JMD HERITAGE LAWNS PRIVATE LIMITED Vs. Mr. ANKIT CHAWLA PROPRIETOR SADDA PIND RESTAURANT CS (COMM) 673/2022 & I.A. 5843/2023
The Plaintiff, the registered proprietor of the trademark SADDA PIND had approached the Delhi High Court aggrieved by the usage of the mark SADDA PIND by the Defendants in Rajasthan for running a restaurant using the Plaintiff’s mark. Although the Defendants claimed to have used 5ADDA PIND, the device mark resembled the Plaintiff’s SADDA PIND mark and “5” was written like letter “S” in the impugned mark.
The Delhi High Court granted an ex-parte relief in favour of the Plaintiff on 7th October 2022, restraining the Defendants from using any identical or deceptively similar trademark as that of the Plaintiff i.e, SADDA PIND in relation to any restaurant, accommodation, hotel and entertainment services or in relation to any allied or cognate services.
However, despite the aforesaid injunction, the Defendants changed the online listing to 5ADDA P1ND i.e. replaced letter “I” with numeral “1” in the word PIND and continued to use the deceptively similar mark. In view of the foregoing, the plaintiff moved the issue alleging contumacious and wilful non-compliance by the Defendants of the injunction granted by the Court.
The Defendants filed an affidavit in the Court stating that they have changed the name of the restaurant to “The Punjab Village” and undertook not to use the Plaintiff’s trademark. However, the learned Counsel for the Plaintiff submitted that the Defendants have deliberately infringed the Plaintiff’s registered trademark and hence, should not be let off easily.
The Court agreed with the Plaintiff and observed that the Defendants did not feel guilty of initial infringement and persisted with the infringing activity despite the cease-desist letter by the Plaintiff and the injunction granted by the Court.
The said suit was decreed in the following terms:
i) A permanent injunction restraining the Defendants from using the mark SADDA PIND and/or any device marks which are deceptively similar.
ii) The Defendants were directed to remove the reference to the registered mark of the Plaintiff from all websites and listings, physical as well as virtual.
iii) The Defendants were also held liable to pay a cost of Rs. 2,00,000 to a NGO working for underprivileged slum children.
iv)The Defendants were directed to discontinue prosecution of trademark Application no. 5301187 and file an application for withdrawal of the said application at the Trade Marks Registry. The Trade Marks Registry was directed to prosecute Defendant’s withdrawal application and pass order within a period of 8 weeks.
The crucial aspect of this order is that punitive cost to the tune of INR 2,00,000 was imposed on the Defendants as the Court held that the Defendants are not only guilty of initial infringement but also of continuing with infringing activity despite several opportunities to cease and desist from such Infringement. Due to such malafide act and intent of the Defendants, the Plaintiff was dragged into unnecessary litigation and court’s precious time was wasted.
For the court order, please click here.
Authors: Soujani Soundra Rajan / Ruchi Singh