The practice prevalent in the spare part market of branded products is that either product manufacturers are themselves making and marketing the parts or appointing authorized OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) for making and selling spares. These spare parts bearing Trademark of the respective product manufacturers are perceived by the consumers as original or genuine parts.
However, several third party (after market) dealers are also present in the market dealing in parts for branded products. They may source these third-party spare parts (compatible with branded products) through imports or through manufacture. In many cases, sale of such spare parts by third party dealers has been held as trademark violation. The Courts have rejected defences taken by such third-party dealers that the trademarks of the product manufacturer were used only to inform the consumers about “suitability” of the spare parts/accessories for the branded products.
Thus, it is important to understand when is an exemption from trademark infringement for spare parts available and when is a Court likely to consider dealing in spare parts as violation.
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (L&S), in its endeavor to keep all its clients updated, is organizing a conference call to discuss the above issues.
The discussion during the conference call will cover the issues in view of recent judgments passed by various Courts and specific provisions under the Trade Marks Act, 1999.
Mr. Anil Dutt
Mr. Sudarshan Shekhawat