HomeTrademarksLondon Pride Whisky Faces Overhaul in Pernod Ricard Trademark Clash!

London Pride Whisky Faces Overhaul in Pernod Ricard Trademark Clash!

 In a groundbreaking trademark clash, the Supreme Court has ordered a Madhya Pradesh-based whisky manufacturer, behind the ‘London Pride’ label, to contemplate a revamp of its packaging. The court expressed concern over the striking similarities between the visual identity of ‘London Pride’ and the renowned ‘Blenders Pride’ and ‘Imperial Blue’ whiskies from industry giant Pernod Ricard India Pvt Ltd.

A bench, led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, confronted the ‘London Pride’ brand, questioning its decision to mirror the trade dress and colour scheme of Pernod Ricard’s iconic products. Senior advocate S Muralidhar, representing ‘London Pride,’ has been tasked with gauging the company’s willingness to alter its product’s visual appearance and colour scheme.

“Why have you (‘London Pride’) adopted the same trade dress and colour and all? Get instructions on whether you will change the trade dress and colour (visual appearance of a product),” remarked the bench, signalling a potential shift in the ongoing trademark dispute.

The Supreme Court has scheduled the next hearing to delve into arguments surrounding the trademark clash, emphasising the need for resolution. The courtroom drama took an unprecedented turn on January 5 when liquor bottles took centre stage before the highest court in the land.

The legal clash stems from Pernod Ricard India Pvt Ltd’s challenge to the Madhya Pradesh High Court’s November verdict. Pernod Ricard, the producer of ‘Blenders Pride’ and ‘Imperial Blue’ whiskies, had sought the court’s intervention after the commercial court in Indore rejected its plea for a temporary injunction, citing trademark infringement.

The high-stakes battle revolves around allegations that JK Enterprises, trading as ‘London Pride,’ imitated Pernod Ricard’s trademark, creating confusion among consumers. Pernod Ricard argued that ‘Pride’ is a crucial and distinctive element of their ‘Blenders Pride’ mark, in use since 1995.

The dispute escalated when the high court dismissed Pernod Ricard’s claims, asserting that no substantial similarity existed between the trademarks. The court noted that ‘London Pride’ by JK Enterprises stood apart in name, style, and composition from any earlier registered trademarks.

Pernod Ricard, adamant in safeguarding its brand integrity, contends that ‘London Pride’ whisky, with its deceptive packaging and trade dress, infringes on the distinctiveness of ‘Blenders Pride’ and ‘Imperial Blue.’ As the legal showdown unfolds, the fate of ‘London Pride’ whisky hangs in the balance, awaiting a potential makeover to address the contentious trademark clash.

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Akash G Varadaraj