The Delhi High Court (HC) has recently ordered the owner of a cookware brand to stop producing products with the ‘Amul’ name and delist them from all the online platforms after well-known dairy brand Amul approached it in a Trademark Infringement lawsuit.
In the order passed on 28th October 2022, a single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba Singh directed the cookware brand selling its products under the Amul name, Maruti Metals, to write to all online platforms if the listings are not removed. The HC has further directed the online platforms to give effect to the order passed. Consequently, all branded cookware and pressure cooker products bearing Amul’s name shall remain delisted from all e-commerce and other online platforms.
Additionally, the HC has directed the manufacturer to destroy all existing packaging of the cookware brand under the Amul name.
Other than the delisting of products, the HC has allowed Maruti Metals to use a new mark or name called ‘Amulya’ as an interim arrangement for its set of products with the color and style of writing entirely different and distinct from the Amul mark used by the plaintiffs including the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union and Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited. The HC has also ordered the counsel at Maruti Metals to forward the new writing style and color combination to the plaintiffs’ counsel within a week.
The registered proprietor of Amul trademarks is the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union. It has further licensed the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited to use the Amul trademarks for milk and milk products and other beverages and foods. The order specifies that Amul entered the dairy sector in 1948, and the Amul mark is well-known in India as one of the renowned brands for dairy products, procuring more than 250 lac kg of milk every day and owning the longest-running advertising campaign worldwide since 1966.
Amul moved to the Delhi HC in a trademark infringement lawsuit seeking a permanent injunction against the cookware brand from making, advertising, and selling saucepans, pressure cookers, and other cookware under the Amul Pressure Cooker or Amul Cookware mark, which it claimed is deceptively similar or identical to its own mark.
According to the HC, Amul is widely known across India, and dairy products and cookware are allied goods as they are both used in the kitchen. Therefore, it held that the use of an identical or deceptively similar mark concerning these products couldn’t be permitted as it may cause deception and confusion in the minds of the consumers. Furthermore, the HC held that the Amul brand deserves to be safeguarded well, even concerning unrelated goods, under the Indian Trademarks Act of 1999.
The HC, during the hearing, was informed that Maruti Metals was willing to change its cookware brand name from Amul to Amulya as an ad interim arrangement. While the plaintiffs were against this change, the HC held that the name Amulya used for cookware couldn’t be held to be deceptively similar or identical to Amul at this stage, specifically in the factual background of the said lawsuit.
The HC held that its point of view in the lawsuit in question is prima facie in nature, and the interim arrangement between the parties involved shall not bind the final judgment in the lawsuit post-trial. The matter shall next be heard on 24th January 2023. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com
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