In a closely followed and rather interesting trademark dispute, the Delhi HC recently in a division bench order barred Bisleri International from using the trademark Maaza to market its products in India.
Briefly revisiting the facts:
In 1993, Golden Agro Products assigned rights in a number of products(Limca, Thums-up..) to Coca Cola. The agreement contained a negative covenant that allowed Coca Cola to use the trademark Maaza only on products sold in India, and nowhere else. Golden Agro later amalgamated with Bisleri International.
Around 2007, Coca Cola got a whiff of Bisleri marketing products under the trademark Maaza in Turkey. Coca Cola promptly sent a legal notice to Bisleri, who replied that in addition to using the mark internationally Bisleri also intended to use the mark in India.
Coca Cola moved Delhi HC:
Coca Cola moved the Delhi HC to injunct Bisleri from selling Maaza in India. In 2009, a single judge bench of the Delhi HC passed an order which permitted Coca Cola to continue using the trademark Maaza and market its products, which we reported here. Bisleri obviously appealed against the decision.
Latest - Appeal quashed:
Only last week, as this news report suggests, the Delhi HC expressly barred Bisleri from selling Maaza products, however specified that the company may continue to manufacture Maaza on Indian soil, provided the stock is exported. A more thorough analysis is in store for the reader, once the order shall be out on the HC website.
Meanwhile, the dispute over using Maaza remains unresolved in international markets. Bisleri is already selling in four markets abroad, and Coca Cola applied to register the mark in Turkey, which it later withdrew.
Wonder how the dispute in overseas markets shall be resolved, when Coca Cola takes its brand Maaza international!