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Well Known Trademarks

Well Known Trademarks
Well Known Trademarks


Judicial Recognition

Indian courts acknowledge the transborder reputation of foreign trademarks, exemplified by the case of N. R. Dongre v. Whirlpool Corporation. This landmark case established the concept of transborder reputation, asserting that international trademarks without a physical presence in India can still receive protection if they hold transboundary recognition in the country.

Whirlpool Corporation

In the case, Whirlpool Corporation and its Indian JV TVS Whirlpool claimed prior use and transboundary reputation of the mark "Whirlpool."

The Delhi High Court and later the Supreme Court granted a temporary injunction against an Indian entity using the mark, affirming that products marketed with the name "Whirlpool" would be associated with the respondent company, causing confusion.


Subsequent Protection

This precedent has been relied upon in subsequent cases, extending protection to marks such as Volvo, Caterpillar, and Ocuflox. However, the transboundary principle can also work against international trademarks lacking transborder reputation in India, as seen in Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha v. MIS Prius Auto Industries Limited.

Rule 124 under the Trade Mark Rules 2017

Rule 124 allows the registrar to declare a mark as well-known upon application by the trademark owner. This departs from the previous procedure under the Trademarks Act, 1999, where such determination was made during opposition, rectification, or infringement proceedings.

Protection of Domain Names

Indian courts recognize the significance of domain names, treating them as equivalent to trademarks. In cases like the Yahoo case, domain names are granted equal protection, signalling the need for a dedicated registration mechanism for domain names separate from trademarks.


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