Calcutta HC: Broad Protection for ‘Amul’ Trademark Necessary, Even Against Non-Competing Goods, Services

Sakina Tashrifwala

Published on: September 3, 2022 at 20:40 IST

The Calcutta High Court restrained a local candle distributing company in West Bengal from using the trademark “Amul Candles” after hearing a suit filed by Amul seeking injunction against the defendant Maa Tara Trading Co. after it came across their advertisements issued in February 2020.

“This Court is of the view that the defendants have tried to dupe the general public by using of an identical mark ‘AMUL’ in respect of candles in violation of statutory rights as well as the common law rights of the plaintiffs.”

“Such usage would inevitably lead to loss of revenue as also that of goodwill. Accordingly, the defendants have indulged into the offence of passing off and have infringed the registered trademark of the plaintiff as well as committed the torts of passing off,” the bench concluded.

The Single-judge, Justice Krishna Rao, further added that Amul is a well-known brand across the globe and signals the prosperity of the Indian rural areas.

Ads in some local newspaper portrayed the defendants’ product ‘Amul Candles’, to which the plaintiff objected that a trademark was registered by them in 1958.

The following argument was accepted by the Court and they commented that the trade mark cannot be utilized by any person or entity other than the plaintiffs and also cannot be used in relation to any goods in service other than those by the plaintiffs.

The judge also opined that defendants have infringed the statutory right of the plaintiff Amul, and used it to their advantage to make undue profits.

The defendants took a long time to file their written response, the court noted.

Therefore, the court invoked Order 8 Rule 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), which permits quick resolution of lawsuits, to stop the defendant’s frequent use of dilatory techniques, such as failing to complete written declarations, by issuing judgments against it.

Thus, the court pronounced the suit in favour of Amul.

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