7 Nov 2023 10:28 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court has restrained two plastic chair manufacturers from using “Nilkranti” device mark or any other device mark which is confusingly or deceptively similar to the device marks of Nilkamal. Justice C Hari Shankar however rejected Nilkamal’s prayer in its trademark infringement suit to restrain the manufacturers from using “Nilkranti” as a word mark, either for chairs...
The Delhi High Court has restrained two plastic chair manufacturers from using “Nilkranti” device mark or any other device mark which is confusingly or deceptively similar to the device marks of Nilkamal.
Justice C Hari Shankar however rejected Nilkamal’s prayer in its trademark infringement suit to restrain the manufacturers from using “Nilkranti” as a word mark, either for chairs or for any other item manufactured by them.
“Seen thus, there is no similarity between NILKAMAL and NILKRANTI. In fact, the latter half of the two marks “KAMAL” and “KRANTI”, individually have their own distinct etymological connotations in vernacular, with the one meaning a lotus and the other a revolution,” the court said.
Justice Shankar said that the mark NILKRANTI, seen as a word mark, cannot be regarded as confusingly similar to NILKAMAL mark, adding that the common prefix “NIL” is merely the first of three syllables which constitute the word.
“It is well-settled that the rival marks are to be considered as whole marks, and not by vivisecting them into their individual components. This principle also finds its statutory avatar in Section 177 of the Trade Marks Act, which specifically holds that plaintiffs are entitled to claim exclusivity over a registered mark as a whole and not over individual parts of the mark, unless such parts are registered by themselves as marks. The plaintiffs do not have any registration for the “NIL” prefix of the NILKAMAL mark,” the court said.
Nilkamal Crates and Containers filed the suit against two manufacturers who were using “Nilkranti” mark for making plastic moulded chairs, as also done by the former.
The court observed hat while Nilkamal made out a prima facie for injuncting the defendant manufacturers, pending the disposal of the suit, from using the device mark Nilkranti. However, no case for injuncting the defendants from using the word mark NILKRANTI was made out.
“The plaintiffs cannot, therefore, claim a monopoly over the prefix “NIL” so as to injunct all others from using “NIL” as a prefix for the marks in respect of plastic moulded chairs or any other item or furniture for that matter. The marks have, therefore, to be compared as a whole mark. Thus compared, there is no phonetic similarity between NILKAMAL and NILKRANTI,” the court said.
Furthermore, Justice Shankar said that there is no reason why the court should presume that a consumer of average intelligence and imperfect recollection will either confuse NILKAMAL with NILKRANTI or believe that there some association between the two marks.
Counsel for Plaintiffs: Ms. Anju Agrawal, Dr. Mohan Dewan, Mr. Rahul Maratha, Mr. D. Pawar, Mr. B. Ghosh, Mr. Vardhman Jain and Mr. M.K. Bhargava, Advs
Counsel for Defendants: Mr. Satish Kumar, Mr. Sreejan Pankaj and Mr. Anil Kumar Sahu, Advs
Title: NILKAMAL CRATES AND CONTANERS & ANR. v. MS. REENA RAJPAL & ANR.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 1089
Click Here To Read Order