shown, then, even a registered trade mark granted before the commencement of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 violative of rights in a well-known mark can be refused protection. [ sub-section (11) of section 11 of the Trade Marks Act,1999]

    Relevant Judicial Doctrines:

    In order to understand how a mark can be determined to be a well-known mark, let us look at the Doctrine of transborder reputation postulated by the courts in this regard. We shall state the legal position before the commencement and Trade Marks Act, 1999 in order to ascertain the factors considered to establish whether a trade mark is a well-known mark.

    In a decision of the Division Bench of the Bombay High court5, the division bench held that:

    " We must express our dissent with the view taken in this case. In our judgement it is not possible to conclude that the goodwill or the reputation stands extinguished merely because the goods are not available in the country for some duration. It is necessary to note that the goodwill is not limited to a particular country because in the present days, the trade is spread all over the world and the goods are transported from one country to another very rapidly and on extensive scale. The goodwill acquired by the manufacturer is not necessarily limited to the country where the goods are freely available because the goods though not available are widely advertised in newspapers periodical, magazines and in other medias . The result is that though the goods are not available in the country, the goods and the mark under which they are sold acquires wide reputation. Take for example, the televisions, and Video Cassett recorders manufactured by National, Sony or other well Japanese concerns. These televisions and V.C.R’s are not imported in India and sold in open market becauseof trade restrictions, but is it possible even to suggest that the word "National" or "Sony" has not acquired reputation in this country? In our judgement, the good will or reputation of goods or marks does not depend on it’s availability in a particular country. It is possible that the manufacturer may suspend their business activities in a country for short duration but that fact would not destroy the reputation or goodwill acquired by the manufacturer. An identical view was taken by division bench of Mr Justice S.K Desai and Mr. Justice Bharucha in a judgement dated July 24,1988 in Appeal No. 368 of 1986.The question for consideration before the division bench was whether the goodwill in trade mark "7O’CLOCK"stood extinguished because of non-availability of blades with the mark in India after year 1958.the division bench turned down the claim by pointing out various reasons and we are in entire agreement with the observations made in the judgement made in the judgement on this aspect"

    The Whirlpool case6 considered the concept for the first time in detail. Here the plaintiff-corporation was carrying on business in several countries, had not renewed registration for trademark in respect of class covering washing machines due to foreign trade restriction in India prevalent after 1977 and thus the registration had lapsed. The plaintiff-Company proceeded to file a suit for passing-off against the defendants. An injunction was granted by the Delhi High court (reaffirmed by the Supreme Court7) The doctrine of " transborder reputation" was recognised outlined and reliance was placed on a host of cases8 (at paragraph 17) .These cases recognised that the reputation of a trader , trading or carrying on the business in another country, can travel to a country where he had carried no business. The trader’s trans-border reputation can be on the basis of the extensive advertisements and publicity. Such a trader could obtain injunction a court where he was not trading, to protect his reputation. In Apple Computer Inc case it was stated in reliance (at page 137) as was held that:

    "It is not necessary in the context of the present day circumstances the free exchange of information and advertising through newspapers, magazines, video television, movies, freedom of travel between various parts of the world, to insist that a particular plaintiff must carry on business in a jurisdiction before improper use of it’s name or mark can be restrained by the court."

    A host of decisions have since interpreted" transborder reputaion" in a similar light9

    J. Bahri held after distinguishing the Sears case10 that: "Mere fact that the plaintiff has never manufactured any products in this country does not prevent it from acquiring the good will here in it’s trade mark. It is no doubt true that an action for passing off relates to business in this country. The foundation for the action for passing off is the protection of goodwill and so, one must prove the existence of goodwill in this country before obtaining a relief of passing off .The principle of law of passing off has been also made applicable to non trading business or non-profit mating bodies as well."

    Quoting the Wander Limited vs. Antox India11 decision, where it was held:

    "An infringement action is available when there is violation of specific property right acquired under and recognised by the statute. In a passing off action, however, the plaintiff’s right is independent of such a statutory right to a trade mark and is against the defendant which leads to or is intended to or calculated to lead to deception."

    In Calvin Klein Inc vs. International Apparel Syndicate12 accepted the view of a Canadian Court of Appeal in Orkin Exterminating Co Inc vs. Pestco Co of Canada Ltd13where it was held that:

    "Canadians travelling in the United States are exposed to Orkin’s extensive advertising and the use of of it’s trade marks in the country. There was evidence adduced that millions of Canadians travel in the United States every year, particularly in the southern vacation states, where Orkin’s operations are extensive. Canadians in Canada are exposed to Orkin’s advertising and articles appearing in American publications which circulate here......" .

