Make in India Trademark (2829230) makes into Trademark Opposition proceeding. The opposition is initiated by LONSDALE SPORTS LTD a UK based Company who sells Sportswear opposed Make in India Trademark application for Similarity of Lion Logo.
According to the TM-5 (Opposition Petition) filed by the Company the following are key grounds of opposition is :
- The Opponent is Internationally recognized trader of sportswear and selling it’s products under lion logo.
- Since 1987 Lion Device has been an important element of LONSDALE brand. Lion logo was designed in 1987 by David Evans.
- Alleging that The Make in India Trademark applicant i.e The Government of India and DIPP made false claim as to proprietorship with regard to disputed logo for ‘Make in India’.
- The main contention is that the visual comparison of the Make In India Lion logo is highly similar to that of Lonsdale’s Lion logo.
Lonsdale (Left) and Make in India (Right).
As Per TM-6 (Counter Statement) Filed by the Govt of India on 30/09/2016 , These are key grounds in their counter statement,.
- The Opposition TM-5 is signed by one Gautham Razdhan who has no authority to sign the papers or know about the facts of the issue.
- Make in India is Governments Policy.
- That the said ‘Make in India’ logo has been adopted independently and honestly taking inspiration from the rich religious and cultural heritage and historic icon of India which date back to centuries.
- The Logo has been derived from India’s National emblem historically known as the Ashoka Lion Capital of Sarnath comprising of Four Lions standing back to on cylindrical abacus which features the sculpture of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and lion separated by 24 spoke wheels called the wheels of dharma or religion over inverted bell shaped lotus flower.
- The use of Lion symbol is not new in India. The lion was considered as symbol of royalty. The reserve banks has lion in it. The postal stamps has lion pictures. In hindu mythology the lion in India is revered as seat of Hindu deity Goddess Durga and as Lord Narishma.
- The Silhouette of Lion used in the said ‘make in India’ logo decipts raw energy, strength, might and resolve of India towards becoming global leader in all economic activity.
- The entire logo of Make in India symbolizes the idea of a progressive and vibrant Indian economy.
- The opponent stands no where to the reputation of Govt of India gained through Make in India.
Opposition alone not a issue :
The RTI applications filed for ‘Make in India’ Trademark application by a Delhi Advocate, Ajay Shahini, shows the double standards of the Indian Trademark Office. He questioned
Whether it is the consistent practice of the Trademark Registry in all cases that despite there being cited marks in the Examination Report conducted under Rule-37, the mark can be advertised in the Trademark Journal without any show cause hearing being fixed in the matter
The Trademark office usually objects trademark if a similar mark is found and the applicant has to apply for a hearing or give reply, if you don’t do either one your trademark will be abandoned, this was evaded for this application despite similar mark was quoted and the application was published in the Journal without reply. It must be noted on April 2016 trademark office abandoned 1,64,000 trademark applications in 7 days for not replying to the examination report and later by Court intervention it was restored to original status.
It doesn’t end there, TM-61 Fee for the extra characters of Rs. 520/- which is still pending compliance for The Make in India trademark application. The Advocate also sought RTI information as to why the Make in India Trademark Application is published despite there is a compliance pending. The practice in the Trademark office is that if there is compliance pending its usually not published in the Trademark Journal. His question
Whether it is the consistent practice of the Trademarks Registry in all cases to advertise trademark applications in the trademark journal even without application first complying with the requirements of form TM-61.
The Government of India and DIPP as per Trademark application claims to be using the following Goods & Services.
[CLASS : 9]
APPARATUS AND INSTRUMENTS FOR RECORDING, TRANSMISSION OR REPRODUCTION OF SOUND OR IMAGES; MAGNETIC DATA CARRIERS, RECORDING DISCS; COMPACT DISCS, DVD AND OTHER DIGITAL RECORDING MEDIA; COMPUTER SOFTWARE
[CLASS : 16]
PAPER AND GOODS MADE FROM THESE MATERIALS (NOT INCLUDED IN OTHER CLASSES) ; PHOTOGRAPHS; PRINTED MATTER ; STATIONERY; OFFICE REQUISITES (EXCEPT FURNITURE); INSTRUCTIONAL AND TEACHING MATERIAL (EXCEPT APPARATUS); PLASTIC MATERIALS FOR PACKAGING (NOT INCLUDED IN OTHER CLASSES); PRINTING BLOCKS; PRINTERS’ TYPE.
[CLASS : 18]
LEATHER AND IMITATIONS OF LEATHER, AND GOODS MADE OF THESE MATERIALS AND NOT INCLUDED IN OTHER CLASSES; TRAVELLING BAGS; UMBRELLAS AND PARASOLS.
[CLASS : 25]
CLOTHING; FOOTWEAR; HEADGEAR
[CLASS : 28]
GAMES AND PLAYTHINGS; GYMNASTIC AND SPORTING ARTICLES NOT INCLUDED IN OTHER CLASSES.
[CLASS : 35]
SERVICES PERTAINING TO ADVERTISING , BUSINESS MANAGEMENT, BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AND OFFICE FUNCTIONS WITH THE OBJECT TO HELP IN THE WORKING OR MANAGEMENT OF A COMMERCIAL UNDERTAKING AND MANAGEMENT OF BUSINESS AFFAIRS; ADVERTISEMENT UNDERTAKING COMMUNICATIONS TO THE PUBLIC, DECLARATIONS OR ANNOUNCEMENTS BY ALL MEANS OF DIFFUSION AND CONCERNING ALL KINDS OF GOODS OR SERVICES INCLUDING BANK LOANS; SERVICES RELATED TO REGISTRATION, TRANSCRIPTION, COMPOSITION, COMPILATION OR COMPILATION OF MATHEMATICAL OR STATISTICAL DATA; SERVICES RELATED TO DISTRIBUTION OF PROSPECTUSES, DIRECTLY OR THROUGH THE POST, OR THE DISTRIBUTION OF SAMPLES.
[CLASS : 38]
TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES BY WAY OF COMMUNICATING FROM ONE PERSON TO ANOTHER BY SENSORY MEANS.
[CLASS : 41]
EDUCATION; PROVIDING OF TRAINING; SERVICES INTENDED TO ENTERTAIN OR TO ENGAGE ATTENTION; SERVICES FOR DEVELOPMENT OF MENTAL FACULTIES; PRESENTATION OF WORKS OF VISUAL ART OR LITERATURE TO THE PUBLIC FOR CULTURAL OR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES.
[CLASS : 42]
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL SERVICES AND RESEARCH AND DESIGN RELATING THERETO; INDUSTRIAL ANALYSIS AND RESEARCH SERVICES ; SERVICES INDIVIDUALLY OR COLLECTIVELY IN RELATION TO THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF COMPLEX FIELDS OF ACTIVITIES SUCH AS EVALUATION, ESTIMATES RESEARCH AND REPORTS IN SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL FIELDS.
This trademark opposition will be quite interesting to watch as to how the Government of India and DIPP will prove their ownership for usage in the classes specified in the Application and also how the trademark office will dispose the application / opposition as the entire mark is descriptive in nature except for class 35.