Monday, July 11, 2016

Toyota Wins A Long Fought Prius Trademark Battle

This is so weird to me.

NEW DELHI: One of the most heated trademark battles of the Delhi High Court was finally brought to an end when Hon'ble Justice Manmohan Singh delivered the much awaited trademark judgement in Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha versus Deepak Mangal & Ors., CS (OS) 2490 of 2009, in favour of the Japanese automobile giant Toyota

In 2009, Toyota had filed a case against a proprietary firm and a company (amongst others) by the name of Prius Auto Industries and Prius Auto Accessories Private Limited - the Defendants. Toyota had found serious objection with the Defendants' use of its trademark, which is the name of its first hybrid car in the world- the Prius. The Defendants were also selling indigenously manufactured spare parts under the trademarks Toyota, (insert Toyota device), Innova and Qualis. 

Interestingly, the Defendants had secured registrations for the mark Prius in India, while Toyota did not have such a registration to its name in the country. However, convinced that the Defendants had taken unfair advantage of the reputation of its vehicles in order to expand their own business in India, Toyota filed the suit in the Delhi High Court through the law firm Anand and Anand, with Pravin Anand at the helm of affairs. What followed saw horns locked for seven years and a case which dug deep into the principles of trademark law, as it is practiced in India. 

After advancing extensive arguments, on July 8, 2016 HMJ Manmohan Singh delivered the final verdict completely in favour of Toyota, ending its long wait for victory. 

The statement of accounts filed by the Defendants for their business under the Prius mark showed sales up to Rs 20 crore. Using this base, the Court directed the Defendants to pay Toyota Rs 10 lakh as damages for violating its rights and taking unfair advantage of the goodwill residing in its trademarks.

Source, ET Auto