Case : PepsiCo v/s Coca Cola

In advertisement of coca cola that a kid is having a drink and a lead actor enter ask which drink he is having and the name of the drink he is having is muted after which he says that he likes the drink. In next frame the actor has two bottles in his hand and says the kis to drink both and answer which one he likes more. And hides the name of the drinks. The kid points out the bottle which he likes more after which the actor reveals that it is coca cola which he likes more and not papi which was used in relation to Pepsi after which a slogan is played that ‘yehdilnahimangein’ more which was clearly disparagement and damage to the reputation of the trademark owner that is Pepsi. The view of the court was similar.

Case: Dabur India limited v. Colgate

Colgate in its advertisement displayed that use of dabur toothpaste is harmful to the health of the teeth due to many reasons and that Colgate provided 15 times better protection it also mention that the use of dabur would result in abrasion of tooth. The court held that it is allowed to shown qualities of your product but while doing that you cannot show any other product in bad light hence court held that the act of Colgate resulted in disparagement and also caused infringement of the trade mark of Dabur.

Case: Robin blue v. Ujjala

In advertisement of Ujjala it was shown that it requires only “char boondh” for whitening products and was available at rupees 10 only showing bottle of robin in blurred image and stating that no other whitener was available at that rate from the advertisement it became evident that the whitener pointed out was robin. The court held that the advertisement lead to disparagement and injunction was granted by the court in the case.

Case: Apple v Smasung

In 2012 through the “next big thing is already here” advertisement campaign Samsung indicated the levelling of playing field and the end of Apple’s monopoly in the high end smartphone sector. This could also be seen as a result of the patent infringement cases filed by Apple against Samsung in the previous years. The divide amongst the companies could be clearly seen in the advertisement campaigns and consecutive attacks from both sides are common in the recent times. The companies call out each other’s weaknesses and don’t let even a single opportunity to do so go by.

With introduction of new flagship models every year around the same time, the tension further heightens at that point of time in the year. Advertisements in these periods concentrate majorly on showing off the features that the other company’s product is lacking, or some innovation which is not incorporated in the recent product. During such times, classic examples of comparative advertising could be seen but as the companies are well established, emphasis is given to the fact that no legal boundaries are crossed.

Continue reading:
Part-1: Background of Comparative Advertising in light of Indian trademark and patent Laws
Part-2: Introduction Comparative Advertising in legal framework.
Part-3: Comparative advertising and its connotation in Constitution
Part-4: Legal provisions regarding trademark in India with reference to Comparative advertising
Know Indian Trademarks Act, 1999
Part-5: Comparative Advertising and Infringement of Trademark
Part-7: Position across world on Comparative Advertisement
Part-8: Case study: Regarding comparative advertising

Part-9: Takeaway on Comparative advertising

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Kajal Dubey

Experience Legal Consultant with MNC, Legal Compliance, Legal document Preparation , Legal Writing.

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