Wednesday, October 24, 2007

ICL and IPL the battle may lead to the Courts reports some excerpts
Indian cricket board vice president Lalit Modi may sue media magnate Subhash Chandra for using 'Indian Cricket League' (ICL), a name he claims has been his "personal property" for many years.
"We are pursuing it, our lawyers are looking into it - what the legal ramifications are as far as that (ICL name) is concerned," Modi told IANS. Chandra's Essel Group is organising a breakaway ICL Twenty20 tournament from October-end in India.
Asked how Essel Group could use it if he had the Trademark for the ICL name, Modi said: "That's a matter that will be debated in courts tomorrow (in days to come), not now."
Asked if he was planning to sue the Essel Group, Modi said: "When the time is appropriate it will happen. What is the hurry in this?’’
"That is why I am saying that this matter is sub judice now ... I mean, it is being looked at by our lawyers, and as and when they are ready with it they will take appropriate action at that point in time."
Modi said he got the ICL registered under his name in the mid-1990s, though at that time it was supposed to be a limited-overs inter-city tournament that never materialised.
Will IPL's name change to ICL if he files and wins the case against Essel Group?
Modi answered in the negative. "No. This (IPL) is the board property. That (ICL) is my personal property."
Approached for reaction, Ashish Kaul, executive vice-president of Essel Group, sounded unperturbed. "I ask Mr Modi that if he has indeed Trademarked ICL, then why has he kept quiet for almost a year?" Kaul asked.
The BCCI on Thursday announced an ambitious IPL with $3 million on offer as prize money and the Champion's Twenty20 league, to be contested by top two domestic teams from India, Australia, England and South Africa, with $5 million up for grabs.
Chandra, on the other hand, has set aside a corpus fund of Rs.1 billion for ICL and has signed the likes of former West Indies captain Brian Lara to lead one of the six city teams that will take part in the tournament.
It sees quite strange that Essel group who is planning to invest more than a Billion rupees never looked into the possibility of registering the Trademark ICL now assuming that Mr Lalit Modi has registered the Trademark ICL as claimed by him there is nothing under the Trademark Act, 1999 to prevent the registration of ICL under absolute or relative grounds under Section 9 and Section 11 of the Trademarks Act. The defence available to Essel group in such a case would be to attract Section 47 1 (b) of the Trademark Act, 1999 under which any bona fide non-use for a continuous period of more than five years from the date of which the trade mark is actually entered in the register as in this case the Trademark was registered in mid 1990s as this name has not yet been used by Mr Lalit Modi as claimed by him that his plans to use ICL never materialised this would amount to non-use of a Trademark, the Courts have also upheld the ground of non-use of Trademark for cancellation of a registration of Trademarks in many case like P.M. Diesels Pvt. Ltd. v. Thukral Mechanical Works and The Intellectual Property Appellate Board 2006(32)PTC269(Del) and M/s. Veerumal Praveen Kumar v. M/s. Needle Industries (India) Ltd. and anr. 93(2001) DLT600 also looking into the fact the amount of investment and effort already made by the Essel group unlike Mr Lalit Modi who never used his registered Trademark the courts would be quite reluctant to uphold the Trademark registered by Mr Lalit Modi. It would be quite Interesting to see how the court treats this case if it ever makes to the court.