Toyota’s longstanding Prius trademark case has taken another dramatic turn of events. The company had filed a Special Leave Petition in Supreme Court against the judgement passed by the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court on December 23, 2016 in the Toyota-Prius Trademark case. To Toyota’s relief, the Supreme Court has granted leave to its plea against Delhi High Court order allowing the proprietary firm Prius Auto to use Toyota’s Prius trademark.
What is the issue?
Just so you know, Prius is the name of Toyota’s globally renowned hybrid car which is also sold in the Indian market. Apart from using the trademark name, the automobile firm was also selling indigenously built spare parts under the trademarks Toyota, Qualis and Innova.
A quick recap of the case-
The battle started in 2009 when Toyota filed a case against a proprietary firm-Prius Auto Industries and Prius Auto Accessories Private Limited.
Representing Toyota, the law firm Anand and Anand and senior advocate P Chidambaram are determined to reverse the decision delivered by the Delhi High Court. Additionally, they believe that the judgement contains several erroneous findings that infringe the principles of trademark law in India.
In July 2016, the decision was granted in favour of Toyota by a single judge bench which was however overturned by the Division Bench of Delhi High Court. The Prius Auto challenged the decision before the division bench of the Delhi High Court and reversed the single judge’s decision in Prius Auto’s favour.
What is the progress?
Toyota defied the decision passed by the division bench of Delhi High Court and filed a ‘Special Leave Petition’ or SLP in Supreme Court that allows the indignant party to appeal in Apex court against the judgement. While the final hearing is on August 22, 2017, the respondents were issued a final notice and the appeal was listed as ‘Top of the List’ by the court.