From the desk of Dr. Mohan Dewan | Assisted by: Adv. Arjun Pradhan Adv. Shubham Borkar
I was reading a report on how the top 10 valuable brands drastically altered in value from the year 2000 till the year 2022.
In the year 2000, Coca Cola was identified to be the most valuable brand, followed by Microsoft and IBM. 9 of the top 10 valuable brands were from the US in the year 2000 and the only non US brand was Nokia, a brand at that time being centered in Finland. Followed by Coca Cola, Microsoft was the second most valuable brand. Disney and McDonald also made the list in the year 2000. Two years thereafter in 2002, the cigarette brand Marlboro also made it to the list along with another non-US brand, Mercedes-Benz. By 2005, Marlboro had dropped out and was replaced by Toyota. By 2010, Toyota dropped out and was replaced by Google. Even in 2010 Coca Cola and Microsoft reigned supreme. The value of Nokia went down and Mercedes-Benz had left the list of top 10.
2015 saw a drastic change. Apple came from nowhere and dethroned Coca Cola and the top 2 brands were Apple & Google. 2015 also saw the advent of Samsung and Amazon as valuable brands in the list. In 2015, Toyota was the only brand left in the top 10 to represent the auto sector.
By 2017, Facebook entered as another valuable brand in the top 10 and the year saw the re-entry of Mercedes-Benz. Restaurants (McDonalds) and Tobacco were unrepresented in 2017 and Apple & Google still reigned supreme.
By 2019, McDonalds and Disney reentered, and IBM & Nokia left the field. The value of Amazon was rising and both Google & Amazon pushed Microsoft to the 4th place. Apple still reigned supreme.
In 2020, Amazon had pushed Microsoft & Google down the field. By 2022 however (the last year of study), and I believe largely as a result of the post pandemic effect Microsoft had pushed both Amazon & Google to achieve 2nd place and Nike had entered the field of top 10.
The top 10 list in 2022 reads as follows (source Interbrands):
Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Samsung, Toyota, Coca Cola, Mercedes-Benz, Disney and Nike.
The US continues to dominate the brand scene with 7 of the top brands. Samsung based in South Korea is the top non-US brand, followed by Toyota from Japan and Mercedes-Benz from Germany.
A Geographical Indication (GI) tag is a sign/mark allotted to an artefact or a commodity that originates in a particular region and has its own unique identity. A GI right empowers the bearer to restrict the indication from being used by any other person whose quality does not meet the required criteria. In India, Geographical Indication tags are governed under Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
Banarasi Paan and Langda Mango are the latest entrants in the Geographical Indications club. Banarasi Paan and Langda Mango from the city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh were granted their Geographical Indication Tags on March 31st 2023 by the GI Registry, Chennai. Uttar Pradesh, apart from these food items, also received Geographical Indications on March 31st for:
• Aligarh Tala
• Bakharia Brassware
• Banda Shazar Patthar Craft
• Pratapgarh Aonla
• Ramnagar Bhanta
• Muzaffarnagar Gur (jaggery)
• Nagina Wood Craft
• Hathras Hing
*We do not claim any copyright in the above image. The same has been reproduced for academic and representational purposes only”.
Banarasi paan is in itself a lot more than a refreshing savoury, it is, in fact, an experience in itself. The Banarasi paan which gained fame because of the song, “Khaike paan banaras wala” iconised by Amitabh Bachchan is an exotic combination of areca nuts, catechu (kattha) of fresh betel leaf, tobacco, slaked lime, to which other ingredients like rose petals (gulkand), silver foil (varakh) etc. are added. One can easily spot a paan shop in the famous streets of Banaras and a paan wala serving the freshly prepared paan in his own unique style. After all, ‘Banarasi paan served in Banarasi style' is what truly represents the authenticity of the famous paan.
Banarasi paan is delightfully rich in both taste and variety. Maghai and Jagannath paan are not the only two variants of paan; astonishingly Banaras has a huge assortment of Banarasi paans. The price range of the famous paan starts with Rs.15 upto Rs. 5,000 which depends on its ingredients and the method of preparation and the richer the ingredients, the costlier the paan may be.
Banarasi Langra Aam
*We do not claim any copyright in the above image. The same has been reproduced for academic and representational purposes only”.
The 'Langra' mango, also known as Banarasi Langra, is a mango cultivar primarily grown in Varanasi or Banaras, Northern India.
