A Complete Analysis of Trademarks in Indian Automobile Industry
The Indian Automobile Industry/Sector is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and right now, it holds the position of 5th largest automobile industry in the world. Due to the massive automobile demands in India, an enormous number of international automotive giants are trying to rule the Indian market. A broad number of market research has determined Indian customers to be a highly diverse population. So, the term Brand Value is not always determined by any product; rather, it is determined by the fact whether the customers are ready to pay for one brand over the other. Brand Value helps in building an image, and Trademark plays an essential role in creating brand value, and it also plays a critical role in Indian Automobile Industry. Thus, in this blog, we will discuss the importance of Trademarks in Indian Automobile Industry.
What is the Importance of Trademarks in Indian Automobile Industry?
Following is the importance of Trademarks in Indian Automobile Industry:
- A Trademark can be defined as anything that aids in recognising and differentiating the products or services provided by a company or entity from its competitors. So, Trademarks in Indian Automobile Sector helps to differentiate the product of one automobile company from others.
- Owing Trademarks allows automobile companies to prevent their opponents in Indian Automobile Sector from using identical or confusingly identical Trademarks.
- By enabling automobile companies to distinguish themselves and their products from those of their competitors, Trademarks plays an essential role in the market strategies of such automobile companies, contributing to the meaning of the reputation & image of the company and the products that it gives in the eyes of possible customers.
- Trademarks help in providing a company with a substantial advantage over its competitors in the marketplace.
- Often, pleased customers develop an exciting attachment to the Trademark. They observe the automobile company as bearing the mark as sharing brand image, which shows a set of desired benefits or values.
- Trademarks in Indian Automobile Industry helps in selling & advertising their products, resulting in serving the economy in a general logic by helping in streamlining the commercialisation of products. Hence, without any doubt, Trademarks in Indian Automobile Industry plays an essential role and helps to boost the country’s economy.
Disputes of Trademarks in Indian Automobile Industry
The sudden rise of an enormous number of worldwide automotive giants towards the Indian market brings Trademarks disputes also in the automobile sector. Let’s discuss some disputes of Trademarks in Indian Automobile Industry:
- Suzuki Motor – Trademark Dispute
In 1982, Suzuki Motor entered the Indian Automobile Market. This company collaborated with Maruti Udyog Limited and the Indian Government to manufacture cars in India. At the same time, another company with clearly fraudulent and mala-fide purpose accepted the name Suzuki India Limited. This marked the commencement of a long battle between these two companies, which lasted for over 20 years. Finally, Delhi High Court recognised the rights of this company and thereby granted “Suzuki” being a Well-Known Trademark in India.
- M/S Prius Auto Industries Limited Vs Toyota & others
The growth of Trademarks in Indian Automobile Industry has led to the appearance of a variety of difficult issues revolving around the same. The dispute between these two companies led the Indian courts to infer the idea of “Transborder Reputation”. The Apex Court of India, while deciding the concerning matter in finality, held that while rendering the meaning of trans-border reputation, merely just obtaining goodwill internationally wouldn’t be enough, and it is vital that the mark has earned goodwill in India at the appropriate time that is before the adoption date of the mark by the opposite party. It is relevant to note that the proposed judgement paved a path of vigilance of brand holders, especially multinational company to exercise greater caution in safeguarding their Intellectual Property Rights while entering the Indian market.
- Monte Carlo Fashions Ltd. Vs Skoda Auto India
In the last few years, an immense number of disputes related to Trademarks in Indian Automobile Industry has emerged against non-automobile companies. An essence of this case is the latest case of Monte Carlo Fashion Ltd. comes into an agreement with Skoda Auto India Pvt. Ltd. under which the former has provided a license to the car manufacturer to permit it to use its Trademark “Monte Carlo” owned by Monte Carlo Fashions Limited against Skoda India from using the brand name concerning new “Monte Carlo” edition car. In the agreement between the two corporate organisations, Skoda India has attained a License from Monte Carlo Fashions Ltd to use its Trademarks, Monte Carlo, in India concerning its products including only cars, cars accessories & spare parts as well as on packaging, advertising & informational material linked therewith.
Counterfeiting in Indian Automobile Industry
For the past years, counterfeiting has resulted in teasing the international market. The automotive industry is no objection to this and has been surrounding against counterfeits for decades. Researches, in a study commissioned by FICCI’s Committee against Smuggling & Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE), have recognised that the automobile industry in India is most susceptible when it comes to counterfeiting. The study demonstrated that around 30% of the automobile parts market in India is counterfeited. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) has played an essential role in providing vital protection to IP owners against such counterfeits.
Section 102, 103 & 135 of the Trademarks Act, 1999 provides for the remedies that are available to Trademark owners against cases of counterfeiting & penalising forgery of Trademarks; one should know about the other preventive measures that that brand holder can accept, comprising customer awareness & proactive enforcement of their Trademark Rights through criminal raids & recording their Trademarks with the Indian Customs Authority for supervising. The Government of India herein can play an essential role by employing industry-specific remedies, like introducing certifications for automotive parts and spare parts, introducing legislation to increase customer protection on e-commerce websites, and providing strict penalties that can restrict such counterfeits.
After discussing the importance of Trademarks in the Indian Automobile Industry, it is concluded that Products are manufactured or produced in the factory, but brands are created in mind explains the forthcoming association of the Trademarks & automobile industry. All the automotive giants hugely rely on their reputation & image amongst their capable potential customers. With drastic changes in the area of marketing & branding, one can conclude that Trademarks plays a vital role in providing the customer grouping with automobile brands.
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