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Registry asked to expunge trade mark

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, JAN. 16. The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has ordered expunging of the trade mark, "NABISCO", registered by the New Jersey-based NABISCO Inc. from the file of the Trade Marks Registry, Kolkata.

Allowing a petition filed by Royal Snack Food Products, Siliguri, West Bengal, the Circuit Bench of the board, comprising Justice S. Jagadeesan, Chairman, and Raghbir Singh, Vice-Chairman, sitting in Kolkata, said in its January 10 order that the U.S. company registered the trade mark in India 15 years ago but never tried to use it till 1998, when it only made an attempt to send samples of products to a party in India.

The order said the appellant did not establish the use of the mark in India, and hence its conduct was nothing but a strategy to create a monopoly by registration of the mark without using it. The question of trans-border reputation (of the mark) would come into play only when the mark was not registered in India.

"But once the mark is registered in India, the registered proprietor has to comply with the requirements of the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958. The actual use is a statutory requirement, and it should be complied with. Non-use of the mark makes it liable to be cancelled."

The applicant, a partnership firm, filed the initial application in 1988 in the High Court of Calcutta under Section 56 and 46 of the Act, seeking to expunge from the Register of Trade Marks the trade mark No 99919 in Class 30 registered in favour of NABISCO Inc. or to insert a condition that no exclusive right was given by the registration. The petition was transferred to the IPAB in compliance with Section 100 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999.

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