Company Law

Article 19: Freedom of speech, expression, assembly, association, and movement.

Article 19 is another important provision commonly found in various international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It encompasses several fundamental freedoms, including freedom of speech, expression, assembly, association, and movement. Let’s explore each of these freedoms: **1. Freedom of Speech:** This freedom guarantees that individuals have the right to express their thoughts, opinions, ideas, and information freely without censorship or government interference. It is a cornerstone of democratic societies, allowing for open and diverse public discourse. **2. Freedom of Expression:** Building upon freedom of speech, this aspect of Article 19 encompasses not only verbal communication but also the right to express oneself through various means, such as writing, art, and other forms of creative expression. **3. Freedom of Assembly:** This freedom ensures that individuals have the right to gather peacefully and engage in collective activities, such as protests, demonstrations, and public meetings, without unreasonable restrictions. It is essential for political participation and advocacy. **4. Freedom of Association:** This guarantees the right to form and join associations, organizations, and groups of one’s choice, whether for political, social, cultural, or other purposes. It supports the right to assemble with like-minded individuals and work towards common goals. **5. Freedom of Movement:** This aspect of Article 19 guarantees the right to move within one’s own country and to leave and return to one’s country freely. It is crucial for personal autonomy and the ability to choose where to live and work. These freedoms collectively contribute to the protection of individual liberties and the functioning of democratic societies. They enable citizens to voice their opinions, engage in political and social activities, and participate in the public sphere. Freedom of speech and expression also promote the free flow of ideas, creativity, and the pursuit of knowledge. It’s important to note that while these freedoms are fundamental, they are not absolute. In many legal systems, limitations can be placed on them for reasons such as national security, public order, and the protection of the rights and reputation of others. However, any restrictions imposed on these freedoms must be prescribed by law, necessary, proportionate, and consistent with international human rights standards. Article 19 is a key component of the broader framework of human rights and plays a vital role in ensuring that individuals can live in societies where their voices are heard, their opinions respected, and their freedoms protected.

Removal of a Registered Trademark on Grounds of Non-Use

The removal of a registered trademark on the grounds of non-use is a crucial aspect of trademark law that ensures trademarks are actively used in commerce to maintain their exclusivity. This article analyzes a specific case involving the removal of the trademark “SHERRIN” under the provisions of Section 47(1)(a) and Section 57 of the Trademarks Act, as well as considerations of bad faith registration and habitual squatting. Background and Facts of the Case: The subject matter revolves around the brand name “SHERRIN,” originally adopted in 1879 by Mr. Thomas William Sherrin, who established T.W. Sherrin Pty Ltd., a company manufacturing specially shaped footballs for Australian Football. Over time, the company changed ownership and was eventually acquired by Russell Brands, LLC in 2003. The petitioner filed a cancellation petition based on the following grounds: Non-Use: The petitioner claimed that the trademark “SHERRIN” had not been used in commerce for a considerable period. Bad Faith Registration: Allegations of the trademark’s registration in bad faith under Section 57 of the Act. Habitual Squatting: Accusations that the Respondent No. 1 was a habitual squatter of well-known marks. The petitioner also introduced evidence in the form of an investigator’s affidavit, asserting that the trademark had ceased to be used. The investigator’s findings revealed that the mark had been discontinued since 2010. Legal Analysis: The legal analysis primarily centers around the provisions of Section 47 of the Trademarks Act, which outlines the conditions under which a trademark can be removed from the register due to non-use. Specifically, Section 47(1)(b) stipulates that a registered trademark can be removed if it remains unused for a period of five years and three months preceding the date of filing the rectification petition. In the case of “SHERRIN,” the court considered the timeline of events: The impugned mark was filed on February 27, 2007, and registered on March 18, 2010. The investigator’s affidavit confirmed that the trademark had been discontinued since 2010. The rectification petition was filed in the year 2020, well beyond the stipulated five years and three months of non-use. The Court’s Ruling: Based on the evidence presented, the court found that the requirements of Section 47(1)(b) were satisfied. Since the trademark “SHERRIN” had not been in use for more than five years and three months preceding the rectification petition, the court allowed the petition for removal. Conclusion: The case highlights the importance of active and continuous use of trademarks to maintain their registration and exclusivity. It emphasizes the legal mechanism for removing trademarks on the grounds of non-use and underscores the need for evidentiary support, such as investigator affidavits, to establish the absence of use. The ruling reinforces the principle that trademarks must be used in commerce to retain their protection, serving as a cautionary tale for trademark holders to ensure proper utilization of their marks.

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