Netherlands-based global drinks giant Diageo Brands BV has taken up a legal battle against home grown liquor maker Khoday Brewing & Distilling Industries, which has secured the ‘Khoday Black Label’ trademark for one of its premium beer brands.
Diageo, which has the iconic Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch whisky brand under its kitty, moved the patents and trademark tribunal, IPAB, against the order of the deputy registrar, trademarks, Chennai, which allowed the Bangalore-based Khoday Brewing & Distilling Industries to use ‘Khoday Black Label’ mark, for its beer brand.
The trademarks tribunal, after going through the initial affidavits, has adjourned further hearing on the petition to the first week of June.
The deputy registrar on March 24, 2010, had granted registration of ‘Khoday Black Label’ to Khoday Brewing & Distilling Industries, disapproving the opposition filed by Diageo at that point of time. Following the order, the trademark was published in the Trademark Journal.
Diageo, aggrieved by the order, moved the IPAB, praying for the withdrawal of the registration given to ‘Khoday Black Label’ mark. Separately, it also filed a petition for the stay of the impugned order.
When the matter came up on Thursday, the counsel for both the parties sought adjournment and the IPAB bench, consisting of Justice KN Basha, chairman and S Usha, vice-chairman, posted the matter for June.
The affidavit filed by Diageo’s counsel, while flaying the deputy registrar’s order, has pointed out that the trademark registry had placed reliance on the documents which do not form part of the official document.
The counsel has said that Khoday Brewing & Distilling Industries had erred in making observations about the dissimilarity between Diageo’s and their own Black Label marks. The counsel also argued that despite the glaring similarities, the respondent (Khoday Brewing & Distilling Industries) has wrongly submitted that there were no reasons for confusion.
Sajan C Kumar/The Financial Express