Battery electric vehicle, brand trademark, Fuel cell vehicles, Hybrid-electric vehicles, Machine Learning, Make in India, MARKET ENTRY strategy, Plug-in hybrid

Electric vehicles and the Future

Electric vehicles and the Future 

The popularity of electric vehicles has shot up over the last few years with a great shift in the public’s attitude towards electric vehicles and a constantly improving public recharging system. Electric cars and trucks are powered by electricity and are cleaner and cheaper to drive than conventional vehicles.  With a rapid increase in the use of personal vehicles around the world, the demand for fuel is also increasing. Transportation accounts for about one-fifth of global energy use, and passenger vehicles account for about ten percent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. In such a scenario, electric vehicles hold significant potential for increasing energy security, cutting emissions and improving local air quality.

Electric vehicles is a broad term that refers to a wide range of cars and other vehicles. However electric vehicles are of following types:

  1. Hybrid-electric vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine system with an electric propulsion system to reduce fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions. These advanced vehicles cut fuel use and costs while maintaining performance, protecting public health and the environment.
  2. Plug-in hybrids are hybrids with high capacity batteries that can be charged by plugging them into an electrical outlet or charging station for short-range travel on battery power alone.
  3. Battery electric vehicle run entirely on battery power, utilizing chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs thereby producing zero tailpipe emissions. They are recharged from an electrical outlet.
  4. Fuel cell vehicles uses a fuel cell instead of an electrical battery. Fuel cell electric vehicles are powered by hydrogen. Unlike conventional vehicles which run on gasoline or diesel, fuel cell vehicles combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, which runs a motor.

Electric vehicles have several advantages over conventional vehicles like electric vehicles are energy efficient and environment friendly providing performance benefits and reduced energy dependence. However the market of electric vehicles is still developing, and there are many battery related challenges, particularly with technology integration, optimization, and scale-up.

Recent Patents filed in the electric vehicle market:

WO/2017/213838

Title: ALL ELECTRIC VEHICLE WITHOUT PLUG-IN REQUIREMENT

Assignee: WELSCHOFF, Heinz (1820 NE 56th Court, Fort Lauderdale, FL, FL, US)

Publication Date: 14 Dec 2017

Abstract:

An electric powered vehicle includes a battery pack capable of storing electric energy, A fuel engine operated with a clean fuel. A generator or alternator 126 having communication with the engine, and supply electric energy to the electric driving motor A starter of the fuel engine activates when a sensed charge of the battery pack falls to or below the DMF value. Included is a second 128 and third generator or alternator 130 in communication with the fuel engine during periods when no electrical communication exists between the EDM and the battery pack. The second and third generators maintain an electrical output to the battery pack until the battery packs are fully charged. Included is a rear generator or alternator 152 in communication with a rear drive shaft assembly, or differential, including a level orientation sensor and a rotational velocity sensor communication between an output of such communication enabled upon any downhill motion of the vehicle above a predetermined operational velocity determined by the velocity sensor. A second rear generator 156 is controlled by an accelerator pedal, rpm sensor, electric clutch and is activated when no pressure is applied by a driver upon the accelerator pedal, permitting charging of the battery pack by the second rear generator 156 only upon a condition of zero acceleration. A third rear generator 300 is activated by the brake pedal and brake pedal switch does charge the battery packs 102/104.

WO/2017/211793

Title: ELECTRIC POWERTRAIN, TRANSMISSION, AND VEHICLE

Assignee: PUNCH POWERTRAIN N.V. (Industriezone Schurhovenveld 4125, 3800 Sint-Truiden, 3800, BE)

Publication Date: 14 Dec 2017

Abstract:

The present disclosure relates to a powertrain (K) for driving a vehicle (C). The powertrain (K) comprises two powertrain modules (Y,Y’) comprising each a rotating machine (M,M’) and a transmission (T,T’). The transmissions (T,T’) are arranged to align their respective output shafts (S2,S2′) towards a common wheel axis (A1) for driving a pair of opposite wheels of the vehicle (C). The first rotating axis (A3), the second rotating axis (A3) and a central axis (A0) of the powertrain K are parallel and offset with respect to the each other and the first rotating axis (A3) and the second rotating axis (A3′) are mirror-symmetrically offset on opposite sides of the central axis (A0). In this way a compact and versatile design is achieved.

