No reprieve for Ashok Leyland in Viking row

By: |
Chennai | January 26, 2016 1:01 AM

In what could be a setback to the popular Viking bus and truck chassis models of Hinduja flagship commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland...

In what could be a setback to the popular Viking bus and truck chassis models of Hinduja flagship commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland (ALL),  the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has dismissed the company’s appeal against granting the Viking trademark to a Delhi-based company.

The patents and trademarks tribunal, after hearing both the parties, refused to interfere in the impugned order of assistant registrar of trade marks, New Delhi, pointing that it sees no ground to do so as the official has taken into account all the relevant matters, before passing the order.

ALL, which has been using Viking trademark for its engine chassis, had filed an opposition before the trademark registry when the application by Tractor Trading Company in Class 12 (vehicles & vehicle components) was taken up in 2000.

ALL argued that the company was the prior use of Viking trademark, their application for the same was still pending before the trademark registry and submitted that the Viking trademark should not be granted to Delhi-based Tractor Trading Company- which is into marketing of tractor and other vehicle parts.

However, brushing aside ALL’s objections, the registration was granted to Tractor Trading Company in 2004, against which ALL moved the IPAB, with an appeal.

The IPAB bench of justice K N Basha, chairman and Sanjeev Kumar Chaswal, member, trademarks, while rejecting the appeal observed that the undisputed fact remains that ALL has not produced any authenticated and genuine documents to substantiate their prior adoption from the year 1976. The bench pointed out that a solitary document- sales invoice- for the year 1976  was the only document produced and ALL had not produced any sales figure for the year 1976 as well as any authenticated documents.

“It is the settled position of law that it is the burden of the applicant (ALL) to substantiate their claim in respect of prior use and adoption by producing authenticated documents,” the IPAB bench said.

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