Raj HC stays BIS circular against use of trademarks by cement firms

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Jodhpur, May 17 (PTI) The Rajasthan High Court on Monday suspended a Bureau of Indian Standards circular that barred cement companies from using their registered trademarks if they contain general terms like “super, strong, damp-proof, corrosion-proof and weather shield”.

While granting eight weeks to the BIS to file its reply to the JK Cement company challenging the BIS circular, a Jodhpur bench of the high court also asked the standard regulator not to take any coercive step against the cement firms over the usage of their trademarks on their bags and elsewhere.

Justice Vijay Bishnoi ordered an interim stay on the BIS circular, challenged by the JK Cement.

The BIS circular had strictly directed various cement firms across the country against using their registered trademarks on bags and advertisements, pamphlets etc if they contain general terms like “super, strong, damp-proof, corrosion-proof, weather-shield” etc.

The BIS had ordered against using such terms, declaring them to be misleading.

Petitioner's counsel Ramit Mehta and Ravi Bhansali submitted before the court that the BIS circular was devoid of statutory jurisdiction and the regulator was illegally interfering with the registered trademarks.

'Trademarks are registered under the Trade Mark Act, 1999 and it has to do with the distinct identity of the product and business of the company, while the BIS Act 2016 referred to the quality of the product,” the petitioner’s counsel said.

They said the two laws worked independently parallel to each other without interfering in each other's domain.

The JK Cement counsel said the firm had obtained the trademarks under the Trademarks Act and such trademarks were legally valid to be used by the firm.

Additional Solicitor General Mukesh Rajpurohit and BIS counsel Shambhu Singh, however, opposed the JK Company arguments, but the court put an interim stay over the BIS circular. PTI CORR RAX RAX

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