Comparative Advertisements: IPR Infringement vis-à-vis Balanced Approach

INTRODUCTION

With the advent of globalization and liberalization in Indian economy, competition has become an integral part and parcel for various firms and companies. In order to survive in the market, a company has to bring something different from others. Advertisement is a tool to promote the products and services of a company.  It can be in any form either through media channel or any other. The present paper concerns about media channel of advertisements. A new product always requires some sort of publicity and advertisement is the best way to push it.

In such globalized era and comparative atmosphere, when the companies advertise their products and services, truthfulness and fairness becomes the important question for public. Ideally, Advertising is normally said to mean “the meaning of a representation in any form inc connection with a trade, business, craft or profession in order to promote the supply of goods or services…” and Comparative advertising is “any advertising which explicitly or by implication identifies a competitor or goods or services offered by a competitor.”[1]

Development of law on comparative advertisement in the country is a recent phenomenon. Comparative advertising is an advertisement where a party advertises his goods or services by comparing them with goods and services of another party. This is generally done by either projecting that the advertiser’s product is of same or superior quality to that of the compared product or by denigrating the quality of the compared product. There is an underlying assumption that the comparative advertising benefits the consumer as the consumer comes to know of the two products and their comparative features/merits. New or unknown brands benefit most from comparative advertising because of the potential for transfer of the intangible values associated with the compared brand with or to the new brand. Comparative advertising has become more widespread, particularly in fiercely competitive markets.[2]

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July 19, 2016

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