This cultivar retains a greenish tinge while ripening. Around 2006, it was known to be gaining popularity on the international market. It is considered suitable for slicing and canning. Oval in shape, quite aromatic, with a green skin and irresistibly delicious, the Langra Aam is normally harvested during the last half of July.
The word ‘Langra’ in Hindi means ‘lame’ in English. The history of Langra Aam dates back to 250-300 years. It is believed that there was a lame man in Banaras who ate a variety of mango and planted the seed in his backyard. This man was called ‘Langra’ by his friends and peers.
With these additions, Uttar Pradesh now has 45 goods bearing Geographical Indications with 20 coming from Varanasi.
In the last few years, with its One District One Product Scheme, Uttar Pradesh is promoting its indigenous products to gain GI tags. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the G7 summit promoted the local products of Varanasi at an international level. This is giving a boost to the local markets of Uttar Pradesh.
According to the GI expert, Padma Shri Rajni Kant, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Lucknow, played an instrumental role in helping the local products get a GI and around 20 lakh farmers are engaged in the production of GI goods in Varanasi and eastern UP. With this, the annual turnover has reached around 25500 crores.
After a long time, I became privy to a well-reasoned decision in a trademark suit issued by the Commercial Division of the Bombay High Court while deciding an interim injunction issue.
The case was identified as “Pidilite Industries Limited vs. Chiripal Industries Limited” and dealt with the use of the respective marks “FEVICOL HEATX” and “TIKAWOO HEAT-TIK”. The images of the respective tins of the two brands are depicted below.
Source - Judgement
The Fevicol brand includes a logo of two Elephants pulling on hollow hemispheres. In the original experiment performed in 1654 at Magdeburg, the spheres were not bonded with any adhesive. Their edges were sealed with grease and air was pumped out. Two teams of horses were attached to either side of hemispheres to pull and they could not pull the hemispheres apart thereby demonstrating the power of atmospheric pressure on vacuum. In the variation created by Pidilite, the team of horses are replaced by Elephants on either side, but the inspiration is clear. The thought for trade by the image is that with the application of “Fevicol” the bond is so strong that even two Elephants cannot pull the hemispheres apart. The logo also includes the feature of an “orange sun” behind the Elephants. Pidilite contended before the Court that the picture of an animal, in Chiripal’s “TIKAWOO” case, Chiripal had replaced the two Elephants with a Rhinoceros and having a sun behind the Rhino. They argued that this feature was deceptively similar and the adoption of this mark was dishonest. A lot of emphasis was also placed on the fact that the two cans were provided for heat resistant adhesives and bore the tradenames “ ” and “ ”.
In his well-reasoned comments Justice Pitale observed that while comparing the rival marks the Court must appreciate the overall impression, rather than going into each feature to ascertain similarity or difference, and for this purpose apply the test of the person of an average intelligence and imperfect recollection. The learned Judge went on to observe that with reference to the construction industry, persons buying the products would go by the impression gathered by the images depicted on the container and words used in respect of the products.
On examining the two cans above, the Court was of the opinion that the image of the “Rhino with the sunset” was not deceptively similar to the image of the “Elephants with the sun in the background”. However, when it came to the two tradenames “ ” and “ ” the learned Judge was of the opinion that the use of the names “ ” and “ ” were likely to cause confusion. Therefore, an injunction was passed on Chiripal in respect of the use of the tradename “ ”. In my opinion, what seems to also have increased the cause for confusion was that both tradenames were written in similar shades of red. The observation of the learned Judge makes an interesting reading. The Judge opined that if two words are spoken in a hurried manner, there is a possibility of confusion, particularly when persons from different backgrounds, coming from various parts of the country, with diversity in language do tend to pronounce English words hurriedly in such a manner that confusion can indeed arise.
In the same judgement, the Honorable Justice Pitale was called upon to give his opinion on the deceptive similarity of two other cans by the respective companies. The two cans are depicted below.
Source – Judgement
Pidilite tried to make out a case where the use of man wearing a construction helmet along with the words “MR.ENGINEER” was deceptively similar to the Pidilite’s registered mark “DR.FIXIT” also having the device of a man wearing a construction helmet. The Court was not convinced that the two images were deceptively similar or there was slavish copying on the part of the defendant. However, the Honorable Court noted that there were tradenames “LWP+” respectively on the two cans/bottles. Although the two images on the cans/bottles were considered not prima facie deceptively similar, the Honorable Court ordered interim injunction for use of the tradename “LWP+” after considering that this was deceptively similar to “LW+”. In my opinion, on first sight it appears that the plaintiff did not secure what it wanted, in reality it did because the defendant will now have to redesign its label and overall image to remove “ ” in one case and “LWP+” in the other.