    The principles established in regard to the doctrine were reiterated by the case of Aktiebolaget Volvo v. Volvo Steels Limited14, however, a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court took consideration of subsequent events in terms of the intention of the party to enter the Indian market as affecting the balance of convenience, a factor that governs the discretion in grant of injunctions. However with respect to transborder reputation, a division bench held that transborder reputation is recognised by Indian courts and that actual sale in India is not necessary for a plaintiff to establish it’s goodwill and reputation in India. The division bench relied on the Whirpoool case where it was observed that:

    "Thus a product and it’s trade name transcends the physical boundaries of a geographical region and acquires a transborder or overseas or extra-territorial reputation not only through import of goods but also by it’s advertisement. The knowledge and awareness of the goods of a foreign trader and it’s trade mark can be available at a place where goods are not being marketed and consequently not being used."

    The court placed reliance on Paragarphs 156,Volume 48 of Halsbury’s Laws of England

    which reads as follows in this regard:

    "156. Whether actual trade need have commenced- A passing-off action can be sustained prior to the actual commencement of trading by the plaintiff. A plaintiff may acquire a substantial reputation prior to making sales of a product or service because of advance advertising and press publicity and, in such case, may sue others who seek to trade on the reputation and goodwill that is able to be protected even before it’s formal incorporation and within hours of the announcement of it’s intended formation. Where a plaintiff has incurred considerable expense making preparations for the launch of a product which will rapidly acquire a reputation once launched, a defendant who commences advertising before the plaintiff with the intention of defeating the plaintiff’s acquisition of an exclusive right to the mark concerned may be restrained by a quia timet injunction."

    Further reliance is placed on paragraph 180 of the same which reads:

    "Actions by foreign traders- A number of considerations arise when a plaintiff seeks to restrain the use in the United Kingdom of a name, mark or other indicia under which he has carried on business abroad. First , a plaintiff in any case off passing-off must prove a reputation extending to the geographical , area in which the defendant’s use of the name ,mark or other indicia complained of is taking place, whether this is another part of the country in which the plaintiff trades or in a different country, for if he has no reputation in the United Kingdom then the defendant’s use of a similar name or mark cannot involve any misrepresentation. If the plaintiff can establish that a substantial number of persons with whom the defendant intends to trade in the United Kingdom know of the plaintiff’s business, so that the element of misrepresentation is established, the plaintiff must further show, as in any passing-off action, that the misrepresentation, that the misrepresentation poses a real and tangible risk of injury to his business or goodwill.

    However it is unclear whether there is an additional requirement that the plaintiff must carry on business in , or at least have a trade extending to , the country in which he seeks to restrain the defendant from using the mark or name, or whether the geographical separation of the plaintiff’s business from the defendant’s is factual element which merely makes it difficult, but not impossible in all circumstances, for a plaintiff to show that the defendant’s activities are likely to cause him substantial damage. What is clear is that a plaintiff who has no place of business in the United Kingdom and does not directly trade there but whose goods are imported by others can acquire a reputation and goodwill that is able to be protected. A business carried on abroad but which corresponds with customers in the United Kingdom can likewise acquire a reputation and goodwill able to be protected.

    It is more doubtful whether passing off can be established where the plaintiff’s goods or services are not marketed in the United Kingdom but his customers who have come across his goods or services abroad reside in or come to the United Kingdom, although in one such case an interlocutory injunction was granted. However, it has been held that a plaintiff whose establishment in Paris had been adverted in England through travel agents and who had some customers in England who had visited Paris, could not maintain a passing off action in England against a defendant who has adopted the name of the plaintiff’s establishment and used similar advertising with the intent of exploiting the plaintiff’s reputation , because goodwill could not be acquired without actual user in England. This because be acquired without actual user in England. This decision has been criticised as wrongly decided and tenuous user in the United Kingdom has been treated as justification for protection of a reputation primarily acquired by trade abroad but the case has been cited with approval by the court of Appeal.

    The extent to which a reputation acquired by trading abroad may be protected in the United Kingdom may depend to some extent upon whether a trade is to be treated as a matter of law as having a separate goodwill in each country in which he trades or whether the confining of goodwill to a particular country or area is a question of fact tending on the trade patterns and circumstances involved. If goodwill is to be treated as a matter of law as stopping at frontiers there may still be cases where the defendant’s activities are likely to cause damage to the plaintiff’s business in the country or countries where he trades."