WO/2017/213850

Title: RESPONSE AMPLITUDE MODIFICATION FOR HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLE MISFIRE DETECTIONS

Assignee: FCA US LLC (1000 Chrysler Drive, Auburn Hills, Michigan, 48326, US)

Publication Date: 14 Nov 2017

Abstract:

Misfire detection techniques for a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) including an internal combustion engine and an electric motor involve utilizing a crankshaft speed sensor configured to generate a crankshaft speed signal indicative of a rotational speed of a crankshaft of the engine that is coupled to the electric motor via a flywheel. The techniques also utilize a controller configured to control the electric motor to provide a vibrational response to dampen disturbances to the crankshaft, receive the crankshaft speed signal, selectively modify the crankshaft speed signal to obtain a modified crankshaft speed signal, and detect a misfire of the engine based on the modified crankshaft speed signal and a set of thresholds including at least one of a negative misfire threshold and a positive vibrational response threshold.

US 20170355272

Title: IN-VEHICLE STRUCTURE OF ELECTRIC-POWER CONVERTER

Assignee: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA (Toyota-shi, JP)

Publication Date: 14 Dec 2017

Abstract:

In an in-vehicle structure described in the present specification, an electric-power converter is fixed onto a transaxle and positioned in front of a cowl top. The electric-power converter includes a capacitor configured to restrain a high-frequency fluctuation in a voltage of electric power supplied from a battery, and a discharge circuit configured to discharge the capacitor. A connector (a signal connector) to which a wiring harness for communication of a discharge instruction signal to operate the discharge circuit at a time of a collision is connected is provided on a side face of the electric-power converter, the side face of the electric-power converter being facing in a vehicle width direction.

US 9843234

Title: Electric machine for a vehicle, in particular for a utility vehicle, and method for protection against ingress of water

Assignee: MAN Truck & Bus AG (Munich, DE)

Publication Date: 12 Dec 2017

Abstract:

An electric machine for a vehicle, in particular for a utility vehicle, includes a rotor mounted rotatably on a shaft and a stator surrounding the rotor, at least one device of the electric machine located in at least one pressure chamber which is subjected at least intermittently to an overpressure which is elevated with respect to the ambient pressure. The over pressure in at least one pressure chamber protects against ingress of water

US 9843187

Title: System and method for aggregating electric vehicle loads for demand response events

Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, JP)

Publication Date: 12 Dec 2017

Abstract:

A computer-implemented method for aggregating electric vehicle loads for demand response events includes receiving a demand response (DR) event request from a utility system indicative of a DR event for an area. The DR event request includes at least one event parameter for participation in the DR event. The method includes determining a first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) DR event load for the area based on the DR event request and charging data received from electric vehicles associated with a first OEM. Upon determining the first original OEM DR event load does not meet the at least one event parameter, the method includes aggregating charging data from electric vehicles associated with a second OEM with the first OEM DR event load to determine an aggregated DR load for the area.

US 9840164

Title: Electric vehicle

Assignee: SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION (Hamamatsu-Shi, Shizuoka-Ken, JP)

Publication Date: 12 Dec 2017

Abstract:

An electric vehicle capable of efficiently and reliably cooling a power converter disposed inside an exterior. An electric vehicle includes a frame extending in a longitudinal direction, a power converter being long in the longitudinal direction along the frame, and an exterior extending in the longitudinal direction to cover the frame and the power converter, the exterior defining a cooling air path between the power converter to allow cooling air to flow through the cooling air path along the longitudinal direction. The power converter extends in the longitudinal direction in the cooling air path, and includes a plurality of heat radiation fins protruding toward an inner surface of the exterior, and the exterior includes an air induction port provided at a front end of the cooling air path to allow travelling wind to flow into the cooling air path.

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Protecting Trade Secrets in India

How to protect TRADE SECRETS in India?

The primary goal of “Make in India” initiative was to make India a “Global Manufacturing Hub”. With both multinational companies and domestic companies manufacturing their products within the country, the significance of exports and the manufacturing sector in India has increased considerably. Several measures have been taken to ensure continuous and unending improvement of the Indian IP ecosystem in the country due to the need to extend such to exports for its proper commercialization.

