“The ideal trademark is one that is pushed to its utmost limits in terms of abstraction and ambiguity, yet is still readable. Trademarks are usually metaphors of one kind or another and are, in a certain sense, thinking made visible.” – Saul Bass
Delhi High Court while hearing an appeal in the case of Kentucky Fried Chicken International Holdings LLC v. The registrar of trademarks, observed that KFC does not hold any exclusive right over the word ‘Chicken’. It is already has registered other trademarks such as Zinger, Hot Zinger, Paneer Zinger, Zinger Festival and Tower Zinger. Apart from these KFC is also having registration of the word ‘Chicken Zinger’ in class 30.
Justice Sanjeev Narula said “Further, Appellant holds the registration of the word marks “ZINGER” and “PANEER ZINGER” in class 29 itself. An objection under Section 9(1) (b) of the Act seems to be based on the use of the word “Chicken”, over which, the Appellant cannot have any exclusivity and no such claim is being asserted.” The court also ordered the trademark registry to proceed with the advertisement of KFC’s application for registration of the mark “CHICKEN ZINGER”, within three months.
It is to be noted that KFC moved to Delhi High Court after The Senior Examiner refused registration of the mark under section 9 (1) (b) of the Trademark act, stating that the mark “ Chicken Zinger” is descriptive of characteristics of the goods or services under which it was applied.