    Thus the doctrine of transborder reputation which lies at the root of well-known trade marks and their legal protection is firmly entrenched in trademark jurisprudence.15

    Doctrine Of Trade Connection In Relation To Goods / Services Falling Within The Same Or Different Classes

    Another legal doctrine that was postulated by Indian courts was in relation to the intention of the defendant in using the goodwill and reputation of the owner of a mark known to be well-known. This can be seen to be offshoot of the definition presently ascribed to a well-known mark under Indian law. This was the " Doctrine of Trade Connection" between the classes in which the mark sought to be protected was registered. It is relevant to state here that curiously, the said principles have been established in relation to trademarks covering goods only. Since service marks came into existence w-e-f from 15th September, 2003 only (when the Trade Marks Act, 1999 came into force), it appears to be a consideration to make the case for service marks difficult in as much as no suit for infringement could be instituted as service marks were not recognised earlier but passing-off actions could be maintained. In a passing off action, however it is required that an element of dishonest intention in user be established .Let us briefly look at the judicial interpretation available in support of the same.

    In Warnink vs. Townend & Sons (HULL) Ltd. 1979 A.C 73116, Lord Diplock identified the following five characteristics which must be represented in order to create a valid cause of action for passing-off:

    1. a misrepresentation ,
    2. made by a trader in the course of trade,
    3. to prospective customers of his or ultimate customers of goods or services supplied by him,
    4. which is calculated to injure the business or goodwill of another trader (in the sense that there is a reasonably foreseeable consequences),and
    5. which causes actual damage to a business or goodwill of the trader by whom the action is brought or (in quia timet action) will probably do so .

    In Reckitt & Cdman Products vs. Borden Inc & Ors 1990 R.P.C 341, it was held that proof of fraudulent intention is not a necessary element in a cause of action for passing off .The relevance of fraud to this tort is simply that " if the intention to deceive is found, it will be readily inferred that deception will result."

    In Century Traders vs. Roshanlal Duggar & Co AIR 1978 Delhi 25017, a division bench held that:

    "In passing off cases, however the true basis of action is that the passing off by the defendant of his goods as the goods of the plaintiff injures the right of property in the plaintiff, that right of property being his right to goodwill of his business.... this right is to be protected and the balance of convenience is in favour of the person who has established a prima facie right to property."

    In N.R Dongre vs. Whirpool Corporation AIR 1995 Del 300, it was held that the concept and principle on which passing off action is grounded is that no man has any right to represent his goods as the goods of another. A trader needs protection of his right of priori user of a trade mark/trade name as the benefit of the name, fame, reputation and image and goodwill earned by him cannot be taken advantage by another trader by passing off his goods as those of the prior user of the trade mark or trade name .

    In Ellora Industries vs. Banarsi Dass AIR 1980 Delhi 254, it was held that "confusing customers as to source, is an invasion of another’s property right."18

    Similarly, in Honda Motors Co Ltd. versus Charanjit Singh & Ors 2003(26) PTC 1 (Del) a passing off action was maintained by a plaintiff who was registered in respect of automobiles and power equipments against a defendant using the goodwill in the trademark in respect of pressure cookers.

    Further in Daimler Benz Aktiengesellschaft & Anr v Hybo Hindustan AIR 1994 Del 239, the plaintiff was using the trade mark Mercedes Benz in relation to vehicles, whereas the defendant had started using the trade mark BENZ in respect of undergarments. The Court granted injunction restraining the defendant from using the trade mark "Benz" as well as "three pointed human being in a ring." The judgement was upheld by the Supreme Court. The following observations are worth noting:

    "There are marks which are different from other marks. There are names which are different from other names. There are names and marks which have become household words. "Benz" as name of a Car would be known to every family that has ever used a quality car. The name "Benz" as applied to a car, has a unique place in the world. There is hardly one who is conscious of existence of the cars/automobiles, who would not recognise the name "Benz" used in connection with cars. Nobody can plead in India, where "Mercedes Benz" cars are seen on roads, where "Mercedes" have collaborated with TATAS, where there are Mercedes Benz trucks have been on roads in every large number,(known as Mercedes Benz Trucks; so long as the collaboration was there), who can plead that he is unaware of the word "Benz" as used with reference to cars or trucks.

    Thereafter, the court also relied upon cases19 where the class of goods in which the mark was used by the defendant was entirely different from that of the plaintiff’s. Even in such cases injunction against passing off have been granted.

