Volvo v Holvo
In a recent matter before the Trademarks Registry, Ahmedabad, the rights of Volvo Trademark Holding AB in their well-known mark and trading style VOLVO were successfully protected against the mark HOLVO by a third party for “door holder with catcher and hardware items being goods related therewith” in class 6 after detailed arguments from both sides.
The Trademarks Office in its order has held that the mark HOLVO of the Applicant is visually, structurally, phonetically and deceptively similar to the mark VOLVO and while pronouncing in ordinary parlance, the mark HOLVO will be slurred to sound as the mark VOLVO. It was observed that the explanation given by the Applicant as to the adoption of the mark HOLVO was flimsy and unsatisfactory and that the only reason for adoption of the impugned mark appears to be to ride upon the goodwill and reputation of the mark VOLVO. The Hearing Officer also dealt with the order passed by the Apex Court in Nandhini Deluxe Vs Karnataka Co-Operative Milk Producers Federation Ltd and has held that the same is not applicable to the present case since the facts of the present case are different. The marks in question before the Supreme Court was Nadhini, which is a name of Hindu Goddess and a cow in Hindu mythology. The mark in question in the present case is a coined and invented mark VOLVO which is also declared to be a well-known mark. The parameters for protection of a well-known marks are stricter in law.
The Hearing Officer on the basis of multiplicity of orders in favour of the Opponent was of the view that any use of the mark on the impugned goods by the Applicant would be taken as that of the Opponent, and the ingredients of Section 11(2) and 11(10)(ii) of the Trademarks Act of 1999 having been established, warranted the impugned mark to be refused and allowed the opposition in favour of our client with the refusal of the impugned mark.
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Team: Sandhya Singh