Eduspark International Private Limited (hereinafter referred to as Eduspark) has emerged victorious in a suit filed before Delhi High Court against Laxmi Publications Private Limited, a known publication house in Daryaganj, Delhi, (hereinafter referred to as Laxmi Publications) for infringement of its trademark ‘VIBGYOR’.
The case in hand, being one of a kind, has been a remarkable one for the team of R K Dewan & Co. as they were not only successful in appointment of Second Local Commissioner for continuous/repetitive violation of the Hon’ble Court’s injunction order dated 23.08.2022 by the Defendants but also an unconditional and unqualified apology from the Directors of Laxmi Publications was tendered along with an undertaking not to indulge in any activity that may amount to the breach of the orders passed by the Court.
Eduspark; a well-known school chain which imparts high quality education from Play school to Higher Secondary came to know that Laxmi Publications Private Limited was infringing its well-known trade mark by copying a deceptively similar trade mark “ " for identical goods i.e. educational books for kids through its interactive websites www.laxmipublications.com & www.vibgyorbooks.com and also, via various e-commerce platforms.
After examining the competing marks and contentions made out, the Delhi High Court was pleased to pass an ex-parte ad-interim injunction vide order dated 23.08.2022 in favour of Eduspark restraining the publication house from using the impugned mark in any manner whatsoever. The Hon’ble Court was further pleased to appoint a local commissioner to seize all the infringing products/goods bearing the trademark 'VIBGYOR' along with any packaging material, labels, blocks, dies etc. and make an inventory of the same.
The Commission was successfully executed on 29.08.2022 and the local commissioner took charge of a total of 2216 infringed books/goods bearing the mark “ ”.
Wilfull Disobedience and Appointment of Second Local Commissioner
Soon thereafter, Laxmi Publications were found to be in breach of the restraining orders passed against them as they continued to advertise and sell the infringing books on their official online portals i.e. www.laxmipublications.com & www.vibgyorbooks.com as well as through third-party e-commerce websites including Amazon, Flipkart and like in utter disobedience of an ex-parte ad-interim injunction/ stay order .
Being aggrieved by such blatant disobedience and flouting of the Court’s order, Eduspark filed an application under Order 39 Rule 2-A CPC against Laxmi Publications.
In addition to the above, Eduspark also moved an application for appointment of Second Local Commissioner to conduct a raid at the premises of Laxmi Publications as well as at its authorised distributor located at Hyderabad. It is a matter of appreciation that the Hon’ble Court passed an order to conduct further raid by appointing two local commissioners discreetly and without issuing notice to the Defendant in an on-going/pending matter considering the sensitivity of the continuous infringing activities by Laxmi Publications. The Hon’ble Court directed to the local commissioners to conduct the raid and seize infringing material simultaneously at the two premises i.e. at premises of Laxmi Publications situated at Daryaganj, Delhi as well as at its authorised distributor situated at Hyderabad, Telegana along with police protection.
The Second Local Commission was effectively executed on 21.01.2023 and various catalogues of books including catalogue for the year 2023 bearing the infringing mark were seized from the premises of Laxmi Publications.
Unconditional and Unqualified Apology by Laxmi Publications
The Hon’ble Court strictly directed to the contemnors/ Laxmi Publications to file an affidavit for unconditional and unqualified apology after considering all the aspects for the conduct of disobedience on the part of Contemnors i.e. Directors as well as Authorised Representative of Laxmi Publications.
It is no doubt that Court orders are to be followed to the letter. One cannot plead the ignorance of the contents of the restraining orders passed against them after having the knowledge of the same.
Trademarks are an important form of intellectual property that provide protection to businesses and individuals who have created a unique brand. As such, it is crucial that the rights of trademark owners are recognized and respected. Through the present case, the Delhi High Court duly recognised the rights of Eduspark in its trademark “VIBGYOR” being prior adoption and registration, and restrained Laxmi Publications from infringing the same vide its judgment/order dated 10.04.2023. Such recognition not only helps the Trademark owners to protect their brand but also make sure that the infringers are not pardoned easily.
