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Documentary Evidences Required to Prove a Trademark as a Well-Known Trademark

This article examines the documentary evidence required to establish a trademark as a well-known trademark under the Trade Marks Act, 1999. The article delves into the relevant criteria outlined in Section 11(6) of the Act and explores the evidence presented by the plaintiff to support their claim. The court's observations and final declaration regarding VERIZON's well-known status are also discussed.

In the context of intellectual property rights, trademarks play a crucial role in identifying and distinguishing goods or services offered by a particular entity. The Trade Marks Act, 1999, in India, provides for the recognition of well-known trademarks, affording them broader protection against unauthorized use. This article focuses on the case of VERIZON, which sought the recognition of its mark as a well-known trademark under Section 2(1)(zg) of the Act.

Legal Framework for Recognizing Well-Known Trademarks:
Section 2(1)(zg) of the Trade Marks Act defines a well-known trademark as one that has become so to a substantial segment of the public using the goods or services associated with the mark. Such recognition indicates a connection in the course of trade or the rendering of services between the mark and the person using it. The criteria for determining a well-known trademark are delineated in Section 11(6).

The plaintiff submitted substantial evidence to support VERIZON's claim as a well-known trademark:

  1. Knowledge and Recognition: Documents showcased the widespread knowledge and recognition of VERIZON in the relevant public, especially in India, due to effective promotional strategies.
  2. Use and Geographical Area: The plaintiff demonstrated the extensive duration and geographical area of VERIZON's use in multiple classes and countries.
  3. Promotion: Evidence highlighted the significant efforts put into promoting the trademark through advertising, publicity, and presentations on various websites.
  4. Registration: VERIZON's registration in multiple classes in India and various countries substantiated its well-known status.
  5. Enforcement Records: The plaintiff provided court orders protecting VERIZON's rights as a trademark, and recognition of its well-known status by WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center in a previous case.

Court's Observations and Declaration:
Upon examining the evidence presented, the court found VERIZON to satisfy the criteria outlined in Section 11(6) for a well-known trademark. Consequently, the court declared VERIZON to be a well-known trademark concerning telecommunication services under Section 2(1)(zg) of the Trade Marks Act.

This case analysis illustrates the importance of documentary evidence in establishing a trademark as a well-known mark. VERIZON's success in obtaining recognition as a well-known trademark highlights the significance of consistent use, promotion, and enforcement of a mark. The judgment sets a precedent for future cases seeking to prove well-known trademark status and reinforces the protection afforded to well-known marks under the Trade Marks Act, 1999.

The Case Law Discussed
Case Title: Verizon Trademark Services Llc Vs Vikas Kumar
Date of Judgement:11.07.2023
Case No.CS Comm 220 of 2023
Neutral Citation:2023:DHC:4911
Name of Hon'ble Court:High Court of Delhi
Name of Hon'ble Judge: C Hari Shankar, H.J.

Information contained herein is being shared in the public Interest. The same should not be treated as substitute for legal advice as it is subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception, interpretation and presentation of the facts and law involved herein.

Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman, IP Adjutor - Patent and Trademark Attorney
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9990389539

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