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Non-Use and Rectification of Registered Trademark

This article delves into a recent legal case involving the cancellation of the registration of the trademark "MAHLE" under Registration No. 2897507 in Class-04, focusing on the grounds of non-use by the registered proprietor, the Respondent.

The Petitioner, claiming usage of the trademark "MAHLE" since 1938 abroad and having obtained trademark registration in Class 07 in India since 1961, filed a petition seeking cancellation of the Respondent's registration in Class-04. The Respondent had filed the trademark application on 01.02.2015, leading to the legal challenge.

Allegations of Non-Use:
The crux of the Petitioner's argument rested on the assertion that, despite obtaining registration for the mark, the Respondent was not actively using it. The Petitioner's inquiries purportedly revealed the non-use of the trademark by the Respondent.

Legal Proceedings:
The court, upon evaluating the case, observed that the Respondent became a registered proprietor of the trademark "MAHLE" on 20.8.2016. However, critical to the decision was the finding that the Respondent did not use the trademark between 2016 and 2021, a period of five years.

Analysis of Section 47(1)(b) of the Act:
The court's decision to order cancellation was grounded in Section 47(1)(b) of the Trademarks Act. This provision stipulates that a registered trademark may be taken off the register if it has not been used for a continuous period of five years. In this case, the court found that the Respondent's non-use of the mark during the specified period rendered it liable for cancellation.

The Concluding Note:
This case underscores the importance of actively using a registered trademark to maintain its validity. The court's decision to cancel the registration of "MAHLE" emphasizes the statutory requirement of continuous use within the prescribed timeframe. Trademark holders are thus reminded of the need to engage in genuine commercial use to safeguard their registered rights and prevent challenges based on non-use.

The Case Law Discussed:
Case Title: Mahle Gmbh Vs Parag Kirnkumar Tatariya
Date of Judgement/Order:09/11/2023
Neutral Citation No: N A
Name of Hon'ble Court: Gujarat High Court
Name of Hon'ble Judge: Vaibhavi D Nanavati, HJ

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

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

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