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Victory For Karnataka: Madras High Court Clears The Path For KSRTC

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In a recent legal development, the Madras High Court has brought relief to Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) by dismissing Kerala RTC’s claim for exclusive use of the ‘KSRTC’ acronym. This decision ends a prolonged dispute between the state transport corporations over the usage of the acronym, allowing Karnataka to continue using it without legal hindrance.

KSRTC trademark row: Madras High Court rules in favour of Karnataka State  Road Transport Corporation | Bengaluru News -

Source: Times of India

Usage and Registration:

Both Karnataka SRTC and Kerala State Road Transport Corporation have utilized the ‘KSRTC’ acronym for decades. Karnataka SRTC took a proactive step by officially registering the acronym and its logo with the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks. Moreover, KSRTC applied for a Trademark Certificate, which was granted by the Trademark Registry of the Government of India in 2013, with a user date dating back to November 1, 1973. The corporation also obtained copyright approval from the Registrar of Copyrights, Government of India, for the use of the ‘KSRTC’ logo and the ‘Gandabherunda art’.

Legal Challenge by Kerala RTC:

In response to Karnataka’s registration, Kerala RTC contested the matter before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) in Chennai. KSRTC argued that Kerala RTC had been aware of the acronym’s usage by Karnataka RTC for 42 years and, therefore, had no right to challenge the validity of the later trademark registration. Kerala RTC, in turn, obtained registration for the marks in 2019, asserting prior use. Following the abolition of IPAB by the Central government, the pending matters were transferred to the High Court of Madras.

ಕೇರಳದ ತಕರಾರು ಅರ್ಜಿ ತಿರಸ್ಕರಿಸಿದ ಕೋರ್ಟ್, ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಕೆಎಸ್‌ಆರ್‌ಟಿಸಿಗೆ ಗೆಲುವು - Madras  high court rejects kerala rtc petition against karnataka ksrtc rbj

Source: Kannada News

Madras High Court Decision:

The case reached the High Court of Madras on December 12, 2023, where the court deliberated on the arguments presented by both parties. Subsequently, the Madras High Court dismissed the applications filed by Kerala RTC, ruling in favor of KSRTC. With this decision, the legal hurdles blocking Karnataka RTC from using the name ‘KSRTC’ in the future have been removed.

Implications and Future Usage:

The dismissal of Kerala RTC’s case has significant implications for the future use of the ‘KSRTC’ acronym. With the court’s decision in their favor, Karnataka RTC can continue to use the acronym without facing any legal obstacles. This outcome reinforces the legitimacy of Karnataka’s registration and affirms the corporation’s rights to the ‘KSRTC’ trademark.


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