Geographical Location of Parties Does Not, In Any Manner, Avoid the Chances of Confusion between Identical Marks and Names
The Plaintiff, JDM Heritage Lawns Heritage Private Limited owns the registered mark ‘SADDA PIND’ in the hospitality and allied services industry in class 43 since 2015. Plaintiff came across the Defendant Ankit Chawla Proprietor of Sadda Pind Restaurant, carrying on identical services under an identical mark ‘SADDA PIND RESTAURANT’ at NH-48, Ramchandpura, Rajasthan.
Plaintiff issued a notice to the Defendant on 31st May, 2022. Defendant in reply to the legal notice claimed that there logo bears no similarity with the specific logo of the Plaintiff as it is using the mark 5 ADDA PIND. Plaintiff approached the Delhi High Court with a suit for Permanent Injunction, Infringement, Passing Off, Unfair Competition and Misuse of the ‘SADDA PIND’ name and logo.
The court rejected the claim of the defendant’s as made in the reply to legal notice and said the defendant is using ‘SADD PIND’ mark, which is an identical mark, name, logo and device as that of the Plaintiff. “Even the letter 5 is in a manner so as to appear close to `S’ so that `5adda’ is read as `Sadda’.
The court was of the opinion that though the plaintiff may be having its property in Amritsar, its registered office is in Delhi and there “is a reasonable scope of expansion” for the Plaintiff as contemplated in the 2-judge bench judgement of the Supreme Court in Laxmikant V Patel vs. Chetanbhat Shah and Anr., (2002).
“It is a fact of which judicial notice can be taken that presently, bookings through online portals have become the norm and the geographical location of parties does not, in any manner, avoid the chances of confusion between identical marks and names. The listing of the Plaintiff and the Defendant using an identical mark and name as also logo is bound to create deception in the minds of the customers that the Defendant’s property is in some manner associated or a part of the Plaintiff,”
Accordingly, the court restrained the defendant’s from using the mark & name ‘SADDA PIND’ including the device and/or any identical or deceptively similar name as that of the Plaintiff, i.e., ‘SADDA PIND’ thereof in respect of any resort/restaurant, accommodation, hotel and entertainment venue or in relation to any other allied or cognate services. The injunction granted shall come into effect from 15th November, 2022. No further outlets or properties or resorts etc. shall be opened by the Defendant under the impugned mark and name with immediate effect.