ISKON WINS THE LEGAL BATTLE OF “WELL-KNOWN TRADEMARK”
Written By: Rashmi Rekha Acharya
In the unexpectedly escalating combative world and increase in the foremost sectors of the economy, the challenge of competing and saving one’s trademark becomes risky. The confusion and deception due to the booming of industries today paves the way for harm to the reputation of one’s established business.
Well-known status is awarded to the trademark for protection and safeguard against passing off and infringement against other trademarks. In India, “Well-Known” Trademarks are those trademarks, which have got transborder reputation because of their repeated use, popularity among targeted consumers, repeated advertisements, and gained reputation.
The recent issue involving the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON) and Iskon Apparels Company is a classic case of how a trademark gains the title of the “Well-Known” mark. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), also known as the Hare Krishna movement or Hare Krishnas, is a Hindu religious organization since 1966. It is owned by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Whereas Iskon Apparels is a private limited company that offers authentic apparel products for sports yoga, training, etc.
As per the case, filed in the Bombay High Court on 6th March 2020, ISKON, the religious organization, submitted their claims of infringement by apparel company in February this year and sent repeated summons to the defendant organization which went unanswered and the organization had sought from the court to restrain the apparel corporation from using its trademark.
The plea said that the defendant (Iskon Apparels) who is running a web garb commercial enterprise had modified its company name to Alcis Sports Pvt Ltd, but however persevered to apply the word “ISKCON” eminently in all in their products.
The court in March, this year had granted an ad-interim injunction restraining the defendants’ company from the use of the trade name till the case was decided.The court also stated that the plaintiff’s business enterprise might possibly suffer irreparable loss if the infringement by the apparel company and passing off is being continued.
It was stated that ISKCON which was initiated in 1966 in New York, having a worldwide presence was no longer limited to any particular goods, offerings, or sports, however it relates to a diverse range of categories. But with time it has become a very strong and trademark in itself and its popularity is beyond the scope of mere products and services similar to it.
As per the recent news reports, the court on 26th June, 2020 finally pressed for an everlasting and permanent injunction in opposition to the defendants’ company and submitted that considering the numerous goods and services offered by it under the word trademark “ISKCON” and the goodwill and wide reputation it has acquired, deserved the repute of “well-known trademark” in India.
It is also stated that “ISKON” is today not confined to any particular class of products or services stating that the plaintiff’s trademark has been accepted widely and its popularity extends now not only in India, but also worldwide which satisfies all the requirements to be established as a “well-known trademark”. Right here, ISKON, being a big cap non secular and religious organization seems to have acted in right favor of its goodwill and recognition.
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