Statutory Obligation to Give Notice of Application for Registration: Rolex Affirms

Author:Ms Divya Subramanian
Profession:LEX ORBIS

The case of Rolex S.A v. Rolex Sales 2009 (39) PTC 714 (CB) dealing in Rule 16 (3) of the Copyright Rules 1958 dwells on the requirement to give notice of every person claiming or having any interest in the subject matter of the copyright or dispute the right of the applicant. .Rolex S.A, manufacturers of watches under the trademark 'Rolex' moved against Rolex Sales, engaged in manufacturing fuel pipes under the trademark 'RFP' or 'Rolex Fuel Pipes'. Rolex S.A filed a suit stating that use of their registered trademark by Rolex Sales was an infringement of their trademark.

Rolex S.A submitted that they had acquired trademark registrations in relation to their mark 'Rolex' in relation to watches the world over. Rolex Sales claimed to have been using the trademark or name of 'Rolex' after obtaining the consent of the petitioner in 1986. In this pursuance, Rolex S.A moved for the expunction of the impugned entry on the ground of lack of originality and violation of statutory provisions in relation to Rule 16(3) of the Copyright Rules of 1958.

Reverting to the contention made by Rolex S.A, Rolex Sales submitted in their written response that the impugned copyright registration was different and unique, since the same contained the letters RFP, denoting Rolex Fuel Pipes. Rolex Sales averred that they had written to Rolex S.A. about the adoption of the name 'Rolex' and that they had not objected to the same in their reply. However Rolex S.A contended that Rolex Sales had acted in violation of Rule 16(3) of the Copyright Rules, 1958.

To this, Rolex Sales averred that the trademarks of both Rolex Sales and Rolex S.A were published in the Trademarks Journal of 1991 and that there was no similarity between the two...

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