Toyota Prius – Rise of Territoriality over Universality

The Apex court’s decision of December 14, 2017 in the case of Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha v Prius Auto Industries Ltd & Ors (Civil Appeal Nos. 5375-5377 of 2017) affirming the decision of the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court confirms the new trend of applying the principle of ‘territoriality’ over the ‘universality’ doctrine in the case of a passing off action. In this case, the plaintiff (Toyota) was unable to prove the existence of goodwill and trans-border reputation at the relevant point in time in India for its mark PRIUS and had to lose the case.

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