The High Court of Delhi recently dealt with a case of comparative advertisement, yet again. The only thing that set this case apart from the recent comparative advertisement cases is the fact that the plaintiff was upset that the defendant did not mention certain advantages of their products. Now does that really amount to disparagement of the plaintiff’s product?
Have you come across advertisement while watching TV that compare one product with another and it is quite obvious which the contender is despite them having “blurred” the brand name? The Pepsi and Coke disputes and one-upmanship have been going on for several years. What’s generally noticeable is that when one product is compared with another, we immediately recognise the two different products (which are generally trademarked) because of their brand names, the shape of the product and the general familiarity with the way it looks. So, the next question that comes to our minds is, is this even ethically and legally right? Well, leaving ethics aside, this post aims to answer the question from a legal perspective. In this era where the whole world is considered as one global village, trademarks play an important role to distinguish the products of one business house from another. So, is it not a violation of the trademark holder’s rights, among other rights? It may be, but first what needs to be understood is what comparative advertisement is.
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