The Gujarat High Court in a landmark judgement has ruled that a registered trade mark user has the right to restrict others using their trade mark for different class or goods. It has ruled that a registered trade mark is infringed by a person who, not being a registered proprietor or a person using by way of permitted use, uses in the course of trade, a mark which is identical with or similar to the registered trade mark and is used in relation to goods or services which are not similar to those for which the trade mark is registered. It further ruled that the contention of using a trade mark for a long time, without valid permission, is not acceptable, as passing off is a recurring wrong and therefore can be prevented at any stage and at any time.
This significant judgement will come as a great relief to leading organisations whose trade marks are regularly being infringed by unprincipled elements. The problem of trade mark infringements has assumed alarming proportions all over the country.
The Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd. and GCMMF had filed trade mark infringement cases against two local shop owners – Amul Chasmaghar and its partners and Amul Cut Piece Stores in the District Court, Anand. The District Court, Anand passed an order dated 25-4-07, ruling that it was a clear case of infringement and restrained the two from using Amul trade mark. Amul Chasmaghar had challenged this interim injunction in the Gujarat High Court.
Upholding the ruling of the District Court, Hon’ble Justice, Shri D. N. Patel of Gujarat High Court ruled that he saw no reason to entertain the present appeal as the order passed by the trial court is true, correct, legal and in consonance with the facts of the case as well as in accordance with the provisions of the Trade Marks Act 1999.