News & Updates

"Intellectual Property Analysis and Advocacy Centre NLUO – Webinar on Discrimination as the Ground for Refusal of Trademark Registration".

Date: 23rd October 2020, Platform: Virtual Conferencing (Cisco WebEx)

The Intellectual Property Analysis and Advocacy Centre in collaboration with RNA Technologies and IPR Attorneys successfully organized a Webinar on the topic ‘Discrimination as the Ground for Refusal of Trademark (TM) Registration’. The webinar was organized to focus on understanding the practice and requirements behind the extensive depth of trademark intricacies with regards to the given topic. The highly distinguished speakers in the webinar were Mr. Ranjan Narula (Managing Partner, RNA Technologies and IPR Attorneys) and Mr. Rajiv Suri (Partner, RNA Technologies and IPR Attorneys).

The webinar opened with a brief on the topic by Mr. Rajiv Suri who spoke at length about this rising issue. At the outset, Mr. Suri established the link between the Constitutionally warranted Right to Equality [more specifically Article 15(1) and Article 15(2)] and Right to Freedom (Article 19) with that of trademark refusal because of discrimination. After eloquently laying out the groundwork and explaining the basic principles of this ground for refusal, he even briefed the attendees upon the tests which are used globally in order to be considered as discriminatory and hence not eligible for trademark. It was admirable that Mr. Suri kept his speech highly specific to the topic of refusal on the grounds of discrimination which he explained through the examples of HUL-Emami cream case, the Mazda Laputa case amongst others.

After the presentation by Mr. Suri, an interesting round of question-answers followed in which the promising attendees expressed an interest to know more specifically about the norms of distinguishing between what is considered to be discriminatory or not (in both geographical sense and social sense). Their questions were very much in synchronization with the recent movements also such as the LGBTQ+ movement and ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. The attendees were keen to know the ramifications of a certain trademark which may have violated the basic principles of such movements and their subsequent potential grounds for refusal on the basis of being discriminatory. Both Mr. Rajiv Suri and Mr. Ranjan Narula sincerely responded to each question and shared some recent experiences of their practice with the attendees.

The webinar was conducted successfully, proving to be a good platform for imparting priceless knowledge by two very well-established professionals in the field of Intellectual Property Rights practice to budding legal students and researchers. The event successfully culminated with a vote of thanks given by the Intellectual Property Analysis and Advocacy Centre (IPAAC), NLUO.

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