The Madras High Court had ruled out that the word MAGIC cannot claim a monopoly either by ITC’s Sunfeast Yippee Noodles or by Nestle India’s Maggi Noodles.
ITC Ltd – SunfeastYippie Noodles filed a suit against Nestle India Ltd. (Maggi Noodles) restraining them to use the mark “Magic Masala”. Both the parties in the suit are in similar business i.e Instant Noodles. The plaintiff’s product uses the mark “Magical Masala” which is phonetically similar. The plaintiff states that the marks are deceptively similar. The defendant stated that the word Magic Masala is used for describing the flavor thus it is incapable of being protected.
The court observed that the purpose of trademark is to identify a product and make it easily recognizable to the consumers. And a word or a sentence can be considered as a trademark only if it differentiates the product among the other products in the market. The generic mark describes the product which cannot be registered or be monopolized.
The court also observed that the words “Magic” and “Magical” are distinctive words and these words were not invented by the parties to the suit. Thus the court held that it would be unfair if the words “Magic” or “Magical” confer monopoly.
“Fine is a tax for doing something wrong, Tax is a fine for doing something right”- This perhaps sums up the on-going conundrum surrounding angel tax