Court Finds No ‘Magic’ in Noodle War

The Madras High Court recently denied a plaintiff monopoly rights over the expression “Magic Masala,” reinforcing the notion that exclusivity cannot be claimed over words which are common to the trade. It also highlighted the importance of choosing brands and marks wisely before promoting them since non-distinctive and inherently weak marks are difficult to enforce against use by others.

The High Court, on June 10, 2020, in ITC Limited (plaintiff) v. Nestle India Limited (defendant) [C.S. No. 231 of 2013], held that “neither the plaintiff nor the defendant can claim any monopoly over the expression ‘Magic’ or ‘Masala’ for they are common words in Indian culinary and Indian food industry,” and accordingly dismissed the suit filed by the plaintiff to restrain the defendant from using the expression “Magic Masala” or “Magical Masala.”

The dispute arose …

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Contributor to present post is Abhilasha.


“This article was written by Abhilasha for first publication in the INTA Bulletin. It has been reprinted with permission from the International Trademark Association (INTA).”


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