What could happen if you get a trademark registered and do not use it for a long time?
The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has cancelled one such trademark registered in India by a German company, stating that it had not been utilised for an extended period of time, but was only preventing others from using the same.
Lowenbrau Buttenheim, producers of the Lowenbrau beer, had been selling beer India through a new company, Lowenbrau India Private Limited.
They had approached the tribunal against identical trademarks registered in India by another German firm going by the name Lowenbrau Munchen (LM).
In September 2007, when LM decided to market and sell the beer products in India, it came across LB. It field a civil suit before the Delhi HC and an injunction was granted on the use of the trademark by LB. LB contended that the registration of identical trademarks by LM, the first one dating back to 1962, had been obtained through misrepresentation of facts. Also, LM had not utilised the mark till 2007. The applicants therefore prayed that the registration be cancelled or a disclaimer be imposed on the words ‘Lowenbrau’.
Passing the orders, the bench observed that the main issue was LM had not used the trademark. “The respondents are only preventing others from using which is not a good practice. We think it fit to cancel the trademark from the register,” said the bench.