    Doctrine Of Bad Faith:

    Section 11 (10) (ii) of Our Act, 1999 requires us to prove the presence of bad faith in order to displace the immunity placed on marks already registered . It is pertinent to note that in respect of service marks no registration was possible until the Trade Marks Act, 1999 notified on September 15, 2003 .The element of bad faith is to be established in order to destroy the immunity to trademarksregistered before the commencement of this Act (which however, does not apply to service marks). Under the Trade Marks Act,1958

    there was no such consideration in respect of other trade marks . Also this applies in respect of the Registrar’s determination that the reputation in a well-known mark has been dishonestly used. However, once it can be shown that material circumstances have not been revealed by the applicant to the Registrar, the registration in respect of that mark (service mark) can be invalidated. For this, we shall briefly look at the development of case law on the doctrine of bad faith.

    Preliminarily, the doctrine could be seen as developing from the concept of trademark dilution. In Caterpillar Inc versus Mehtab Ahmed & Ors 2002 (25) PTC 438 (Del ), the court held that :

    "There is no doubt that mark of the plaintiff has become synonym for quality of high degree and adoption of it’s name alongwith distinctive and unique characteristics of style by defendants projects propensity to trade or cash upon goodwill and reputation of the plaintiff’s trademark. It is nothing but piracy of trade name. Plaintiff has a right to protect it’s mark reputation, goodwill and risk of dilution involved in the act of passing off from the unscrupulous designs of the defendants"

    Similarly, in Jolen Inc. versus Doctor & Company 2002 (25) PTC 29 it was held that:

    "It is not necessary that the association of the plaintiff’s mark with his goods should be known in the countries where it is known best. Mere advertisement in other countries is sufficient if the trademark has established its reputation and goodwill in the country of its origin and countries where it is registered.

    In modern world, advertisements in the newspapers where party is engaged in business through overseas editions or otherwise. Even if it is assumed that such advertisements or mark do not travel beyond the borders of the countries where the plaintiff has the business still it has a right to protect its reputation and goodwill. It is more so where the trade name has been pirated in totality and not by way of having deceptive or confusing similarity. We are living in a world where there is enormous mobility. Well travelled Indians and tourists cannot remain unaware of international commodities. Reputation always travels faster than men Whenever persons travelling abroad for business or pleasure or any other purpose viz study or temporary postings come across an article of a tradename of international reputation they are bound to be confused as to the source and quality if they happen to see that commodity in their country where there is no physical market. Mere likelihood of confusion is sufficient."

    A similar judgement in an Indonesian case20 has been enforced recently by Delhi High Court in which a mark even though registered in a jurisdiction other where registration was sought to be cancelled on the grounds that it was registered in English language and not in Indonesian language was used to show "bad faith".

    In the U.K case decision in Daawat Trade Mark [2002] RPC 297 (TMR) in an application for declaration of invalidity it was held that the registration was made with the intention of pre-empting prior foreign user in respect of rice and similar goods covering the registration. The registered proprietor had no intention to use the mark himself. Partial revocation was ordered. It was held that:

    1. To make out a prima facie case of bad faith, the applicant had to show that the registered proprietor had had knowledge of the applicant’s use of the mark DAAWAT in India prior to the date of application for registration of the same mark in the U.K had reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant intended to enter the U.K market for rice under that Daawat mark, applied to register the mark in order to take unfair advantage of the applicant’s plans.
    2. The evidence showed that the application for registration of the mark Daawat in the U.K in respect of rice and similar goods was in effect, a tool by the registered proprietor in order to improve its prospects of obtaining an agency or distribution agreement with the applicant in connection with the latter’s plans to selling it s rice in the United Kingdom.
    3. While the registered proprietor believed that the conduct it was engaged in constituted acceptable commercial behaviour and was unfair to the point of bad faith.
    4. The question of bad faith had to be judged at the date of the application for registration. To the extent that the application was made in bad faith, the defect could not be cured by establishing at a later date, the same applicant could have made the application in good faith.

    A similar provision existing in U.K in the form of Section 3(6), Trade Marks Act, 1994 reads to the same effect. In fact, subsection (1) of section 11 is similar to section 72 of the Trade marks Act, 1994. The principle laid down in this case is important in this respect as it can be used to establish bad faith in terms of non-disclosure of client’s trade mark (service mark) during the progress of its own application for registration in India.

    Lastly, in Gromax Plasticulture v Dow &Low Non-Wovens Ltd, Lindsay J. Considered the meaning of bad faith in S 3(6) of the U.K Trade mark law and stated that:

    "I shall not attempt to define bad faith in this context . Plainly it includes dishonesty, and as I would hold, includes also some dealings which falls short of the standards of acceptable commercial behaviour as observed by reasonable and experienced men in the particular area being examined. Parliament has wisely not attempted to explain in detail what it is or is not bad faith as a matter best left to be adjudged not by some paraphrase by the courts (which leads to the danger of the courts then construing not the Act but the paraphrase) but by reference to words of the Act and upon a regard to all material surrounding circumstances. "

    It is also relevant to note that since this is determined both vis-a-vis the applicant and the owner of the well-known mark , it is essential to establish that the plaintiff (owner of trade mark ) had no previous knowledge of the same .