Non-compliance of injunction orders in trademark cases can result in significant harm to the trademark owner's reputation, market share, and financial well-being. It can also lead to confusion among consumers, who may mistake the infringing products or services for those of the legitimate trademark owner. This can ultimately lead to a loss of trust and goodwill in the marketplace.
The directives of an injunction must be given due regard, and any failure to comply with them will not only invite the wrath of the court but also lead to negative consequences. The court may take action to prevent the defaulting party from continuing to act contrary to the injunction, in order to deter similar conduct in the future.
However, the tussle of the right holder does not end here and one should be vigilant to watch the infringing activities even after a successful enforcement on day-to-day basis in order to initiate timely action against any breach by the infringers.
The judgment dated 10.04.2023 can be read here.
Case Title: Eduspark International Private Limited vs. Laxmi Publications Private Limited
Case No.: CS (COMM)-573/2022
Date of order/judgment: 10.04.2023
This mascot symbolizes:
This crown is the icon for:
a. Rolls Royce
(Scroll below for answers.)
The Juggernaut of Coca-Cola - Capitalism in a Bottle
Brands are more than just a name or a logo; they embody a story and a legacy that have been built over time. Behind every brand, there is a rich history and a unique set of circumstances that have shaped its identity and contributed to its success. These background stories have become an integral part of the brand, and they serve as an essential tool for building brand loyalty and connecting with customers. There are various brands that you think you know about, but do you really know them? In this series of articles, we will share with you little known stories behind the famous brands.
*We do not claim any copyright in the above image. The same has been reproduced for academic and representational purposes only.
Did you know that there was once a time in India when statistics showed that only 10% of the villages in India had safe drinking water whereas 90% had access to Coca-Cola? The Coca-Cola Company, an American based company founded in 1892, is undoubtedly the most successful soft drink supplying company today, throughout the world. Coca-Cola is one of the go-to brands of many consumers today. Consumers drink, on an average, more than 1.8 billion servings each day. But do you know that the world most popular drink was actually invented accidentally?
It all begins when Confederate Colonel John Pemberton was wounded in the American civil war. He was on a quest to find a substitute for morphine (a pain relieving drug).Pemberton started working on making a pain relieving drug by combining cola nuts and cola leaves. While working on it, his assistant accidentally mixed this concoction of cola leaves and cola nuts with carbonated water. This was the birth of Coca-Cola in 1886. It was sold at Jacob’s Pharmacy in downtown Atlanta for five cents a glass.
To make the brand more appealing, Pemberton’s partner and bookkeeper, Frank M Robinson coined the name with two Cs and named it Coca-Cola with a unique script. Hand- painted advertisements of Coca-Cola were displayed in public places to promote the brand. An average of 9 drinks per day was sold in 1888.
Shortly after Coca-Cola hit the market; Pemberton fell ill and was almost bankrupt. In desperation, he began to sell portions of the ownership rights of Coca-Cola to various partners and just before his death in 1888; Pemberton sold the remaining rights to a businessman, ASA Griggs Candler. Candler proceeded to buy the additional rights to gain total control over Coca-Cola.
Candler, who had strong business acumen, had a budget of $11000 approved specifically for advertising of the brand in 1892. Coca-Cola’s logo was advertised on calendars, clocks, urns and fans. Pharmacists sold equipment bearing the Coca-Cola’s name on them. Coca-Cola’s salesmen were sent out to different States to ensure that the pharmacies were mixing the concoction correctly and advertising the brand in their stores. At that time, Coca-Cola syrup used to be sold to the pharmacies and they used that syrup to make Coca-Cola. To the pharmacists and stores who were reluctant to sell Coca-Cola, Candler gave away free coupons and the first barrel of Coca-Cola syrup for free. With an increase in their sales, these pharmacists always used to come back to purchase more syrup. Furthermore, one of the first ever celebrity endorsements was signed by Coca-Cola with the actress and singer Hilda Clark who became the face of Coca-Cola then. By implementing these strategies, Candler announced in 1895 that Coca-Cola was being sold in every State of the United States.
Coca-Cola’s sales hit one million gallons in 1904. For the first time, the advertising budget of Coca-Cola had surpassed $100000. With this strong marketing game, Coca-Cola pushed its boundaries to Canada, Cuba and Panama where bottling operations began.
