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Failure to Conduct Trademark Search prior to adoption of Trademark

The case of failure to conduct a trademark search prior to adopting a trademark highlights the importance of due diligence in trademark registration and use. This article analyzes the legal implications of such failure, focusing on a recent court decision where the plaintiff succeeded in a suit against the defendant for infringing on its registered trademark.

In the case at hand, the plaintiff claimed to be the registered proprietor of the trademark "DPS" in Class 05, relating to medicinal and pharmaceutical preparations, with claimed user dating back to October 1, 2005. The defendant, on the other hand, adopted an identical mark "DPS" for its products, claiming innocence and stating that the mark was derived from the first letters of the ingredients.

Legal Analysis:
The crux of the legal analysis lies in the defendant's failure to conduct a thorough search of the Trademarks Registry prior to adopting the mark "DPS". The court, in its judgment, emphasized the importance of conducting such searches before adopting a trademark. It held that a prudent user of a mark is expected to undertake due diligence to ensure that the chosen mark does not infringe upon existing trademarks.

The court highlighted that the plaintiff's registration of the trademark "DPS" predated the defendant's use of the same mark. Therefore, the defendant's subsequent adoption of an identical mark raised questions about its intent. Despite the defendant's claim of innocence, the court inferred that the failure to conduct a trademark search amounted to a deliberate action to capitalize on the plaintiff's goodwill and reputation in the market.

Legal Implications:
The case sets a precedent regarding the legal implications of failing to conduct a trademark search. It underscores the duty of businesses to conduct thorough searches of the Trademarks Registry before adopting a trademark to avoid infringing on existing rights. Failure to do so can lead to legal consequences, including claims of passing off and trademark infringement.

In this case, the court decreed the suit in favor of the plaintiff, granting relief against the defendant for infringing on its registered trademark. The defendant was restrained from using the mark "DPS", and the plaintiff was awarded appropriate remedies for the infringement.

The case highlights the importance of due diligence in trademark matters and underscores the legal consequences of failing to conduct a trademark search. Businesses must exercise caution and diligence when adopting trademarks to avoid infringing on existing rights and facing legal action. Conducting thorough searches of the Trademarks Registry is essential to ensure compliance with trademark laws and regulations.

Case Title: Times Drugs and Pharmaceutical Limited Vs Galpha Laboratories Limited
Order Date: 22.02.2024
Case No. C.A.(COMM.IPD-PV) 3/2022
Neutral Citation:CS(COMM) 398/2018
Name of Court: Delhi High Court
Name of Hon'ble Judge:Sanjeev Narula, H.J.

Ideas, thoughts, views, information, discussions and interpretation expressed herein are being shared in the public Interest and the same are subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception, interpretation and presentation of the fact and issue involved herein.This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be construed as substitute for legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with a qualified attorney for legal guidance on specific matters.

Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman, IP Adjutor - Patent and Trademark Attorney
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9990389539

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