Daily Archives: May 6, 2011

GI infringement case in India: “Darjeeling”

Results an infringement case in India involving the GI “Darjeeling”.  This post appeared on SpicyIP last month, “Breaking News: Darjeeling still lounges in Kolkata, says HC” – this week they updated the post bringing copy of the decision. “Darjeeling for Two in Kolkata

By way of an update on the “Darjeeling” Geographical Indications (GI) case we reported on some days ago, we have uploaded a copy of the decision on our site. This is a very interesting decision, not just because it is the first ever by an Indian court on the infringement of a registered GI; but also because it may have significant implications on the protection of GI rights in the country in the times to come.”

A detailed report on the decision is in the post.  They summed up saying:

“The decision was categorical in stating that the word “Darjeeling” could not be exclusively claimed by the Tea Board despite its GI and TM registrations. Crucially, the court held, “Even for a case of passing-off, the use of “Darjeeling” by a person other than the plaintiff can be complained of if the word or the geographical indication has any nexus with the product with which it is exclusively associated upon the registration.”

This raises an obvious interesting but unanswered question: what defines “nexus” as referred to by the Judge above? What degree of similarity will convince a judge to offer a different decision on passing off?”