Just as other Intellectual Property Rights, Trade Secrets are extremely valuable and sometimes even critical for a company’s growth and survival. Trade secret is a formula, process, device, method, technique or other business information having commercial value. This information is kept confidential and exclusive. Reasonable steps have been taken to maintain its secrecy to get competitive advantage over the competitors.   

For example, Trade secrets like Coca-Cola’s formula for its aerated drinks have been preserved for many decades and is not in the public domain.

India has no specific law for the protection of trade secrets. But, Article 39 of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement to which India is a signatory provides for the specific provision for the protection of undisclosed information.

Article 39 of the TRIPS Agreement states that:

  1. In the course of ensuring effective protection against unfair competition as provided in Article 10b is of the Paris Convention (1967), Members shall protect undisclosed information in accordance with paragraph 2 and data submitted to governments or governmental agencies in accordance with paragraph 3.
  2. Natural and legal persons shall have the possibility of preventing information lawfully within their control from being disclosed to, acquired by, or used by others without their consent in a manner contrary to honest commercial practices (10) so long as such information:                                                                                                                     (a) is secret in the sense that it is not, as a body or in the precise configuration and assembly of its components, generally known among or readily accessible to persons within the circles that normally deal with the kind of information in question          (b) has commercial value because it is secret; and                                                        (c)

    has been subject to reasonable steps under the circumstances, by the person lawfully in control of the information, to keep it secret.

  3. Members, when requiring, as a condition of approving the marketing of pharmaceutical or of agricultural chemical products which utilize new chemical entities, the submission of undisclosed test or other data, the origination of which involves a considerable effort, shall protect such data against unfair commercial use. In addition, Members shall protect such data against disclosure, except where necessary to protect the public, or unless steps are taken to ensure that the data are protected against unfair commercial use.

     Unlike Patents and Copyrights which can be protected for about 20 years and 100 years respectively, trade secrets can potentially last much longer. A trade secret continues to remain a trade secret as long as any other person does not independently discover the information.Due to the absence of law for the protection of trade secrets, Indian courts have approached trade secrets protection on the basis of principles of equity, action of breach of confidence and contractual obligations.

    In India, a person can be contractually bound to not disclose any information which is told to him in confidence and if the person discloses the information, he/she can be sued for violating the Non-Disclosure Agreement.

    Companies can include a non-disclosure agreement in their employment contracts which prevents the employees to disclose any sensitive and confidential information regarding the company during their term of employment with the company or afterwards so that the secret is not spilled out. In cases where the trade secret is in a physical form like blueprints, files etc. a strict Security System should be in place so that this confidential information remains confidential.

    If your business relies on sensitive information that you would consider to be a trade secret, we encourage you to consult with a legal practitioner for advice on maximizing its protection.

    Patents | Intellectual Property India

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Step by Step Guide to Get Trademark Registered in India

Step-wise Guide for Registering Trademark in India

Trademark Registration is a necessary step if you own a business or want to own a business. Your business name, identity, brand, logo, image etc. can be protected  by registering Trademark for your business.

Apply for TM Registration and discuss your brand strategy and understand importance of brand, logo and tagline with expert consultants at Tech Corp International Strategist India TCIS, India.

Get your Trademark Registered in India by hiring professional trademark lawyer in India. Currently, a trademark is registered in less than a month.

Documents required for filing a TradeMark Application in India:

  1. A copy of Trademark or logo
  2. Details of the applicant like name, address and nationality and the state of incorporation for company
  3. Goods or services provided by the company  
  4. Date of first use of the trademark in India, if used by you prior to applying.
  5. Power of attorney to be signed by the applicant

So, by following the ten step process get Trademark Registered in India in 30 days:

Coin a brand name for trademark registration

Select the appropriate Trademark class for your brand

Avoid filing multi class trademark application in class 99

Conduct a trademark search online at Indian Trademark website

Expedite the digitization process by filing online trademark

Get digital signature for signing online trademark forms

Get proprietor code for filing trademark in India

File TM-1 Form for Trademark Registration in India Attach Stamped Power of Attorney TM-48 (POA) while filing the trademark in India

Wait for formal response from trademark office and reply trademark objection within one month of receiving the formal response.

