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well-known-ness redefined

well-known-ness redefined


A win-win situation is on the go with Mother Dairy winning the trade mark infringement battle against unscrupulous trader. The Delhi High Court at the inception of this New Year has startled the Milk industry with its overwhelming decision on the misuse of Mother Diary’s trade mark/logo.

The Court has restrained the use of the trade mark/logo of Mother Dairy by anyone under any name in the market. In this ruling the Court has once again went to the depth and examined the contours of well-known ness of a trade mark. Various other precedents have been laid down by the Courts earlier settling the criterion for well- known trademarks. But this ruling of the Delhi High Court has once again paved the way for the well-known trade marks to exist without misappropriation by others for similar products.

This decision has far reaching consequence for the reason that only the use of blue color logo without the trade name Mother Dairy alone is sufficient to file an infringement suit. Here the defendant has used similar trademark/trade dress on milk products under the name Vinay Milk. The defendant did not response to the cease and desist notice of the plaintiff, which resulted in filing of infringement suit.

The Court held that the plaintiff’s trade mark/logo has acquired so much distinctiveness that any amount of use of the trade mark/logo of the plaintiff’s product would deceive the unwary consumers. Greater likelihood of confusion is bound to arise due to such similarity of the trade dress, Mother Dairy being a well-known trademark.

This case has besides protecting the well-known ness of the trade mark/logo Mother Dairy has also left an open end for the plaintiff.  The court has erred in its ruling by only granting injunction in respect of milk products. Upholding the law of trade marks a well-known trade mark/logo should not be not be used with respect to any goods/services whatsoever even if it is unrelated to the plaintiff’s goods/services by anyone.

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