Plaintiff’s grievance arose from title of an upcoming movie which uses Plaintiff’s trademark “AJI-NO-MOTO”. Plaintiff contended that the unauthorized use of its trademark AJI-NO-MOTO as a title of the defendant’s movie not only infringes its trademark rights in its above mentioned trademark, but that such use is also disparaging and defaming as Mr. Mathiraj Iyamperumal [Defendant No. 2] has made false public statements in relation to the Plaintiff’s mark in the context of the film. The Director of the film in one interview has stated that “Ajinomoto’ is a flavour enhancer. But it is in fact a kind of poison that kills humans slowly. The story of ‘Ajinomoto’ has been conceived and crafted based on this concept of the cooking ingredient.”
The Plaintiff has further stated that though the film has not been released and contents thereof are not known to the public, however, it is blatantly clear that the storyline, as per the above statement, is conceived and fashioned metaphorically around the cooking ingredient which directly links to the Plaintiff’s trademark AJI-NO-MOTO. Considering the wide outreach of films, and the manner in which the story line is conceived, any negative portrayal is bound to severely prejudice Plaintiff’s reputation in the market in respect of its products.
The Court has directed that till the next date of hearing, Defendants shall not release the film under the title “AJINOMOTO” or any film bearing an identical or deceptively similar title/ name in any format i.e., cinema hall release, DVD/ VCD release, release through OTT platforms, etc.