Trademark Services by TCIS 

TRADE MARK| BRAND PROTECTION SERVICE IN INDIA

Brand Opinion Services

Trade mark  Clearance Searches

Filing of trademark applications, registration procedure

Trade mark Renewal

Trade mark opposition

Trade mark rectification

Action of infringement and passing off

Assignment, licenses and transmission, drafting deed form

Registration of trademark assignment

For more details please contact us at legal_desk@patentbusinessidea.com

Brand protection by Trademarks

 

Do you need a trademark for a logo? Can you patent a logo?
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Trademark of Logo

How do I get a logo trademarked?

“It’s all in the name”!

Designed a logo to represent your business?

How to protect the design of the logo and the business behind it using the Trademark Law?

Before addressing how to trademark your business logo, we should define the terms “trademark” and “logo.”

The terms “Logo” and “trademark” are used interchangeably but they do actually differ slightly from each other. “A logo can be a trademark but a trademark cannot be considered to be a logo”.

A trademark is a unique name, symbol, phrase, motto, or graphic design that is specific to a company name, or its products and services and is used to distinguish the products of one seller from the other. The symbol ‘™’ designates that  the name, symbol or word is a trademark-ed property belonging to a particular company and that specific drawing, logo, or phrase cannot be copied or used by any other business or person, unless specific authorization is given by the trademark owner.

A logo is a brand identity for representing businesses. A logo should represent the the characteristic spirit  manifested in the attitudes and aspirations of the company it stands for. Sometimes people identify the company through the logo; although they might have forgotten the name. Registration of the logo as a trademark makes it a legal document which can be used in the court of law in case of brand infringement.

Selecting trademark for startup business can be tricky but at the same time rewarding to the startup. It is important to do proper research before filing for trademark for startup business in India.

Trademark of a brand has a lasting effect on its consumers. As a business owner, the startup thinks passionately about naming their new business, but while doing so, due consideration should be given to the following two points:

(a) “Unique & Novel” Trademark: The trademark should be new and unique.

(b) Non-conflicting to competitor in same field: The trademark should not conflict with existing trade names who have registered trademarks.

Business names, brand names, logos and taglines are protected legally by way of trademarks, and in case of conflicting names, it might result in a trademark infringement suit. Trademark for startup business should be unique to the business offering.

It is very important to name a business properly. Inorder to highlight the importance of naming a business, we will take an example of International Trademark Infringement.

A South Korean fried chicken restaurant recently lost a trademark battle with designer “Louis Vuitton”. The restaurant’s name- “Louis Vuiton Dak” was too similar to Louis Vuitton. In addition to the name infringement, the restaurant’s logo and packaging closely mirrored the designer’s iconic imagery.

The restaurant ultimately changed the name to “LOUISVUI TONDAK” and was hit with another 14.5 million fine for non-compliance.

Therefore, as may be observed from the above case study, trademark for startup business should be unique, selecting a unique business name and legally protecting it by way of trademarks is very important. Companies can avoid expensive legal battles by avoiding mirroring their brand closely after another brand, even if the products and business strategy have nothing in common.

If a business involves multiple brands, a strong trademark strategy is crucial to manage them. It is advisable to keep business name different from brand name.

In accordance with Indian Trademark Law, it is not mandatory to file for a trademark, but it is highly advisable to file trademark for startup business, register a trademark for the name of your business as well as for the brand names of your products and services.

Accordingly, it is highly advisable to seek assistance from a Trademark Attorney.

Apply for TM Registration and discuss your brand strategy and understand importance of brand, logo and tagline with expert consultants at Tech Corp International Strategist India TCIS, India.

IF YOUR STRATEGY AND DOCUMENTATION ARE IN PLACE WE GET”YOUR” TRADEMARK REGISTERED IN TWO- THREE WEEKS.

Trademark Services

 

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WHEN to BE ANGEL: Startup Ecosystem in India is Booming

The Buzz word “STARTUP” is SEXY to hear to one of the human senses 🙂

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There was a time and era in India where people use to introduce themselves as Business woman or Businessman in a conference. YOU like it or not even being in business for 12+ years I still have to opt for the word “STARTUP STRATEGIST” rather than the heavy word “LAWYER”.

According to today piece of news in BUSINESS STANDARD “Angel, seed stage deals down 40%”

Angel investors don’t see exits on the horizon as funding in the next stages is not as robust as it used to be

HOWEVER………..

