How’s the Patent Application Process in India Affected by 2019’s Amendments?

The Indian government, along with administrators and several Intellectual Property Law Firms in India, has recently taken a considerable step to motivate inventors to get involved in more and useful inventions. With this welcome move by the concerned authorities, the Patent Application Process in India has become not just cheaper but easier as well.

The Patent Amendment Rules 2019, which came into force on 17th September, reflect the below-given four major changes: 

  1. Submission of Original Documents Only Upon Request

Although the Indian Patent Office in 2016 had dismissed the requirement to provide hard copies of the patent forms and specification while applying for Patent Registration in India, certain documents were still needed to be submitted at the IPO in their original form. Some such documents include the Power of Authority, verified English translations of Priority and PCT documents, etc.

Under the unamended rules, the applicants need to submit the original documents at the IPO within 15 days from the day of their online submission. Nonetheless, as per the rules amended in 2019, the applicants no longer have to do so. They can file their duly authenticated documents only by electronic transmission. The exception where original documents are required to be submitted within fifteen (15) days of a request is if the IPO asks the applicant for the same.

  1. Women and Many Others Can Enjoy Expedited Examination

In 2016, the government added the Patent Application Process in India with the provision of expedited examination. Under the unamended rules, this provision had limited the number of applications to be examined within twelve months, i.e., the expedited period. Moreover, it was open for only two categories of applicants, including:

  • Start-ups,
  • Applicants who mention India as an International Searching Authority (ISA) or an International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) in their applications

The amended rules concerning the provision of expedited examination have come up as a beneficial change for many other applicants, like:

  • Small entities
  • Female applicants
  • Government entities, such as:
  • Different government departments
  • Institutions wholly or largely financed by the government
  • Institutions established by the Central, Provincial, or State Act
  • Government companies as specified in Section 2(45) of the Companies Act, 2013
  • Applicants who are suitable to process patent applications compatible with agreements amid IPO and a foreign Patent Office.
  1. Form 28 Needs to be filed

As the amended rules say, the start-ups now have to submit documents supporting their start-up status along with Form 28, each time whether they file a request, form, or document at IPO. The filing of such documentary evidence claiming start-up status will prove helpful in ensuring that the applicant is eligible for claiming the suitable deduction in the fee.

  1. Zero (0) Transmittal Fee

As discussed above, the amended rules have made the Patent Application Process in India easier as well as cheaper. Under these rules, the previously applicable transmittal fee for PCT applications at the IPO through the e-filing module has been abandoned. Additionally, the applicants don’t have to pay fees for the certified copies of priority documents and their e-transmission by the WIPO Digital Access System (DAS). Even the costs for filing PCT and convention applications have been reduced.

Before 2019’s amendments, i.e., under unamended rules, the applicants were required to pay a transmittal fee of INR 3200 for start-ups, INR 8000 for small entities, and INR 16,000 for corporates. Furthermore, fees of INR 1000 for start-up, INR 2500 for small entities, and INR 5000 for corporates for receiving a certified copy of a priority document with around 30 pages were applicable under unamended rules.

Wrapping Up:

These recently amended rules will undoubtedly be going to increase the number of patent filings in India as they are providing opportunities to women, small entities, etc., in addition to those who are eligible to file patent applications and get Patent Registration in India before amendments. Moreover, these ensure easier and cheaper patent application process that ultimately buzz off the applicants’ hesitation, thus making them confident to file their applications without any worry. Hence, we can say that this welcome move by the government of India will benefit not only the people but also the nation. For more visit:

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TCS Reports Current Patent Laws Are Inadequate for AI-related IP

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software exporter in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has recently reported that despite the evolution of Patent Laws in India and abroad, the increasing proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) across the world requires new policies for Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) enforcement.

The report found that the current patent laws treat AI software-based inventions as logical algorithms implemented in the computer systems. Although patent eligibility of algorithms is valid, there is not enough about how to handle inventions with heuristic nature.

What is Heuristic?

In AI, heuristic refers to a technique to solve problems faster than the classical methods. The report cited that AI software is no longer bound to traditional rule-based systems, and in fact, has increasingly turned heuristic, thus showing higher intelligence over classical systems.

The report explained that as per the current patent laws – someone, typically a natural person (in legal terms – an individual instead of one associated with a public or private body) who only applies the logic to make anything workable cannot be an inventor.

It also clarified that machines are frequently deriving solutions to problems autonomously or in conjunction with a natural person, thus bringing the definition of a ‘natural person’ in question. Besides, it emphasized that this issue needs to be addressed by state laws and enterprises. Moreover, data-privacy and data-ownership issues, which would have severe legal implications, are other aspects that require fresh debates.

The report further noted that in the global ecosystem involving multiple players, data is not just accessed but also moved across jurisdictions many times. The data ownership holder or the data owner or the AI scientist who owns the IP rights on an invention is at the forefront of the debate.

It then revealed that AI is helping to develop new mechanisms and doctrines for future IP ecosystems. As the study recommended – the present administrators of Intellectual Property Right in India and outside have to address the IP management at three levels.

  • At the data level: In the form of access to accurate and high-quality data
  • At the IP system level: For enabling the IP systems with AI-based solutions
  • At the people level: To empower people to realize the merits of AI in the IP domain.

At last, the report informed that IBM, Microsoft, Toshiba, Samsung, and NEC were the top five patent applicants. Nonetheless, the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), dealing in deep learning (DL) with 235 patent families, held the largest patent portfolio worldwide – the report found. For more visit:

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Backcountry Faces Customer Scrutiny over Trademark Lawsuits

Backcountry, the enormous online outdoor retailer supporting that has known as Utah home for the last 23 years, is suffering from a flood of criticism as word spreads about the online website moved to sue dozens of smaller outdoor brands and sellers for using the word “Backcountry” in their name or product description.

Backcountry, which first got the word trademarked in 2004, has filed some additional Trademark Applications emphasizing the usage of the term in the intervening years. And then, it has launched a legal invasion against around 50 different defendants listed in a publicly available document from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

So far the companies being sued over Trademark Infringement have ranged from an independent ski manufacturer – Snapperhead Inventions/Marquette Backcountry – for their Marquette Backcountry Ski, which is being sold under the term since 2010 to Backcountry Babes, an avalanche safety course instructor and jean manufacturer Backcountry Denim Co., known as BDCo. Although some companies like Backcountry Babes have already settled the matter with, others such as Marquette Backcountry are gearing up for legal battle.

The lawsuit details that Backcountry requests exemplary and punitive damages in the form of amount enough to punish and deter defendants, along with setting an example for them as well as others. Now, after engaging in such a legal dispute, Backcountry is unlikely to end the chaos with a sympathetic public image. Complicating things is the fact “Backcountry” has been in common usage for nearly a decade before the firm’s founding, and many people feel it is unfair for a company to try or secure exclusive rights to the common word. As a result, the #boycottbackcountry has been spreading rapidly throughout the internet, especially social media, with almost every individual from potential consumers to professional athletes speaking against Backcountry.

A Utah-based trademark and Patent Attorney asked people to remain anonymous to evade any professional backlash. The attorney said that considering a few initial research and without being familiar with all the facts of the lawsuit, it looks like the company is trying to strengthen its trademark by not letting others use it. If firms don’t enforce their mark, there’s always a chance that it could later turn enforceable. Everybody should think of a trademark as a weapon instead of a shield. It further added that some specific rules should be made for generic terms, and these must not be secured under trademarks. Backcountry’s Trademark Registration in the year 2004 states that it was for mail-order services, computerized retail services, retail store services, but since then, it has expanded a lot.

John H.Kim was the individual who applied for the trademark on behalf of Backcountry in 2018. Backcountry hasn’t responded to several requests revolving around the issue. As considered now, the firm is forging ahead with multiple branded items that could have remarkable implications for other members going forward in the industry. Note that Backcountry has yet to comment publicly on the dispute. For more visit:

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How Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents Differ?

Intellectual Property Rights

A common question whether Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents are the same or different often hovers over our minds. The main difference between these three common forms of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is that they protect different assets. In today’s competitive era, clear information about copyright, trademark, and patent, and how these differ from each other is essential for protecting your business from infringement issues.

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a type of IP protection that includes the right to secure your original work, including content, images, and everything you put online, on paper, or elsewhere. Copyright encompasses the right to:

  • Reproduce the work,
  • Produce derivative works,
  • Distribute and advertise copies,
  • Represent and perform the work publicly.

Copyright Registration will bestow you with full control over how your assets are made available to others. To ensure complete protection of your copyright, you must register it with the government. Otherwise, you will be unable to sue people or companies for Copyright Infringement.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark refers to a word, symbol, phrase, or logo that recognizes and distinguishes the source of one product or service from others. Trademarks have goodwill associated with the products and services, which further helps the customers in finding their desired products.

Examples of some common trademarks are as follows:

  • Words such as Nike
  • Logos such as the swoosh
  • Slogans such as Just Do It

Apart from giving the ability to sue the unauthorized user, Trademark Protection empowers you to grant permission to others for using your Intellectual Property.

What is a Patent?

A patent is a limited duration IP right that safeguards your inventions by not allowing others to use them.

Patent Law encapsulates:

  • New and useful industrial processes,
  • Machines,
  • Manufactured products,
  • Chemical compositions,
  • Developments in assets.

A patent right gives you the complete authority to prevent others from using or selling your invention. All the responsibilities from implementing the patent law on discovering any infringement to bring the defendant in a lawsuit lie with you.

How Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks are Different?

i) Assets Protected 

  1. Copyrights protect the original material of the owner, for example – books, images, blogs, etc.
  2. Trademarks secure words, symbols, or phrases that distinguish a company’s assets from others.
  3. Patents ensure the protection of inventions, including processes, manufactures, machines, compositions, and improvements.

ii) Requirements

  1. For attaining Copyright Protection, you should provide original and creative work.
  2. To get your Trademark Application registered, you need to ensure that the mark identifies the source of your product.
  3. While applying for a patent, you should make sure that your invention is new, non-obvious, and valuable.

iii) Terms of Protection

Terms of Protection for intellectual property rights are country-specific. For example, in India:

  1. Copyright rights are valid for the duration, including your (owner’s) life followed by sixty additional years.
  2. Trademark Protection extends for 10 years from the date of application.
  3. Patents last for 20 years.

iv) Rights Granted

  1. Copyrights grant the license to use, disseminate, and publicly display your copyrighted material.
  2. Trademark grants the license to prevent businesses or people from creating confusion because of using marks similar to an already existing trademark.
  3. Patents grant the license to prevent others from using, selling, or importing your invention.


Due to rapid technological advancements, not just the businesses are developing but also the issues like infringement and fraud are increasing. Hence, there is a dire need to protect your intellectual property, which is possible with proper knowledge regarding all types of IP. For more visit:

Offwhite Sues Virgil Abloh Alleging Trademark Infringement

registered trademark

OffWhite Productions LLC sued Virgil Abloh’s OffWhiteTM for infringing its trademark rights. The New York-based marketing and creative agency claimed that the defendant had hijacked its brand name.

The complaint filed on Sunday in Federal Court includes claims:

  • OffWhite Productions has been operating with its registered trademark since the late ’90s, whereas Abloh launched its Milan-based mark in 2012.
  • OffWhite had maintained a website named as “” since July 2001 and operated a Twitter account with @offwhitedesign.

OffWhite Productions also accused the defendant of continuously applying for new trademarks, encompassing a logo that is “unmistakably similar” to one of its marks.

Besides the above claims, OffWhite Productions alleged the fashion agency saying that the defendant is “steamrolling its path for years by misusing its (OffWhite Productions’) present and past senior and superior rights, and putting a legal, branding, and commercial barricade in the expansion of OffWhite Productions’ business.”

OffWhite Productions claimed that the actions of using the same brand name by Virgil Abloh are creating confusion and hampering its competitive advantage. The plaintiff continued that the advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices by OffWhiteTM to promote the infringing use of its trademark, along with its celebrity-outreach campaigns and public relations efforts; have displaced (website) from top search results of Google.

Considering all these facts, OffWhite Productions formulated a set of claims including federal trademark infringement, common trademark dilution, and unfair competition. It is also looking forward to seeking monetary damages and stop OffWhiteTM from using any such logo or mark to prevent confusion in the consumer market. For more visit:

Louis Vuitton Sues two Chinese Shoe Companies for Copyright Infringement

Louis Vuitton Sues two Chinese Shoe Companies for Copyright InfringementFrench fashion house and luxury retail company, Louis Vuitton is suing two subsidiaries of China’s footwear giant, Belle International for allegedly copying the design of a pair of HK$8,950, famous Archlight sneakers.

As per the intellectual property high court of Hong Kong, the fashion brand Louis Vuitton has accused Belle International (China) and Best Able Footwear – both subsidiaries of Chinese shoe giant Belle International of manufacturing and selling a product that looks substantially similar to a product from its spring and summer, 2018 – the LV Archlight trainers. As a result of copying and selling these products, the two Hong Kong registered companies have damaged LV’s brand name and business reputation.

Undoubtedly, LV has acquired a distinctive reputation and goodwill for their trainers not only in Hong Kong, but across the globe as well; therefore the customers would always associate the product purely with the French brand.

According to the documents, the defendants first began selling its alleged replica in July last year. Belle International runs an array of retail chains in Macau, Hong Kong, and mainland China, including Jipi Japa, Staccato, Joyce & Peace to name a few, mainly focusing on women’s collection.

The fashion label Louis Vuitton has now asked the court to make sure that all the similar products are removed from the markets and the companies’ platforms. It has demanded the firms to cease all copyright infringements, and hand over or destroy the existing alleged copies. LV is also seeking for monetary damages of a sum to be determined at trial.

The officials have stated that the copyright law of Hong Kong will respect the freedom of expression and take a decision accordingly. The trial date has yet to be scheduled. More Visit:

Victoria’s Secret threw shade at Budding Rival ThirdLove

Victoria’s Secret threw shade at Budding Rival ThirdLoveVictoria’s Secret, an American designer, manufacturer and marketer of women’s lingerie, women wear, and beauty products, has energized a prolonged and bitter quarrel with ThirdLove, an American company producing and selling bras, underwear and lounge wear, by the means of sedate US trademark applications. While ThirdLove might interrupt or distort the lingerie business, the global lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret strongly believes it still is customers’ “first love”.

The US Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) has officially agreed to the company’s trademark application, thereby attaching the phrase “first love” to a line of its personal care products. Although Victoria’s Secret has succeeded in acquiring its beauty products’ rights, it couldn’t trademark the phrase in association with its apparel and lingerie as the USPTO stated that “Victoria’s Secret First Love” is confusingly similar to “First Love,” an existing trademark registered for the same type of product, namely, women’s clothing.

Despite Victoria’s Secret recent ups and downs on the fashion runway, the lingerie giant remains the queen of lingerie. However, it is a matter of fact that yes; Victoria’s Secret has lost around 3.8 million customers over the past two years and has delivered a formal public statement on its plans to close 53 stores this year as opposed to its annual average of 15.

Coming to ThirdLove, the company had secured a $55 million fundraising round from a group of investors consisting of Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, and Anne Wojcicki, CEO and co-founder of 23andMe, genetic testing company. Also, ThirdLove is now generating $100 million annual revenue and has become famous among women as its online “Fit Finder Tool” is being used by many customers to find their bra size.

Ed Razek, the senior creative at Victoria’s Secret said in an interview with Vogue that “We’re nobody’s third love, we’re their first love. Victoria’s Secret has been women’s first love from the beginning”.

When ThirdLove was questioned on whether they had opposed Victoria’s Secret application to trademark “first love”, the online lingerie retailer, Zac, refused to give a statement by focusing attention to their open letter which was published as a full-page ad in the New York Times in 2018 which read in one part, “Your show may be a “fantasy” but we live in reality”.

Nevertheless, it is not an end for Victoria’s Secret as still has time till June this year to make the required justifications in support of the trademark application’s registration. More Visit:


Apple’s ‘Think different’ trademark dispute

Apple’s ‘Think different’ trademark dispute

Apple, an American multinational technology company lost a legal trademark dispute against Swatch, a Swiss watchmaker, twice in recent weeks. The Cupertino-based company claimed in a lawsuit that Swatch’s “Tick different” logo strongly resembles its well-known “Think different” slogan.

