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Indian Supreme Court postpones hearing in FT trade mark dispute

The Supreme Court has stayed proceedings before the Karnataka High Court in the 20-year old fight over the Financial Times trade mark.

The Indian Express reports that the Supreme Court has responded to a stay petition by the British publisher of the Financial Times newspaper (FTUK), and instructed Times Publishing House (TPH), the Indian publishing conglomerate behind the Times of India and the Economic Times, to respond in two weeks.

The stay is the latest development in the two-decade long fight over the Financial Times mark. The dispute started in December 1993 when TPH filed to rectify FTUK’s mark. TPH also received a registration for the mark in 2005, resulting in two Financial Times marks in the register.

The most recent development in this matter came last June, when the IPAB cancelled both FTUK and TPH’s marks. The IPAB cancelled TPH’s mark finding that it had registered them dishonestly. The IPAB cancelled the FTUK mark on the grounds that its trade mark application claimed continuous use since 1948, but there was only evidence of use since 1951.

Anuradha Salhotra at Lall Lahiri & Salhotra found the IPAB’s grounds to cancel FTUK’s mark surprising, especially since it also found that the mark had established a “formidable” and “enviable” trans-border reputation.

Remfry & Sagar acted as counsel for FTUK, while Inttl Advocare represented TPH.

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