Trademark Litigation in India by company360

Any great company or business is known only by and large by its Brand name. A brand name is single and foremost important identity of the product or services that any company provides.

A Brand name or Trademark is what sells in market and overtime becomes the USP of any business.Any business may succeed or lose their fight in event the brand identity is comprised or diluted in any manner.

Once a brand grows it becomes quite essential for a company to prevent similar brands or confusingly similar brands to afloat in market. Many established corporates dealing in FMCG sector or pharmaceutical sector keeps a keen eye on any slightest similar brand name selling in market to avoid sharing their brand image or value.

You may have seen very famous brand infringement litigation such PayTM vs PayPal where paypal has alleged the infringement by PayTM for allegedly opting similar color scheme in order to freeride on Paypal market.

Even though PayTM and PayPal are different on many accounts, but this case shows how every big corporate goes to length to protect their brand identity, as they know how much it may cost them in terms of their revenue even by slightest similar existing brand in same domain. Basically, this technically means Brand dilution.

Similar, to payTM case we have also seen cases filed by bookmyshow, in order to restrict other companies to use the term Bookmy as they did during BookmyShow vs BookmySport litigate. Even though the bookmy term was held to be descriptive in nature.

Sometimes, the corporate houses files case even that they may lose eventually, betting on the trait that small companies or start-ups will not fight back and may lose their Trademark eventually. This strategy also works well, most of the Pharmaceutical companies keeps on filing Trademark opposition cases in case any pharmaceutical company take even a few common alphabets in their brand name.

As these companies know that how common people who are their consumers might get confuse with the similar brands that are floating in the market and may eventually end up buying similar sounding brands which may lead to fall in revenue of the predecessors of the brand name.

To make the above point more clear, let’s proceed with an example, suppose a company has bestselling brand by name of SUNCARE and someone else opts for a brand name SUNWARE in same class or category of products, we notice that there exists only single letter difference between both the brands. Now, let’s assume that SUNCARE is selling day to day item such as rice, which is sold in every market and is bought by common people who may or may not be diligent every time to consciously note the brand. Rice is a product that is bought by large section of society that may or may not educated, in such condition the similar brand SUNWARE may be confused with SUNCARE and may eat a section of sale that might have been created by the hardwork done by the company SUNCARE who are pioneer and may eventually grow as a potential competitor, therefore, it becomes a part of business to keep a track of similar knock off brands and take the action at very nascent stage in order to avoid any loss later on.

This can be done by keeping a regular check about the market product placement and competitors or infringers Trademark filing or Trademark registration records, this can be easily done by keeping a regular update about Trademark journal that are weekly published and are publically available at ipindia website. As from the above example it is clear that how the knock offs or similar trademarks may eat up the market eventually. This also explains to us that why not just marketing the Trademark is important but also diligently stopping the other similar brands is equally important.

So, one must be very careful not only in keeping marketing on point but also pre-emptively stopping the free-riders. Trademark infringement cases and Trademark oppositions are part of such strategy, which in long terms saves the uniqueness of the brand names and also your market share.