NOW is the RIGHT TIME to INVEST in STARTUPs in INDIA as the industry has matured and YOUNG DYNAMIC STUDENTS are taking up Entrepreneurship at an early age of 18yrs which was like a fairy tale story in early 2000.

As quoted in Forbes article: Sometimes there is nothing more relaxing than coming home after a tough day at work or going on vacation and picking up a great book and turning on some background music. Millions of people read with music playing, and now one app is working to bring those two worlds together into one digital experience, all-encompassing experience.

Newly-formed startup Bubo is looking to revolutionize how people consume both books and music with one of the first ever products that combines those two forms of media. The company pairs carefully crafted music with stories, with the tunes created specifically to match what is happening in the literature, some of which is already well-known, with other options that nobody has ever read before.

One of my personal favourite Startup co-founder quote by About.me founder Ryan Freitas

“Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.” – Ryan Freitas, About.me co-founder

Invest in a young startup which is mentored by Industry expert. As we all know universal fact YOU are known by 5 people you are around. So select a STARTUP who has the ZEAL to Reach for the SKY. More than the number it is the execution of the ideas with small term and long term goals who will succeed in future. A very good example in INDIA is Zomato who rebranded their brand FOODIEBAY when Ebay opposed their trademark application in INDIA. It was an overnight affair and BOOM a new baby was born. SO be very careful while selecting brand name for your VENTURE before you are sued by the SHARKS 🙂

Zomato solved a problem and I talk this from my real life experience.

I was a regular visitor of Tibet Kitchen at connaught place in the back lane. All of a sudden it was closed down due to metro work. Anyhow not feeling disheartened I used to search about Tibet Kitchen online and ONE FINE DAY FOODIEBAY popped out with its lastest address.

Voila Moment for a Foodie like me !!

So coming back to the point, invest in the person rather than the idea. If simple formula can be applied investors can double the MONEY and earn $$$$$$. Currently, investors have turned cautious after the euphoria of 2015 and 2016 and are waiting for exits to rotate their money.

As said by Ravindra Krishnappa, an angel investor from Bengaluru

“People have come to realise that exits are going to be only in 5+ year timeframe, which means while angel investment is sexy, it has lower liquidity than other forms of investment”

YES, 5 year rule is very much applicable !!

Business idea is just like YOUR baby which has to be nurtured with ingredients of doing BUSINESS with passion and empathy. There is no shortcut to SUCCESS. Just like a new born baby who has to taught by the parents basic education before the kid enters KINDERGARDEN where the timeframe is again 4-5 years. So to bear the fruits one has to have the vision to ENVISION the future in the present state of affairs.

‘‘Angels have turned cautious and choosy as they have burnt their fingers. The frenzy that you saw earlier is no longer there. Earlier, a company would start and get funded. Now, investors want to see a lot more traction before they invest,” says Balaji.

Angel deals are down 47 percent since 2016 and 44 per cent since 2015, according to data compiled by research firm Venture Intelligence. Seed-stage deals are down 44 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively, while deal value fell 42 per cent and 38 per cent over 2016 and 2015.

How to generate different types of IPRs from existing business venture and why protecting IPRs is the need of an hour for raising funds?
Why Protecting IPRs is the need of an hour for Raising VC funds?

Time to turn the table and invest in businesses who are able to fulfil the checklist. We at TCIS, India can assist and work with startups and investors to FILL the GAP which are existing in the current ecosystem. I would be taking closed door session at Bangalore on 22nd September. During the workshop, all sessions will have highly technical content with workshops catering to all levels of experience. The workshop aims to provide a comprehensive knowledge on e-valuation methods & approaches along with governance and regulatory requirements for Tech Start-ups.

Valuation & Fundraising for Tech Startups in Bengaluru

This one day workshop is curated for ambitious Start-ups, Senior Executives and strategists from Tech Start-ups. All emerging entrepreneurs and PE/VC professional who are planning to enter into the Tech , Seasoned practitioners who want to bolster their skills to create and maintain a thriving business.

Training details:

Intellectual property valuation patent lawyer

Title: Valuation and Fundraising for Tech Startups

Date: 22nd September 2017

Location: Bengaluru

Trainers: 

Santosh N Director – National Management, Duff & Phelps (Formerly American Appraisal)

Anirudh Damani (Partner , Artha India Ventures)

Prity Khastgir (Founder & Director Tech Corp International Strategist (TCIS, India)

Kapil Bellubi (Director – Valuations, Deloitte)

Why You Should Attend?

