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Vagabond gets favourable IPAB order

Swedish firm manufactures market clothing, footwear and headgear with registered trademark in UK, US, Japan, Russia, Canada and Singapore

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

Swedish apparel manufacturing firm Vagabond Skor Varberg AB has won a trademark case which it had moved against Italian firm Vagabond SPA in the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) here.

Vagabond Skor Varberg, which manufactures market clothing, footwear and headgear with a registered trademark in the UK, US, Japan, Russia, Canada and Singapore, had applied for the registration of the trademark ‘Vagabond’ in India, in Class 25, a classification of trademark for clothing.

This was opposed by Italian firm, Vagabond SPA. It claimed to be the proprietor of the trademark under number 551738.

Vagabond Skor Varberg then filed an application with the IPAB, seeking the removal of the said trademark ‘Vagabond’ in Class 25 of Vagabond SPA and Carrera SPA, which is officially recorded as a subsequent proprietor.

The Swedish company argued that it has opposed the trademark registration of ‘Vagabond’ of the Italian firm 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 had never been used by the Italian firm. The impugned mark of Vagabond SPA was filed on May 29, 1991 on a “proposed to be used” basis, it said.

Vagabond Skor Varberg had also submitted a list of 41 countries wherein the trademark ‘Vagabond’ has been registered along with the registration certificate and international registration under the Madrid Protocol, among other documents as proof.

The IPAB has now ruled in favour of the Swedish firm.

“The impugned mark is a blatant copy of the applicant’s trademark ‘Vagabond’ and should be removed from the register forthwith,” said IPAB Vice Chairman S Usha and Technical Member V Ravi in an order.“The conduct of the respondent (Vagabond 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 trademark under challenge from the registry.

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

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.An email sent by Business Standard to Carrera SPA was not responded to.

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First Published: Mon, November 04 2013. 00:40 IST