The Trademarks Act, 1999
Section 2(1)(za)(iv): ‘trade description’ means any description/statement/indication, direct or indirect, as to country in which goods were made/produced/provided.
Section 2(1)(i)(I): ‘false trade description’ means a ‘trade description’ which is untrue or misleading in a material respect as regards goods to which it is applied.
Section 9(2)(a): a mark shall not be registered as a trade mark if it is of such nature as to deceive public or cause confusion.
Appelant-Armasuisse represents Swiss Government, Military Wing. In present case, there is justification for Court to presume, public would be compelled into believing Respondent No. 2-Promoshirt SM S.A.’s goods were made or manufactured in Switzerland. But, it is of Chinese origin.
If a trade mark even indirectly indicates country of manufacture of goods, it is a ‘trade description’. If country of manufacture of goods thus suggested is not country of manufacture of goods, the trade mark would be a ‘false trade description’. The trade mark would be of a nature which would deceive public or cause confusion and would be ineligible for registration.
Learned Deputy Registrar allowed Respondent No. 2-Promoshirt SM S.A.’s registration, whether the mark was used in a red-and-white or a black-and-white format. It is not sustainable. A mental connection with Switzerland is inevitably made. ‘SWISS MILITARY’ simpliciter, sans any accompanying embellishments or emblems, has clear propensity of creating confusion too.
– Hon’ble Justice C. Hari Shankar of Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, Armasuisse v. Trade Marks Registry, [CA(COMM.IPD-TM) 158-159/2022] decided on 04.01.2023.
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