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Swedish apparel firm Vagabond wins trademark dispute

Gets favourable order from Intellectual Property Appellate Board in dispute with Italan firm with same mark

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Swedish manufacturing firm Varberg AB has won a dispute which it moved against Italian firm in the Intellectual Property Appellate Board ().

The Swedish firm, which manufactures and markets clothing, footwear and headgear with registered trademarks in UK, US, Japan, Russia, Canada and Singapore, earlier faced opposition from the Italian firm against registering its trademark in India, since the latter claimed that it has a trademark registered in India in the same mark, says the order.

Vagabond Skor Varberg has earlier applied for the registration of the trademark Vagabond in Class 25, a classification of trade mark for clothing, which was opposed by Vagabond SPA herein claiming to be the proprietor of the trademark under Number 551738. The former filed an application with the IPAB seeking the removal of the said trademark Vagabond in Class 25 of Vagabond SPA and , which is officially recorded as a subsequent proprietor.

An email sent to Carrera SPA was not responded.

"The impugned mark is a blatant copy of the applicant’s trade mark Vagabond and should be removed from the register forthwith," said IPAB Vice Chairman S Usha and Technical Member V Ravi in the order.

"The conduct of the respondent (Vagabound SPA) in the instant case speaks for itself leaving the applicant shell shocked giving the signal that imposters can set up any claim in the registry. The substantial purpose of the trademarks law in India is to ensure orderly marketing of goods and services. Registration of the impugned (challenged) mark only defeats this objective," said the Order, while removing the trade mark under challenge from the registry.

A mail has been sent seeking comment from Carrera SPA on the order.

The Swedish company argued that it has opposed the trade mark registration Vagabond of the respondent in many countries. It further stated that on being served with a copy of notice of opposition in August, 2005, the company, through its business network in India, investigated into the use of the impugned mark and found that it has never been used by the Italian firm. The impugned mark of Vagabond SPA was filed on 29th May, 1991 on a “proposed to be used” basis, it said.

Vagabond Skor Varberg has also submitted a list of 41 countries wherein the trade mark Vagabond has been registered along with the registration certificate and the International Registration under the Madrid Protocol among other documents as a proof.

The Italian firm has not filed any counter statement with the IPAB on the dispute. The matter was listed for hearing two days and as the respondent was again absent the respondent was set ex-parte, said the order.

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