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Supreme Court: No Phonetic Similarity Among Eairtech and Airnet

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copyright LAW INSIDER

Khushi Gupta

Published on: April 26, 2022 at 15:55 IST

The Supreme Court ruled that the Prima Facie the two names, Eirtech and Airnet did not appear phonetically similar to create a Copyright muddle.

Eairtech claimed to be in the rural E-LED TV market since 2005 and argued that it built its brand name through quality and service. It accused new entrant Airtech of entering the market with a phonetically similar brand name, thus infringing Copyright Law provisions.

A Bench of Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant said, “Air is a generic name over which no one could claim Copyright. And, there is too much use of ‘air’ in brand names these days”.

Counsel Meenakshi Arora told Airtech has a registered Trademark which was deceptively similar to Eairtech.

“If you (Arora) think that brand names with air cannot be used by two companies manufacturing the same product, look at Airtel and Aircel. Air itself is not a distinct name for Copyright Purposes. Even shoe brands use the word ‘air’,” the Bench said, before dismissing the Appeal by Airtech Electronics.

“We do not find any phonetic similarity in the two marks. Just because the initial alphabets in the Appellant/Plaintiff’s marks are ‘EAIR’, which would sound same as ‘Air’, which are the first three letters in the mark of the Respondent/Defendant, it does not make the two marks phonetically similar”, the Court added.