The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) ruled that three of Cadbury’s Chocolate Eclairs label trademarks must be removed. Cadbury told ConfectioneryNews that it was “happy to forfeit” these old trademarks since it now markets its product under Cadbury Choclairs in India and the labels are therefore no longer in use.
The case was lodged by ITC Ltd which owns its own eclair range through its candy brand Candyman.
Use it or lose it
A spokesperson for Cadbury said: “The label mark for Cadbury Eclairs, which formed the subject matter of the litigation, has not been used by Cadbury for many years and hence we do not plan to take this matter further.”
“We continue to retain other trademark rights in the Cadbury Dairy Milk Eclairs brand and the IPABs decision, if any, has no bearing on those trademark rights," the spokesperson added, noting the company was yet to receive the official IPAB order.
The Financial Express reported the IPAB as saying: “Just the registration alone will not help the respondent (Cadbury) to prove their use. The impugned trademarks are liable to be removed on the ground of non-use. In view of the foregoing observations, the three rectification applications are allowed with a direction to the Registrar of Trade Marks to remove the trademarks.”
A long-term squabble
This is not the first time the two companies have come head to head in a trademark dispute over the chocolate-centred toffee caramel. In 2005 Cadbury won a trademark case against ITC's Candyman on the grounds that the packaging of Candyman’s eclair range was too similar to Cadbury’s purple and gold colour scheme.
ITC launched the Candyman range of confectioneries in August 2002 and its Choco Double eclairs in 2007.
Mondelēz in ‘Choclairs’ row with Lotte in India
Earlier this month Cadbury India, a subsidiary of Mondelēz International, was granted an interim injunction by a high court in Delhi preventing Korean firm Lotte from selling products Cadbury says infringes its recently rebranded Choclairs trademark. Cadbury renamed its Eclairs in India Cadbury Choclairs in June this year.
Currently, rival Lotte markets its product as Lotte Eclairs in India, but Cadbury expressed concerned that the Korean firm could move towards registering a trademark for Choclairs Lotte, Lotte Choclairs or Parry's Choclairs.