Lotte, Mondelez in TM spat

Lotte, Mondelez in TM spat

Mondelez International unit Cadbury India has been granted a temporary injunction to prevent Lotte Confectionery from using the brand name Choclairs in the Indian market.

Cadbury India changed the name of its Cadbury Eclairs confectionery product to Cadbury Choclairs in India in 2013, bringing the brand into alignment with its global branding. Choclairs was created in 1996 and had become a leading brand in the eclairs segment in various global markets, from the UK to China.

However, a dispute has erupted over the use of the Choclairs name in India with Lotte Confectionery, part of finance-to-food conglomerate Lotte Group.

Lotte's Indian unit, Lotte India, originally held the Choclairs trademark in the country. However, the TM lapsed in 2004 and was removed from the trademark register in February 2010.

Nevertheless, Lotte has contested Cadbury's right to the Choclairs name. just-food understands that Lotte attempted to re-register the trademark one day after Cadbury filed its initial trademark request in May 2012. The company has since launched a legal challenge to reclaim the rights to the brand name.

In the latest development, a court in Deli has granted Cadbury a temporary injunction blocking Lotte from using the Choclairs brand name. Lotte does not currently distribute anything under this brand in India.

A spokesperson for Cadbury India told just-food the company has a "strong legal position" and plans to "challenge and refute all of Lotte India's claims [and] allegations in court".

"Prior to rechristening Cadbury Eclairs to Cadbury Choclairs in India, all the necessary legal due diligence was conducted, including a trademark search. We are therefore confident of our rights to rechristen and sell Choclairs branded products in India," the spokesperson insisted.

Lotte was unavailable for comment at time of press.