The Delhi High Court has restrained a company from using 'Amul' on its kitchenware products as it is deceptively similar to the trademark of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd.
The mark used by the defendant company is not registered and is being illegally shown as a registered mark, the high court said.
This is a clear case where grant of ad interim relief exists, it said and added that such representation also amounts to a fraud on the public.
The suit said the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd is the registered holder of the well-known trademark 'Amul' used in milk and milk products.
Justice C Hari Shankar issued summons to Maruti Metals on the suit filed by the milk marketing federation which alleged infringement by the defendant company by using its mark 'Amul' in context of kitchenware and utensils.
The court said the word 'Amul' is distinctive and has no etymological meaning, and it is indelibly associated in the minds of the consuming public with the products of the plaintiff -- Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd.
"Prima facie, any use of the word 'Amul' as a trademark by any other entity may tantamount to infringement," it said.
Senior advocate Sunil Dalal, representing the plaintiff, contended that Maruti Metals has illegally reflected its trademark as registered when it is not registered and said this is also misleading.
The high court said these assertions, which are also borne out by the record as it exists before it, make out a prima facie case in favour of the plaintiff.
"As the impugned mark is not registered and is being illegally shown as a registered mark, a clear case for grant of ad interim relief, in my view, exists. Such misrepresentation also amounts to a fraud on the consuming public, additionally justifying interlocutory interdiction as sought," Judge Shankar said.
The court asked defendant company Maruti Metals to file within four weeks its written statement in response to the suit along with an affidavit of admission and denial of documents filed by the plaintiff.
It listed the interim application for hearing on September 9 and said "in the meantime, there shall be an ad interim order in terms of prayers.".
As an interim, the plaintiff sought direction to restrain the defendant, its officers, agents, dealers and others from advertising, promoting or in any other manner using or dealing with the infringing mark 'Amul' or any other logos or word, which are identical or deceptively similar to the plaintiff's 'Amul' trademark.
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