Coca-Cola’s success made many other soft drink manufacturers imitate its bottles and fonts with slight variations. As a solution to this problem, Coca-Cola organized a competition for a bottle to be designed for Coca-Cola which was so distinctive that it could be recognized even in the darkness or lying broken on the ground. Answering to Coca-Cola’s call, The Root Glass Company designed and registered a bottle to be patented under the name of Alexander Samuelson. This patent was registered on November 16th, 1916. The Root Glass Company emerged victorious in the competition and they became the designers of the unique contoured bottle for Coca-Cola. They entered into an agreement with Coca-Cola to have six glass companies across the US for bottling. Further, in 1977, the Coca-Cola’s bottle was registered as a trademark for its unique packaging by the US Patent Office.
Coca-Cola was rapidly coming up with new branding strategies to expand its empire. One such unique and revolutionary branding campaign was carried out by Coca-Cola by advertising the Red Santa Claus. What is the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind when asked about Santa Claus? A happy, plump man wearing a red suit with a white beard right? It is astonishing that the original Santa Claus never wore a red suit! Coca-Cola has played a huge role in making everyone think that Santa Claus wore a red suit instead of a green one, which was the original version of Santa Claus. The Coca-Cola Company started their campaigning for Christmas in 1931. An illustrator Haddon Sundblom was commissioned to advertise for the brand. Sunblom, inspired by Clement Moore’s poem “A visit from St Nicholas”, created the jolly version of Red Santa Claus we all know today.
In 1985, Coca-Cola created history to become the first soft drink to be consumed in space by astronauts aboard the space shuttle “Challenger” who tested the space can of Coca-Cola.
While Coca-Cola was flourishing worldwide, it took more than 50 years to capture its market in India. In a movement of showing support to local brands, Coca-Cola in India was given an ultimatum in 1977 to either bid adieu or give up its secret recipe to produce in India. Coca-Cola left India in 1977 only to re-enter in 1993. This was when the wave of liberalisation found its ground in India. Coca-Cola acquired four popular sodas which were being manufactured in India in its absence for a whopping $40 million. Since this purchase, there was no looking back for Coca-Cola in India.
With consumers drinking more than 1.8 billion servings each day, what are the key factors Coca-Cola considers while campaigning for their brand?
Firstly, the Company targets the age group of young people between 10-30 years by having the brand endorsed by famous celebrities. Furthermore, campaigns are conducted in universities, colleges to promote the brand. For the elderly who are diet conscious, Coca-Cola promotes Diet Coke. Coca-Cola offers different packaging and sizes as per the income of the people. To target students, low income groups and middle class groups, Coca-Cola considers the geographical locations. To consider cultural differences, Coca-Cola introduced a sweeter edition for the Asian market considering their fondness for sweets.
With a staggering $265 billion net worth and its own unique bottles, Coca-Cola has made a remarkable contribution to the world’s economy today. With day by day diversification and acquisition, Coca-Cola has proved to be an unstopping force, a juggernaut.
Decoding Delicious Delicacies - Jalfrezi’s journey from a leftover passed to the Indian servants to Britain’s Favourite ‘British – Indian’ curry
When it comes to food, the name of a dish holds meaning beyond just identification. The name of a dish can give an insight into the history behind it, the ingredients used, or even the cultural significance it holds. In this series of blogs, we will explore the history behind names of famous Indian dishes.
Source - Google
*We do not claim any copyright in the photographs. They have been used for academic and representational purposes only.
The mouthwatering dish Jalfrezi is like comfort food for most Indians since decades. However, have you ever wondered how this popular dish was created and why is it named 'Jalfrezi'?
Jalfrezi has its roots in the era of British rule over India. The destitute Indians serving the British were the ones who created this dish. The British Elite in India were famous for holding big roasts. Such big roasts and celebrations resulted into lots of leftovers which were then passed on to their Indian servants. The resourceful Indians used these leftovers to transform the bland British food to something spicy. In a heated pot, they would throw in some clarified butter (ghee), chillies and onion. To that, the leftovers were added. This was the birth of Jalfrezi!
Etymologically speaking, the name Jalfrezi comes from the Bengali word for spicy (jhal) and frezi which refers to stir frying. Another possible interpretation of the word “frezi/porhezi” is “suitable for diet”. Owing to its simple preparation, Jalfrezi has gained popularity through the years not only in India, but also in Britain. In fact, Jalfrezi won Britain’s Favourite British-Indian curry award in the year 2015!
1. a. Michelin
2. b. Rolex
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