BRAND VALUATION patent lawyer APPROACHES AND METHODS

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Services

 

Our Indian law firm provides intellectual property law support services to domestic and foreign clients. We offer cost-effective IP consulting services in all areas of intellectual property law ( patents, trademarks, utility model or design) in India. The law firm works 365/24/7 and offers customized full services to wide array of clients from fortune 500 companies to mid size foreign intellectual property law firms. Over the years, we take pride in creating value for the customer.

Intellectual property rights for Startups in India | Different types of Intellectual Property Rights from Startup Business Innovation| Madrid Brand Trademark Law firm in India from Prity Khastgir Indian IoT Patent Trademark Attorney 

Patent Services in India

Patent Drafting| Protection of Inventive Concepts:

Preparation of Utility Patent Applications:

We at Tech Corp International Strategist provide drafting of patent applications (provisional/ non-provisional) specifically in life-sciences, food technology, automotive, image processing, communications technology, aerospace, computer-implemented inventions and software,  mechanical, electrical, electronics, wireless communication, and pharmaceutical sector.

Patent Drawings/Illustrations : 

  • Developing patent drawings/figures using state of the art systems.
  • Patent Search : Patent searches by expert patent researchers
  • Patentability Search
  • Validation/Invalidation Patent Search
  • Freedom to Operate Search| FTO Patent Search
  • Infringement Analysis/Equivalent Search including Claim Mapping Chart
  • Patent Information Search
  • Patent Searches for the state of the art
  • Competitor’s Patent Search
  • Patent Compliance Services: 

Our team of technical patent experts review the patent application to create and protect infringement-free patent specification for protecting the client’s innovation.

Competitors Patent Review Services : 

  • On-going competitor patent review and analyzing scope of the patent claims.
  • Preparing Patent Office Actions Responses: 
  • Handling all Office actions, hearing before the patent examiner and PTO correspondences.

Patent proofreading : 

Proofreading of Patent specifications to draft flawless patent application.

Patent Analysis & Portfolio Management:

Our team of expert patent lawyers understand the technology in question and then categorize a patent portfolio of a company according to the needs of the client. We conduct a market analysis in terms of identifying active companies, their areas of technical expertise, and find the family of the patents filed in different jurisdictions. We find the main players in the field of a patent on the basis of commercial viability, infringement aspects, strengths and weaknesses, find the key parameters for future research and analyze licensing terms for a particular patent.

Filing & Prosecuting of Patent Applications :

  • Regular patent application, ordinary patent filing before the Indian Patent Office
  • PCT Applications filing before the Indian Patent Office
  • PCT National Phase Applications filing before the Indian Patent Office
  • Convention Applications filing before the Indian Patent Office
  • Handling Office Actions from various jurisdictions including USPTO, EPO and other Asian countries

For more details please contact us at legal_desk@patentbusinessidea.com

Intellectual Property Contract Drafting & Review Services

  • IP Contractual matters
  • Intellectual PropertyLicensing agreements
  • Intellectual Property due diligence analyzes
  • For more details please contact us at legal_desk@patentbusinessidea.com

Trade Mark| Brand Protection Service in India

  • Brand Opinion Services
  • Trade mark  Clearance Searches
  • Filing of trademark applications, registration procedure
  • Trade mark Renewal
  • Trade mark opposition
  • Trade mark rectification
  • Action of infringement and passing off
  • Assignment, licenses and transmission, drafting deed form
  • Registration of trademark assignment
  • For more details please contact us at legal_desk@patentbusinessidea.com

Copyright Services in India

  • Copyright Registration
  • Copyright Assignment in India
  • Infringement of a copyright
  • Software programs copyright;
  • Drafting deeds for transfer of copyright and royalty

For more details please contact us at legal_desk@patentbusinessidea.com

 Industrial Design Services in India

  • Preparing, filing, and prosecuting design patent applications;
  • Design Renewal, Design opposition, infringement procedures in India.

For more details please contact us at legal_desk@patentbusinessidea.com

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INFRINGMENT OF TRADEMARK – Case Study

Intellectual Property Rights- INFRINGMENT OF TRADEMARK 

In this era of increasing competition among brands and intellectual property laws becoming more stringent and difficult to comply with, infringement of these laws comes as a direct consequence. This article embodies a case study of such infringement with specific focus on an important part of the intellectual property rights, that is-Trademark.