    Doctrine Of Delay And Laches And Acquiescence:

    Curiously, the said principles have been established in relation to trademarks covering goods only. Since service marks came into existence w-e-f from 15th September, 2003 only (when the Trade Marks Act, 1999 came into force), it is a consideration that passing-off actions could be instituted that laches and delay in respect of instituting passing off actions become material. The doctrine of delays and laches applies in order to see the conduct of the plaintiff as was held in the case of Cluett Peabody &Co Inc v Arrow Apparels 1998 PTC (18) 156 This case was however distinguished on facts in Pizza Hut LLC and Pizza Hut Inc versus Pizza Hut India Private Limited as reported in paragraphs 23 and 24 in the same.

    In view of the above, foreign right holders can marginally enforce its service mark as a well-known mark in light of considerations, provisions and judicial precedents outlined above in respect of passing-off actions. However, the element of knowledge as an exception to the doctrine of laches can serve to provide some respite in terms of enforcement. All in all, it is crucial for such foreign rights holders to act for proactively enforcing the goodwill established internationally by registration of trademarks and institution of timely and appropriate proceedings for enforcement.


    1. Halsbury’s Laws of England Volume 48 page 86 at para 142 in relation to protection of well-known trademarks comparing Section 56 of the Trade Marks Act,1994 (U.K)

    2. Alain Bernardin & Cie versus Pavilion Properties Limited [1967] R.P.C 581.See also New Star Industrial Co Ltd versus Yap Kwee Kor [1976] FSR 256

    3. Reiterated in Anheuser-Busch v. Budejovicky Budvar [1984] F.S.R 413

    4. Tan-ichi v Jancar [1990] F.S.R151 , S.C (H.K)

    5. Kamal trading co and Ors v Gillette U.K Ltd.1988(12)IPLR 135 at page 143

    6. 1996 PTC 476

    7. Reaffirmed in 1996 (16) PTC 583

    8. William Grant & Sons Vs Mc Dowell & Co Ltd. 1994 (30) DRJ 105; Apple Computer Inc vs. Apple Leasing & Industries 1992 (1) Arb L.R 93 ; Panhard Leavassor’s case (1901) 18 RPC 405 ,Poiret u. Jules Poiret Ltd. (1920) 37 RPC 177, Sileraton Corporation 1964 RPC 202and Globe Elegance 1974 RPC 603.

    9. WWF International vs. Mahavir Spinning Mills 1995 DRJ 412 following the decision in Sears Roebuck & Co vs. Happy House (TV) Mfg Co Ltd. & Ors1992 PTC 59

    10. ibid at foot note 9.

    11. 1990 (2) Arb .L.R 399 at para 10

    12. 1996 PTC 16 Calcutta High court decision

    13. 5 CPR (30) 433. The same view was based on the decision in Sheraton Corporation vs Sheraton Motels 1964 R.P.C 202

    14. 1998 PTC 18

    15. See also Alfred Dunhill vs. Kartar Singh Makkar and Ors 1999 PTC (19) 294 [Delhi High Court] ; Honda Motors Co Ltd versus Charanjit Singh &Ors 2003 (26)PTC 1(Del) and Pizza Hut International LLC and Pizza hut Inc. versus Pizza Hut India Pvt. Ltd. Suit no.1780 of 1999 (Attached herewith)

    16. Relied in Alfred Dunhill case 1999 PTC (19) 294 (Del)

    17. Mentioned at paragarphs 7 and 8 of Alfred Dunhill Judgement

    18. Similarly, held in Caterpillar Inc versus Mehtab Ahmed & Ors 2002(25)PTC 438(Del)

    19. Ciba-Geigy vs Surinder Singh 1996 PTC (16) 293

    20. Kangaro Industries (Regd) versus Harsono Hardjolukito and Anr. 2004 (29)PTC 175(Jakarta)

    The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

    To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

    Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

    In association with
    Up-coming Events Search
    Font Size:
    Mondaq on Twitter
    Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
    This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
    Email Address
    Company Name
    Confirm Password
    Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
     Law Performance
     Law Practice
     Media & IT
     Real Estate
     Wealth Mgt
    Asia Pacific
    European Union
    Latin America
    Middle East
    United States
    Worldwide Updates
    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions