M/S Khushi Ram Behari Lalvs M/S Jaswant Singh Balwant Singh

(2019)  258 DLT (CN  14)  14

PARTIES

The Petitioner is  a  partnership   firm   trading as  M/S   Khushi  Ram Behari  Lal (Export  Division)  established in the year 1978 carrying on the business of processing, marketing and exporting of rice since 1978. They own the trademark  ‘TRAIN BRAND  WITH  DEVICE OF  TRAIN’ in relation to said goods and business and have been continuously using the same since 1978 up to the present time.

The  Respondent   i.e.  M/S   Jaswant   Singh  Balwant   Singh  is  also engaged in the same business of processing, marketing and exporting of rice.

BRIEF FACTS

The petitioner  firm  was taken  over as a going concern including its Trade Marks and  other  assets  and  properties  by  M/s.  Khushi  Ram Behari  Lal Ltd.  with  effect from  1.4.1996 under an agreement. The partners of  the petitioner firm  were engaged as  the  directors of  the incorporated  company  which  as  on  date  is  carrying  on  the  said business  under  the subject matter  trademarks,  hence, owing to the previous Partnership  concern’s  name ‘M/s  Khushi  Ram Behari  Lal’; the petitioner and its successors changed their name to M/s.  KRBL Ltd. The Petitioner, M/s  Khushi  Ram Behari Lal (“KRBL”) hence, filed an application for its registration in class 30  of the IV Schedule of the then  Trade &  Merchandise Marks Act, 1958  before  the Registrar of trade marks on 11.10.1993.

The respondent  filed  notice of  opposition on 24.07.2000  objecting to the registration of  the said Trade Mark in favour  of  the petitioner on the grounds inter alia  that the respondent is engaged in the business of Rice  under the Trade Mark “TRAIN”  as well.

The  Registrar,   on   consideration   of   the  Respondent’s    previously registered   trade    mark,   dismissed   Petitioner’s    Form    TM-16(an application to request for correction  of clerical error or for amendment) and refused the application for registration of the said trade mark.

The  Petitioner,  aggrieved  by   the  order, approached the  IPAB  which dismissed the appeal on the ground that the Respondents had adopted and registered the trade mark prior in point of time.

ISSUE

Whether  copyright  registration  is  sufficient   for  proving  the  use   of subject Trademark?

APPLICABLE RULES

 Section 12  in The Trade Marks Act, 1999

 Section 18  in The Trade Marks Act, 1999

ARGUMENTS

The petitioner contended  that  the  order of  the assistant  registrar is contrary  to law and  facts  of  the  case.  The documents  filed   by   the respondent are forged and fabricated.

It  was  further   alleged that  the  invoices of  telephone  number  are doctored and forged.

The respondent had pleaded before the Assistant Registrar to reject the impugned application outright as the applicant had failed  to establish entitlement to trade mark. The Respondent has also secured copyright registration for the  artistic  label comprising  the  word & device of  the trade mark under No.A-44877/84.

DECISION

The Hon’ble court on perusal of the documents on record, said that the learned Appellate Board had relied on the Copy  Right Registration of respondent  under  No. A44877/84.  The Copy  Right Registration of the art work of “TRAIN” brand is extraneous for the purpose of proving the use subject Trade Mark.

The  Hon’ble   High Court  hence,  through  this  case,  decreed  that  a Copyright  Registration   of   the   artwork  of   the  brand  “TRAIN”   is immaterial for  the purpose of  proving the  use  of  the subject trade mark. Some cases with similar issue before  the Supreme Court were cited as Corn Products Refining Co. v. Shangrila Food Products Ltd and in case of Gandhi Scientific Company v. Gulshan Kumar.

Author: Tarun Khurana (Partner and Patent Attorney), Abhishek Pandurangi (Partner and Patent Attorney) and Niharika Sanadhya, Litigation Associate at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys. In case of any queries please contact/write back to us at niharika@khuranaandkhurana.com.

References:

[1] AIR 1960 SC 142

[2] 2009 (40) PTC 22 (Del.)

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