Filing an application or obtaining a registration is only the first step to the long battle ahead; because once the mark has been registered, the owner has to be more vigilant in protecting it in this era of “passing off”. Here’s the thing, if you come across your mark which someone else is using, then don’t let it go by because if you don’t take an action soon you will not be able to act on it ever unless you are lucky enough to prove fraudulent usage on part of the other person. This post aims to decode the concept of acquiescence with respect to trademark infringement with the help of the judicial opinions in this matter.
In Utopia, I believe competition among similar businesses would be healthy and fair. However, in the real world, the Darwinian principle of survival of the fittest applies. We find that some wonderful businesses, with unique and sometimes well-established brands, end up in shambles because their owners did not take the right steps at the right time to protect those brands. So, the proverbial cheats prospered, right? Not really. Everything boils down to what someone rightly said “If you don’t know your rights, you have no rights.”
The appellant is a company incorporated under the Companies Act in the year 1992. M/s Mano Pharmaceuticals Private Limited is a Division of the appellant’s company for which an agreement was entered into by the two companies, in 2003. Subsequently, M/s Mano Pharmaceuticals Private Limited had filed an application under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) for registration of trade mark ‘METO’. A request on Form TM-16 was filed to amend the name of the applicant to ‘M/s Mano Pharma (a Division of Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited)’ on 24.02.2003. Without taking the request on TM-16 on record the trademark office issued the registration certificate on 24/02/2005 in the name ‘M/s Mano Pharmaceuticals Private Limited’.
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