In 2015, Swatch had registered “Tick different” as a trademark (word/figurative mark) along with the famous half-sentence “One more thing” (word mark), with which, Apple’s founder Steve Jobs usually introduced an innovative product at the end of his presentations. Apple found it to be a copy of its slogan, to which, Swatch defended itself by giving an even older reference of the slogan “One more thing” – the well-known television detective, Columbo, who on numerous occasions said “Only one  more thing”- that perfectly fits in the way how Swatch promoted and advertised its NFC – capable watch.

In early April, the Swiss court ruled in Swatch’s favor over the use of its “Tick different” logo. Apparently, the court stated that the company didn’t have any legal documents which could prove Apple’s allegations against Swatch. During the end of the month, Apple lost another battle against Swatch in Australia where the Australian Trademark Office firmly believed that Apple never used the wording in connection with certain goods or services but only in presentations.

Apple is now taking strict actions against this trademark registration in several countries although it has already lost two battles against the Swatch watchmaker in the last few weeks. Of course, Swatch would not stand a chance in the US where the “Think different” advertising slogan is quite famous in the company’s campaigning records. More Visit:

UKIPO rejects Kellogg’s ‘Fruit Loop’ opposition

UKIPO rejects Kellogg’s ‘Fruit Loop’ opposition

Britain’s fuller’s brewery achieved victory when the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) discarded a trademark opposition put forward by the American multi-national food manufacturing company, Kellogg. On May 2, 2019, Thursday, the UKIPO gave a verdict  in favor of the brewery, stating that Kellogg’s couldn’t demonstrate the image and  reputation of its ‘Froot Loops’ brand in the UK.

In June, 2018, Kellogg’s filed an opposition against Fuller’s ‘fruit loop’ mark for a seasonal summer beer, which according to the food manufacturer infringed its EU trademark (EU number 145325) for the breakfast cereal brand. The company even asserted that Fuller’s mark would gain an undue advantage from its cereal product’s reputation and would defame the brand by its use with respect to an alcoholic beverage. On the other hand, Fuller’s argued by claiming that the beer and cereal products had almost nothing in common with respect to the taste and flavor to be placed next to each other in markets.

The UKIPO, after hearing all the justifications and claims, declared that the marks were similar to a very low degree, keeping in mind the other attributes in Fuller’s mark and the alcohol content label. It also stated that Kellogg’s didn’t have much distinctiveness in the UK due to which it couldn’t provide any sales figures except for the marketing figures in relation to a special edition of Unicorn Froot Loops.

Fuller’s has been awarded costs of US $ 3,413 by the UKIPO. More Visit:

Chinese Trademark Law’s fourth amendment

Chinese Trademark Law’s fourth amendmentOn April 23, 2019, a fourth amendment of the Chinese Trademark Law was passed at the 10th Session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress. The new law will be in effect from November 1, 2019, which has been earlier amended thrice, in 1993, 2001 and 2003 respectively

This fourth amendment consists of six articles, concentrating on two important aspects, which are as follows:

  1. Increasing the content against bad-faith registration for the purpose of regulating the acts of bad-faith applications and hoarding registrations.
  2. Reinforcing the penalties for infringement on the exclusive right to use a trademark.




(Changes are highlighted in red)

Article 4 (Paragraph 1) is amended to:

Any natural person, legal person or other organization that needs to obtain the exclusive right to use a trademark for its goods or services during production and business operations shall apply for trademark registration with the Trademark Office.

The application of trademark for registration, which is made in bad faith and not for the use purpose, shall be rejected.

Article 19 (Paragraph 3) is amended to:

A trademark agency shall not accept the entrustment of a principal if it knows or should have known that the trademark application entrusted by the principal for registration falls under any of the circumstances prescribed by Article 4, Article 15 and Article 32 of this Law.