Similarity in sound and phonetics and the way it is used is an important factor in determining whether the marks are confusingly similar.

Trademark infringement by phonetic and visual similarity is statutorily included in section 29(9) of the trademarks Act 1999 wherein it is stated that “Where the distinctive elements of a registered trademark consist of or include words, the trademark may be infringed by spoken use of the words as well as their visual representation and the reference in this section to the use of the mark shall be construed accordingly.”

In this view the legislature has stated such phonetic similarity as an infringing activity and has made clear that the pronunciation of a brand’s tagline (an important factor in the following case) is an establishing factor of potential infringement.

THE CASE STUDY 

Wipro Enterprises Limited vs Heinz India Pvt. Ltd on 10 June, 2015

The plaintiff (Wipro) had asserted that their trademark “BOLTS” which was created and adopted to sell their glucose chewy tablets had been infringed by the defendant (Heinz) which used a phonetically and visually similar mark name “VOLT” with a similar tagline.

The Hon’ble Madras High Court observed that since both the plaintiff and defendant used their trademarks i.e. BOLTS and VOLT respectively with their house names prefixed i.e. GLUCOVITA BOLTS and GLUCON-D VOLT respectively.

The court stated that the plaintiff cannot have exclusive right over the word BOLTS as it was generic and common in nature and both the plaintiff and defendant had used a prefix or a suffix to properly display the distinction.

The factual aspect of the case would be the determining factor for the judgement, the court reiterated. It also stated that a word may acquire a secondary meaning and could become an exclusive right by long, uninterrupted and continuous usage which was clearly not the case here as BOLTS was there in usage only for the past 2 years.

The court recapitulated that the trademark must be seen and judged on its entirety and completeness and not in parts or isolation which is why all arguments about identical colours used visual similarities etc. were dismissed. It must be viewed in an all round perspective and whether a word has a secondary meaning should be established only during the course of the hearing.

There were many similarities which were stated by the plaintiff including the price in perforated circle display and the thunder/flash of lightening symbol. The court held that many of the above similarities were found to be a common industrial practice and some of the symbols were generic to display and portray energy, stamina etc. Some of the similarities submitted by the plaintiff were even found to be dissimilar by the court.

The plaintiff used the tagline “INSTANT ENERGY, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE” whereas same for the defendant was “ENERGY OF GLUCON-D … ANYWHERE, ANYTIME”. The phrase “ANYTIME, ANYWHERE” was not used by the plaintiff in the trademark sense to denote origin/source of the product; rather it was used in a descriptive sense, the court observed.

Nothing was there to show as concrete evidence that the plaintiff had undertaken extensive advertising, was using the above tagline for a long period of time or the tagline was associated with the plaintiff’s product only or that the plaintiff had exclusive rights over its usage. After investigation it was also found that the tagline was printed only on the jar containing the products of the plaintiff and not on the cylindrical plastic wrapper covered tube which contained the chewing tablets.

The Hon’ble court hence rejected the senior counsel’s plea that the expression “INSTANT ENERGY. ANYTIME, ANYWHERE.” found on the label ought to be protected by way of application for temporary injunction.

CONCLUSION

In India, where culture is enriched by a diversity of languages and scripts, the courts have to consider how the rival marks are spelt and pronounced in languages in which they are commonly used. They have to assess the psyche of an Indian consumer and associated with that traits and qualities that underlie the spelling and pronunciation of words and then consider the usage of words and the manner in which it is similar to the pronunciation of the rival marks.

Whether the ordinary customer is likely to believe that the defendant’s mark is associated with the mark and the trading style of the plaintiff are the main test and not whether the consumer ends up buying the product of the defendant instead of the plaintiff because of such similarity in marks. The phonetic, visual and structural makeup of the words should be so strikingly similar as to lead to a likelihood of deception.

Section 29(2) of the Trade Marks Act 1999 recognizes the concept of likelihood of association wherein the consumer is likely to believe that the defendants’ mark has an association/affiliation/connection with the plaintiff. Thus in Section 29(2) read with section 29(9), the legislature has included the spoken use of the words also; therefore, it is evident that the pronunciation of the trademark is clearly a determining criterion in ascertaining infringement.