Thursday, July 16, 2009

NYT on Indian "knockoffs"

The article (with pictures) is interesting, but doesn't mention the background principle of territoriality (it does nod at the well-known marks doctrine, which India follows), and it takes a fairly protectionist stance by basically equating pure copying with similarity. I'm not saying I'd advise a shoemaker to use the name Woodland with a tree mark, but to call out Cocoberry as an example of Indian borrowing of popular brands from elsewhere is a bit misleading, as Pinkberry faces plenty of US competitors who have also adopted tradenames and dresses with some obvious similarities to Pinkberry. And, returning to territoriality, if there's been a Financial Times in India since 1984, I'm not sure why it's so obvious that the London FT deserves to be able to enter the Indian market under that (descriptive) name.

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