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05 December 2017

No claim of exclusivity lies by use of mark similar to registered trademark as descriptive word

The plaintiff was registered proprietor of marks ‘Swadi’ and ‘Swadisht’ in respect of rice. It used the word ‘Swaad’ as part of its tagline. All three words denote taste and were challenged as being descriptive, generic and ineligible for any claim of exclusivity.

The plaintiff argued that the mark ‘Swad’ had been used by its predecessor and by long extensive use, it had acquired a secondary meaning. However, the Court in the case Jain Riceland P Ltd.  v. Sagar Overseas held that since ‘Swad/’Swaad’ was a generic term and there were many traders in rice using the mark, no claim for exclusivity could lie with the plaintiff.

Moreover, the word ‘Swaad’ was not registered as a trade mark and it was used common descriptive adjective.