Trademark Case Brief – Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV v. Remington Consumer Products Ltd

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Citation – [2004] All ER (D) 301

Facts: 
The petitioner is Philips Electronic, which had presented a shaver in 1966. The shaver had a plate with three rotational shavers orchestrated in an equilateral triangle. It had enlisted its trademark for the shaver. The imprint was a plate of three turning razor-sharp edges in an equilateral triangle. The other producer i.e., Remington then concocted shavers that were sold in the American market. Philips asserted that Remington had encroached its trademark by utilizing the characteristic of a shaver with three turning sharpened pieces of steels orchestrated in an equilateral triangle which made disarray in the psyches of the customer as they thought it was an item produced by Philips. Remington then again denies that it is trademark infringement and actually the enlistment of the imprint for Philips ought to be denied.
Remington battled that only on the grounds that the imprint has gained a distinctive character in light of the fact that Philips concocted the shaver, to begin with, the trademark law does not permit him to enrol such stamps. The enlistment of such checks ought not to be permitted in light of the fact that it is important to acquire a fundamental specialized result and in this way such enrolment is invalid.

Issue: 
Whether the shape of the mark should be necessary in order to obtain a specific technical result?

Holding: 
Philips had not obtained a particular character despite the fact that it was the dealer that presented the shaver with such a shape in the business. The courts held that it couldn’t enrol as it was a shape, which is important to get a specialized result, and consequently, enlistment of such an imprint is invalid. Hence it was held that Remington has not encroached the trademark of Philips, since it was never a legitimate trademark and Philips had neglected to demonstrate that it had obtained distinctive attributes.

Ratio: 
The trademark law goes for keeping and shielding a proprietor from being allowed imposing business model over specialized and utilitarian arrangements. It ought not to turn into a deterrent to alternate contenders who need to enter and uninhibitedly offer their items and administrations. Shapes that give specialized result ought to be openly accessible and accessible to all. Regardless of the possibility that different shapes can give the same specialized result, the law does not give the privilege to exchange check a shape, which gives a specialized result. If a shape has obtained a distinctive character from being utilized over a time of time, it can be permitted to be enrolled. At the same time, the imprint utilized by Philips did not gain any distinctive attributes. The shape utilized by Philips was one, which was important to get that specialized result i.e., the route in which the hair would be trimmed. In this way, such check was to be rejected enrolment. If one needs to enrol their imprint then it is basic that there ought to be an impulsive expansion to the shape, which can’t be credited to perform some useful reason.

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