The High Court in Delhi has issued a landmark decision in the 7 year dispute between Toyota and two Delhi businesses.

The defendants had registered the trade mark PRIUS in their own name but this week the Court decided that Toyota’s unregistered rights to PRIUS were sufficiently well-known to defeat the earlier registration.

The defendants had also used the TOYOTA and INNOVA brands which were registered to Toyota in India. The defendants weren’t able to rely on the honest use exception – their use went beyond just describing actual Toyota products by the trade marks.

The Court rules that the defendants were taking “unfair advantage” of Toyota’s goodwill and reputation.

Toyota’s efforts pave the way for other brand owners whose well-known marks have been registered first by squatters.