The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has remanded a trade mark dispute between Titan Industries and Bangalore-based Saint Watches Pvt Ltd back to the deputy registrar of Trade Marks for considering one more ground raised by Saint Watches. The appeal was filed by Titan Industries against an order passed by the deputy registrar dismissing the Notice of Opposition Titan filed challenging the logo of Saint Watches. It alleged the logo of Saint Watches is deceptively similar to that of the logo of Titan Industries. However, the IPAB said it was not going into the merits of the case in view of non-consideration of the points raised by the respondent on the grounds of limitation. Saint Watches argued that the Notice of Opposition was not filed by Titan Industries within the stipulated time as per the provisions under Section 21 in the Trade Marks Act, 1999 that states it should be filed within three months from the date of advertisement or re-advertised application for registration and further one month is available for the opponent to file opposition. “We are of the considered view that in the event of considering the matter on merits, the appellant may succeed or otherwise fail and on such an event, the respondent should not be deprived of the opportunity to place reliance on the second ground, namely, issue of limitation. Therefore, in the interest of justice and in order to protect the interest of both the parties, it is desirable to remand the matter back to the deputy registrar for considering the second ground raised by the respondent on limitation,” said the order by IPAB chairman, Justice K N Basha, and technical member (Trade Marks) V Ravi. “It is made clear that it is open to respective parties to raise any additional grounds.
The deputy registrar is directed to hear the matter expeditiously within a period of four months from the date of receipt of this order. With the above direction the above appeal is hereby disposed of,” added the order. Titan Industries officials were not available for comment. In its counter statement to the appeal by Titan Industries, Saint Watches, stated none of the grounds raised are sustainable in law. It further stated the deputy registrar rightly observed its logo is not similar to that of Titan Industries, and there is no error apparent on the face of the records as alleged by the other company. It submitted that the deputy registrar has pointed out the logo of the appellant consists of letter ‘S’ and it is a mirror image or ‘S’ with welcome symbol on the bottom and on the other hand, the symbol of the appellant is the letter ‘T’, written in a different style and as such there is no possibility of confusion or deception.