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Trade Mark:: Story how “WHIRLPOOL” got back its lost right

Category: IPR

Published On: December 25, 2016


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By 1957 ‘WHIRLPOOL’ was a leading trade mark and name in the United States and Canada in relation to washing machines. By 1986 the ‘WHIRLPOOL’ was registered in relation to washing machines and dryers in class 7 as well as for appliances in classes 9 and 11 in more than 65 jurisdictions around the world including most of the commonwealth countries. In 1956-57, they obtained registration for the trade mark ‘WHIRLPOOL’ in India in respect of clothes dryers, washers, dish washers and some other electrical appliances. These registrations were renewed periodically. However, in 1977, the registrations in India lapsed on account of failure to apply for renewal.

On the other hand, another party filed an application on 6.8.1986 with the Registrar for registration of the trade mark ‘WHIRLPOOL’; On 16 10.1988 it was advertised in the trade mark journal On 16.1.1989. Original firm filed a notice of opposition. On 12.8.1992 the Registrar passed an order dismissing the opposition

Whirlpool Corporation went to Delhi High Court and the order went in favour of Whirlpool Corporation.

Other Party went to Supreme Court. SC upheld following Principles.

  1. Trade Mark already used by one company, got registered by another company through deception to obtain economic benefit is a Trade libel  and also a PASSING OFF.
  2. Injunction is a relief in equity and is based on equitable principles.

Its wise to go for Trademarking…. Its wiser to Protect it when the Brand is established.


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