ISKCON Bangalore vs ISKCON Mumbai: What Bombay HC said about trademark battle

In a 2020 verdict, Justice BP Colabawalla ordered that the ISKCON mark was held to be a well known mark in India, in a trademark infringement suit by ISKCON, Mumbai against a company called ISKCON Apparels.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, July 21, 2022, 12:59 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | File

ISKCON Bangalore is caught in a trademark battle with ISKCON Mumbai. The Bombay High Court on Wednesday clarified that the ISKCON Bangalore is at liberty to establish its claim over the mark.

In a 2020 verdict, Justice BP Colabawalla ordered that the ISKCON mark was held to be a well-known mark in India, in a trademark infringement suit by ISKCON, Mumbai against a company called ISKCON Apparels.

This order was criticized by ISKCON in Bangalore. Their argument was that they were hurt by the implications of the judgement. The judgement would mean that the trademark solely belonged to ISKCON, Mumbai.

As per Bar and Bench, the grievance was that the Registrar of Trademarks allegedly refused to entertain its claim to the mark in light of the 2020 order passed in the suit filed by ISKCON Mumbai.

As per the current order, a Division Bench of GS Patel and Gauri Godse noted that the 2020 suit was limited only to ISKCON being a well-known mark and Banglore ISKCON was not part of that suit and therefore it was free to establish or a concurrent title to the mark.

Bar and Bench quoted Justice Patel saying, "Clarify (to the Registrar of Trademarks) that it's not a finding against you. It is open for you to establish that you have an exclusive or a concurrent title."

"Those contentions are left open for appropriate proceedings including before the Registrar of Trade Marks. He is bound by the finding that ISKCON is a well-known mark. The other questions are left open," the Court said.

"In any case, Mumbai and Bangalore are at war in the Supreme Court," it said before dismissing the appeal.

The court was referring to another case between ISKCON Banglore and ISKCON Mumbai.

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