File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Bad Faith Adoption of Trademark and Its Effect

Background and Case Overview:
In the "Under Armour Vs. Aero Armour" case, the primary legal contention revolved around the use of the trademark "ARMR." The plaintiff, Under Armour, accused Aero Armour of dishonestly adopting their trademark. Despite the striking similarities in lettering style and prior usage of inter alia the Trademark "ARMR" by Under Armour, the court absolved Aero Armour based on their commitment to discontinue using the trademark in the future. This decision raises critical questions about the implications of bad faith in trademark adoption and whether a mere promise of non-use suffices to resolve such disputes.

Legal Conflict and Arguments:
Under Armour demonstrated that Aero Armour had prior knowledge of their trademark "ARMR," evidenced by Aero Armour's earlier use of the same. This prior knowledge suggested that Aero Armour was aware of Under Armour's rights to the trademark at the time of adoption, indicating potential bad faith.

The Court's handling of this argument was as follows:
"The plaintiff's contention that dishonest adoption was evident from the use of 'ARMR' by the defendant, could have had some relevance if seen in isolation. However, as the counsel for the defendant clarified that 'ARMR' was used on a very few products initially, and since has not been used, as also an undertaking was given in the Court by the counsel, that they do not intend to use 'ARMR' at all, or at the very least, would give that up, during the suit proceedings."

Court's Decision and Its Implications:
The court's decision relied heavily on Aero Armour's assurance to cease the use of "ARMR," thereby overlooking the initial dishonest adoption. This decision is concerning as the defendant's statement was limited to the duration of the suit, leaving open the possibility of resuming the use of "ARMR" post-proceedings.

Contrast with Precedent: Ansul Industries vs. Shiva Tobacco:
The High Court of Delhi's ruling in Ansul Industries vs. Shiva Tobacco, 2007 (34) PTC 392 (Del), provides a stark contrast. In that case, the court emphasized that:

"Honesty of adoption at the initial stage itself has to be established to take benefit of concurrent registration under Section 12(3) of the Act. If the user at the inception is dishonest, subsequent concurrent user will not purify the dishonest intention."

This ruling underscores the principle that initial dishonesty cannot be rectified by subsequent compliance or non-use. The primary focus is on the honesty of adoption from the outset.

Analysis and Critique:
The "ARMR case" deviates from this established principle. By absolving the defendant based on their future non-use commitment, the court ignored the crucial aspect of initial dishonesty. This omission potentially undermines the legal framework designed to protect trademark integrity and discourage dishonest practices.

If this decision is upheld on appeal, it could set a dangerous precedent. Defendants could potentially circumvent liability for dishonest adoption by simply committing not to use the infringing trademark in the future. Such an approach could weaken trademark protections and foster a "catch me if you can" mentality among potential infringers.

Future Implications and the Need for Re-Evaluation:
The outcome of any appeal against this judgment will be pivotal. The appellate court will have the opportunity to re-evaluate the importance of honest adoption in trademark disputes. It could reaffirm the principle laid out in Ansul Industries vs. Shiva Tobacco, emphasizing that initial dishonesty in adopting a trademark cannot be mitigated by subsequent actions or assurances.

The Under Armour vs. Aero Armour case highlights a critical issue in trademark law regarding the treatment of dishonest adoption. The court's current stance, which overlooks the defendant's initial dishonest intent, conflicts with established legal principles. The resolution of this issue by an appellate court will be crucial in determining whether the integrity of trademark law is upheld, ensuring that initial honesty in adoption remains a cornerstone of trademark protection.

The Under Armour Vs. Aero Armour case presents a significant examination of how courts handle cases of alleged dishonest adoption of trademarks. The current decision, which absolves the defendant based on a future non-use commitment, diverges from established legal principles emphasizing the importance of honest adoption from the outset. The appellate court's handling of this issue will be instrumental in shaping the future of trademark protection and ensuring that bad faith adoption is appropriately addressed within the legal framework.

Case Citation: Under Armour Inc Vs Anish Agarwal and another :29.05.2024: [2024:DHC:4738] CS(COMM) 843/2023:Delhi High Court: Anish Dayal H.J.

The information shared here is intended to serve the public interest by offering insights and perspectives. However, readers are advised to exercise their own discretion when interpreting and applying this information. The content herein is subjective and may contain errors in perception, interpretation, and presentation.

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

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly