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Now, Bisleri fortifies its trademark in various Indian Regional Languages

November 7,2017:

With an effort to get a fair share of their brand value and combat counterfeiting, Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd. has launched local labels in different regional languages, stepping up its game in re-establishing its brand in the country.

Bisleri fortefies its Trademark

India’s counterfeit market has been increasing at the rate of 44% a year and was estimated to be worth Rs. 1.05 lakh crore in 2014.A major impact of these increasing numbers has been on the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) industry.

Anjana Ghosh who is Director of Marketing, Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd. has stated that the new marketing strategy is aimed at connecting with the locals in their mother-tongue and simultaneously targeting the counterfeit products.

Rule 28 of the Trademark Rules, 2017, prescribes the procedure for the registration of trademarks in the regional languages. It states that where a trademark contains one or more words in scripts other than Hindi or English, the applicant has to provide precise transliteration and translation of each such word in English or Hindi and state the language to which the words belong.

Approval of the application under the Rule 28 is subject to a test for determination of whether the mark can be registered as a regional language trademark or not.

In India, this test is loosely based on US Doctrine of Foreign Equivalents. According to this doctrine, Court translates the foreign words into native or the common language of country to determine whether a mark in foreign language is registrable or confusingly similar to the existing marks.

Courts in India while applying doctrine have recognized complexities of a multi-lingual nation and hence tried to inculcate the multiple factors in Registration of the Trademarks in the regional languages.

One of the earliest cases of the Regional Trademark is TG Balaji Chettiar v Hindustan Lever Ltd. The applicant, a manufacturer and seller of soaps filed an Application for the Registration of a Trademark containing the Tamil word “Surian”. The defendant, Hindustan Lever Ltd. claimed that it held the registration of the words “Sun” and “Sunlight”, in the same category of products since the past six decades.

The issue was whether the use of word Tamil word “Surian” which translates to “Sun” was deceptively similar to the Defendant’s registered trademark?

The Court, ruling in favor of Hindustan Lever Limited (Defendant) stated that the Applicant’s mark was bound to cause confusion among the local Tamil consumers who generically use the term “Surian” for the English word “Sun”.  A purchaser conversant only in Tamil would refer to and ask for HLL’s soap by the name “sun” and in all likelihood, would be given Chettiar’s soap and not the Sunlight soap he intended to buy, hence causing confusion. The word “Surian” being the Tamil equivalent “Sun” was denied registration.

Application of Doctrine of Foreign Equivalent, however, is still at a nascent stage in India and is largely based on the court’s interpretation of the same.

Therefore, it is important for the brands like Bisleri to ensure that its move in the multi-lingual Indian market is legally permissible and within framework of trademark registration procedure and rules of India.

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Source - ptinews.com

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