Taj Palace Hotel sets new example in Indian Trademark Regime!
Written By: Ashka Vora
What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Trademark’? A brand name, a logo, numbers, colour scheme? Well, the scope of trademark is much wider than this and Taj Mahal Palace Hotel of Mumbai has just set a new example by becoming the first building to get trademark registration in India. With this registration, the 114 year old Taj Palace Hotel joined the elite club of trademarked buildings including structures like Empire State Building NYC, Opera House in Sydney, Eiffel Tower in Paris.
A trademark is basically a mark which is capable of distinguishing the goods and services of one proprietor from that of others. For example, the brand ‘Amul’ for dairy products when written on the dairy products help us identify that it is produced by the Amul Dairy Company. Thus, trademark is basically a source indicator. A source indicator can be a name, logo, colour scheme, shape, sound, smell or even architectural design as long as it helps consumers identify the source of production. Trademark plays a very important role in protecting the interests of consumers and producers both. The Trademark owner can stop others from using the same or similar mark as them to prevent situations that may confuse or mislead the consumers in identifying the origin of the product or services.
In order to protect the brand image and distinctiveness of this iconic building, the Taj Hotel has secured image trademark on the exterior design and the famous dome of the building. The image of the building itself is a source indicator here as anyone looking at it can recognize that it is the Taj Palace Hotel located in Mumbai. Does this image trademark mean a complete ban on taking pictures of this iconic building? Well, not really. This trademark right basically means restrictions on using the Taj Mahal Palace’s images for commercial purposes without their permission. This image mark is registered in the class of providing restaurant and guest house services. Hence, the people from hospitality industry cannot use this or even similar design and image for their services. If they use such design/image without authorization from the Taj Hotel Group, it will be a case of trademark infringement.
Awareness about intellectual property has been a big issue in India. With Taj setting a new example, we can say with surety that the awareness and value of trademark and IP protection is increasing and it will be no wonder if we start witnessing increasing number of non-conventional trademarks also in India. Besides, since the doubts regarding this subject matter are pretty settled, a surge in number of similar trademark applications is bound occur.
For more information about trademarks, contact Lex Protector