Gokul, Gowardhan, Kishen, Kaniya, Nand Gokul, Ananda, Shyam.. etc. Do these words ring a bell? Apart from being associated with milch animals, aren't they all connected to the Indian deity, Lord Krishna? In India, Lord Krishna is closely associated with milk and dairy products because of his age old stories of being a curd-thief and his name is used by numerous brands.

An application for the registration of the composite label:

'KANAIYA Dairy Farm' in class 29 was filed at the TM Registry respect of, inter alia, milk and other dairy products.

The application was opposed by Kanaiya Dairy Farms Pvt. Ltd. ("the Opponent") claiming that the mark was deceptively similar to its registered trademark KANAIYA. The Opponent stated that it was the prior adopter of the mark and had adopted it since 1983. The Registrar observed that Kanaiya being the name of Lord Krishna is closely associated with dairy products in India. In view of this, the Opponent herein could not be entitled to the exclusive use of the word 'KANAIYA'. Further, it also noted that the composite label of the Applicant had various additional elements such as a child (the young Lord Krishna), a pot and a churning stick. Also, the words KANAIYA Dairy Farm was written in vernacular language. This clearly differentiated it from the Opponent's mark when taken as a whole.

The Applicant, had also contended that the Opponent had failed to prove that it was the honest and prior adopted of the mark KANAIYA since it had submitted 2 different assignment deeds in 2 different opposition proceedings to support its claims of the mark being assigned to it. Hence, the validity of these assignment deeds is questionable. The Registry agreed with the Applicant's view. Upon examining the assignment deeds it observed that both the deeds were executed by 2 different persons in favour of M/s Kanaiya Dairy Farm. Hence the rights of the Opponent in the mark were unclear.

Hence, the Opposition Proceeding was rejected and the applicant's mark was allowed to proceed for advertisement.

Compiled by: Adv. Sachi Kapoor | Concept & Edited by: Dr. Mohan Dewan

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.