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Friday 9 September 2011

Patricia Covarrubia

A spicy note for Gandhi's case

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From SpicyIP we receive more information about the Gandhi trade mark opposition filed in Ecuador. The post, which can be read in full here, tries to look at both side of the coin (literally – looking at both legislations) and resumed that neither Indian nor Ecuador law fully supports the case of the opposition. This is based on the fact that the “Indian Emblems and Names Act does not extend beyond India and Indian citizens and Ecuador’s trade mark legislation protects flags and emblems of other countries but not names of national icons.” Also the post looks at personality right.

While this all seems to be what is the correct state of the law and its procedure, one sometimes wonder why do we need to commercially use names (an India emblem in this case) that represent so much in a culture. Why don’t we Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's.

Beyond IP matters, it is clear that an emblem symbolises a concept, a model, perhaps a theory. In this case, we do understand that Gandhi was not only a representation of an ideology in India but today he is and has been officially honoured as the father of that Nation. It is, of course my point of view, that we need to reassess or be more cautious with the facts of the case– would you like to see for instance the person that inspire you the most in a pack of chewing gum? Of course not, but is this illegal in a trade mark system? Again the answer may be in the negative in some jurisdictions. Is this immoral? Well...here comes the tricky part – what is to be considered moral. I believe that in this case we are looking at a name that we want to protect for being use but can we do it? Your thoughts are more than welcome.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia