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Thursday, 8 December 2011


Even if the goods are not same or similar to each other, then also no one can use the registered trademark of a company for any kind of goods which may result in the harm to the business and reputation of the company which is the owner of the trademark.

In Honda Motors Co. Ltd. v. Mr. Charanjit Singh and Ors[5] defendant Company was using the trade name HONDA for ‘Pressure Cookers’ which they are manufacturing in India and even when their application for registration of this trademark had been rejected by the registrar they continued using it and again applied for registration and hence plaintiff has brought this plaint. Plaintiff is the well known company having presence all over the world in the field of Motor Cars, Motorcycles, Generators and other electronic appliances. They are doing business in India in association with the Siddharth Shriram Group with the name Honda Siel Cars India Ltd. Plaintiff has established that his business or goods has acquired the reputation and his trade name has become distinctive of his goods and the purchasing public at large associates the plaintiff's name with them. The use of trademark HONDA by respondents is creating deception or confusion in the minds of the public at large and such confusion is causing damage or injury to the business, reputation, goodwill and fair name of the plaintiff. Hence court has restricted the defendants from using the trademark HONDA in respect of pressure cookers or any goods or any other trade mark/marks, which are identical with and deceptively similar to the trade mark HONDA of the plaintiff and to do anything which amounts to passing off to the goods of the plaintiff.

In the case of Smithkline Beecham v. V.R. Bumtaria[6] the plaintiff applied for permanent injunction to restrain the defendant from infringing the trademark, passing off, damages, delivery etc. of its registered trademark ARIFLO, used in respect of the pharmaceutical preparations. Defendants were using the similar name ACIFLO for their product of the same drug in India. Plaintiffs were not doing business in India for the particular product and argued that since their advertisements are been published in medical journals hence they have a transborder reputation and defendants should be stopped to use the similar trademark which creating deception in customers.
Court said that mere publication of an advertisement in a journal cannot establish a trans-border reputation. Such reputation if any is confined to a particular class of people, i.e., the person subscribing to the said specialized journals and the same can’t be said to be extended to the general consumers. Thus any adverse effect on the firm in such a case can’t be amounted to the offence of “passing off”.
Though the dispute resulted in compromise where the defendant agreed and accepted the plaintiffs’ exclusive right on the use of mark i.e. ARIFLO in India and abroad and further agreed to not to manufacture pharmaceutical preparations under the mark ACIFLO or any other mark identical or similar to ARIFLO.


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