Article 33 is amended to:

If a holder of prior right or an interested party holds that the trademark preliminarily approved is in violation of the second or third paragraph of Article 13, Article 15, the first paragraph of Article 16, Article 30, Article 31, or Article 32 of this Law, he may, within three months from the date of publication, file an opposition to the Trademark Office. Any party that is of the opinion that the aforesaid trademark is in violation of Article 4, Article 10, Article 11, Article 12 or the fourth paragraph of Article 19 of this Law may file an opposition to the Trademark Office within the same three-month period. If no opposition is filed within the specified period, the Trademark Office shall approve the application for registration, issue the certificate of trademark registration, and make an announcement thereon.

Article 44 (Paragraph 1) is amended to:

A registered trademark shall be declared invalid by the Trademark Office if it is in violation of Article 4, Article 10, Article 11, Article 12 or the fourth paragraph of Article 19 of this Law, or its registration is obtained by fraudulent or other illegitimate means. Other entities or individuals may request the trademark review and adjudication board to declare the aforesaid registered trademark invalid.

Article 68 

(Paragraph 1) is amended to:

A trademark agency that commits any of the following acts shall be ordered to make correction within a time limit by the Administrative Department for Industry and Commerce, be given a warning, and be fined not less than RMB 10,000 yuan but not more than RMB 100,000 yuan; the persons in charge who are directly responsible and other persons directly responsible shall be given a warning and be fined not less than RMB 5,000 yuan but not more than RMB 50,000 yuan; where a crime is constituted, criminal liabilities shall be investigated in accordance with the law:

  1. Fabricating or tampering with legal documents, seals or signatures, or using fabricated or tempered legal documents, seals or signatures during the handling of trademark-related matters;
  2. Soliciting trademark agency business by defaming other trademark agencies, or disrupting the order of the trademark agency market by other unjust means; or
  3. Violating the provisions of Article 4 or the third or fourth paragraph of Article 19 of this Law.

(Paragraph 4) is added as:

For making the application of trademark for registration in bad faith, the administrative penalties including warning or fine shall be given according to the circumstances; for bringing the trademark lawsuit mala fide, the people’s court shall punish in accordance with the law.



(Changes are highlighted in red)

Article 63

(Paragraph 1) is amended to:

The amount of damages for infringement on the exclusive right to use a trademark shall be determined based on the actual loss suffered by the right holder as a result of the infringement; if it is difficult to determine the actual loss, the amount of damages may be determined according to the profits gained from there by the infringer, if it is difficult to determine both the loss of the right holder and the profits gained by the infringer, the amount of damages may be reasonably determined in reference to the multiples of the trademark for royalties. Where an infringer maliciously infringes upon another party’s exclusive right to use a trademark and falls under serious circumstances, the amount of damages may be determined as not less than one time but not more than five times the amount that is determined according to the aforesaid methods. The amount of damages shall cover the reasonable expenses paid by the right holder for stopping the infringing act.

(Paragraph 3) is amended to:

Where it is difficult to determine the actual loss suffered by the right holder as a result of the infringement, the profits gained by the infringer from the infringement or the royalties of the registered trademark concerned, the people’s court shall render a judgment awarding damages in an amount not more than RMB five million yuan based on the circumstances of the infringing acts.

(Paragraph 4) is added as:

When hearing a trademark dispute case, the people’s court shall, except in exceptional circumstances, order to destroy the goods bearing counterfeit registered trademarks at the request made by the right holder; and shall order to destroy the materials and instruments which are mainly used to manufacture the goods bearing counterfeit registered trademarks without compensation; or in exceptional circumstances, the court shall order the prohibition of the aforesaid materials and instruments from entering the commercial channels without compensation.

(Paragraph 5) is added as:

The goods bearing counterfeit registered trademarks shall not enter the market after merely being removed of counterfeit registered trademarks.


Last year in China, there were many trademark applications for registration. These applications faced several practical problems of extensive bad-faith trademark squatting, trademark hoarding and continuous trademark infringement. The fourth amendment to the Chinese Trademark Law is a solution to all these problems. The Trademark Office is now allowed to refuse the trademark applications for registration which are in bad-faith. The trademark applicants can also include “bad-faith application/registration not for the use purpose” as a legal basis in filing the trademark opposition. In a nutshell, all the amendments made would be helpful for the real trademark proprietors.