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News Updates - August 2022

  • Usain Bolt files trademark application to register his famous celebration pose

Olympic legend Usain Bolt submitted a trademark application to the United States Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO) to protect his signature celebration pose. The application describes the mark as “The silhouette of a man in a distinctive pose, with one arm bent and pointing to the head, and the other arm raised and pointing upward.” It is intended to be used on a wide base of products and services, like clothing, eyewear and accessories, bags, jewellery, restaurants, sports bars etc. Interestingly, the mark has already been registered in Jamaica.

  • Battle of the Brands: Theo and Theobroma settle their trade mark dispute

Delhi-based Theo Foods Pvt. Ltd. and Mumbai-based Theobroma Foods Pvt. Ltd. were entangled in a dispute over the use of the marks ‘THEOS’ and ‘THEOBROMA’ for bakery-related products, patisseries, confectionary, etc. Theobroma’s Commercial IP suit at the Bombay High Court is still pending. Theo Foods filed a suit in the Delhi High Court seeking a permanent injunction to restrain Theobroma from using the aforementioned marks. The entities have now come to a settlement, with Theo recognizing and acknowledging Theobroma as the owner and proprietor of the mark ‘THEOBROMA’ and further agreeing not to use the same in any manner. Although Theo can apply to register the marks ‘THEO’ or ‘THEOS’, as a wordmark or logo, it should be geographically restricted to the Delhi-NCR region. Additionally, Theobroma shall restrict the use of the mark ‘THEO’ or ‘THEOS’ to only specific food items.

  • The Office of the Controller General Of Patents, Designs And Trademarks updates the list of Well-Known Trademarks

The Trade Marks Journal No. 2065 dated 15th August 2022 contains a list of Trademarks that have been included in the list of well-known trademarks. As per the said list, trademarks like V-GUARD, PAYTM, SWIGGY, YONEX, MAGGI, ISKON etc are now recognised to be ‘well-known trademarks’ in India. Read more about well-known marks here .

  • Access to the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) database to be extended to users besides the Patent Offices

The Cabinet has approved the extension of the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) database beyond the Patent Offices to users such as businesses/companies in the fields of herbal healthcare, personal care, other FMCG companies, public and private research institutions, educational institutions and many others. The access to the database will be through a paid subscription model and will be opened phase-wise to national as well as international users. Recognising the potential of Indian traditional knowledge to serve national and global needs, the approval has been described as “a new dawn for Indian traditional knowledge”.

  • Netflix files a lawsuit against creators of ‘Unofficial Bridgerton’ musical

In 2021, Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear wrote and composed songs inspired by the Netflix hit series ‘Bridgeton’, and released them on TikTok. Eventually, the creators went on to release a 15-song " The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical" album which then won the 2022 Grammy Award for Best Musical Album. The duo also started performing live concerts titled ‘The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Album Live in Concert’ which was a major hit. After this development, Netflix filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging that the musical is an unauthorized derivative work that violates its copyrights. Netflix further claims that the creators have infringed their trademark as well.

  • Nike and Adidas settle their patent disputes

Last December, Nike filed a lawsuit against Adidas in the U.S District Court District of Oregon, claiming that Adidas was infringing its patented light-weight Flyknit technology used in their sneakers. Nike also requested the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to investigate Adidas for unlawful and unauthorized importation and/or sale of knitted footwear products that incorporate the said technology. Interestingly, Adidas then filed a lawsuit against Nike in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. In this countersuit, Adidas alleged that Nike’s Run Club, Training Club and SNKRS Applications violate Adidas’ athletic technology. Now, the companies have jointly asked the Oregon Court to dismiss the suit and the Texas court and ITC to drop the cases. The details of the settlement are yet to be disclosed.

  • Shamshera Copyright Dispute: Delhi High Court allows release on OTT with a condition

Bikramjeet Singh Bhullar filed a copyright infringement suit against Yash Raj Films, the makers of the movie Shamshera. He claimed that the movie violated the copyright of the literary work ‘Kabu Na Chhadein Khet’ . Considering that the movie was already released in theatres, the Delhi High Court held that the filmmakers must deposit Rs.1 Crore with the Registrar General of the Court, which would be invested in an interest-bearing fixed deposit by the Registrar General in a Nationalised Bank for an initial period of three months. Following the deposit, the film has been released on Amazon Prime.

  • Bihar’s famous Mithila Makhana bags Geographical Indication (GI) Tag

The Mithila Makhana finds a place in the list of GI Tags in India. Also called fox nut, this delicious snack can now avail of the advantages of a GI Tag. Grown in the Mithila region of Bihar, Makhana is renowned for its health benefits. This move by the Central Government has been lauded to be beneficial to the farmers and the growers alike.

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