The Game Changer
Be it a t-shirt or a game, polo has become a nomenclature for both. Who would have thought about a trademark muddle surrounding a licensing agreement to manufacture shirts? A new chapter in the history of IP is created with following a series of agreements entered into between MHCS and Polistas, wherein, the claimants licensed the defendants to manufacture polo shirts with trademark Veuve Cliquote on them. It does not stop here, the claimant received some free and some heavily discounted branded polo shirts for each event in lieu of the license it delivered to Polistas to sell the branded polo shirts. The dispute arises in evaluating the terms and conditions of the agreement both as regard time and the brand endorsed as a trademark. It is hard to ascertain if the right attached to the license traverse beyond the license granted.
Coming to the nature of the agreements if the terms vary each year consecutively then there is a chance that, one might limit the agreement with regards to promotion, sales and the time till when the trademark can be used. Therefore it is clear that, a license to use the trademark can be used till the term and not beyond such time. If the agreement entered into is very much vocal about the time i.e. when time becomes the essence of the agreement, any use of such trademark post termination would amount to infringement and passing off.
Though an agreement has been entered as to manufacture, this does not pertain to an IP case as damages and hearing both took place at the same time. Indeed it has set a new trend in the World Intellectual Property forum and would go long way in near future.