R.K.DEWAN＆Co. に関しては こちら
＜全文＞ Trans Border Reputation The Indian Trade Mark Act, 1999 allows a proprietor of an unregistered mark to take an action for passing off against another entity. However, an essential ingredient of the tort of passing off is to establish the use of the mark for the goods/services provided in India. It is necessary to reiterate that Trade mark is a territorial right but it was soon observed by the Indian judiciary that strict adherence to this understanding was creating a disadvantage for reputed international marks which had not yet ventured into the Indian markets. In the case of N.R. Dongre & Ors. v Whirlpool Corporation & Ors. the Supreme Court of India held that the proprietor of a reputed foreign trade mark could claim trans-border reputation in India and prevent any subsequent adopter of the mark from registering and/or using the same in India. This principle of trans-border reputation was further elaborated upon in the case of Milmet Oftho Industries & Ors. v Allergan Inc. . In this case, the Appellant was an Indian Company using the mark ‘OCUFLOX’ and the Respondent was a foreign pharmaceutical Company which had been selling pharmaceuticals under the mark ‘OCUFLOX’ in several countries and had also filed for trade mark registration in India, which was pending at the time of deciding the suit. It was the case of the Respondent that since it had a trans-border reputation and was using the mark since 1992, (the Appellant was using it since 1993) he was a prior and bona fide user. The Calcutta High Court agreed with the Respondent’s arguments and granted an injunction in his favor. This was appealed before the apex court. The Supreme Court upheld the principles of tarns-border reputation enunciated in the Whirlpool decision but added that while deciding trans-border reputation it was necessary to take into consideration whether the proprietor of such mark had any intention to use the mark in India, if yes, only then such claim could be upheld. It was also ruled that ‘prior use’ of the mark was an important point to be considered, if a proprietor in India has been using the mark prior to the foreign proprietor then even if the Indian proprietor is not well known, its right to use the mark will be protected. Therefore, the ultimate test for deciding a case of passing off was based on prior use of the mark. This decision provided with much needed clarity on the subject of trans-border reputation and has been referred to in several judicial decisions.