It’s all in the Name….
Yes, when look closely and you will see the difference. Two schools, very similar names, similar logos. But one is counting on piggybacking on the reputation of the other. The well-known Delhi Public School Society finds itself in the news often. This time it is the trademark infringement case filed by them against Delhi Public International School (DPIS). The Delhi High court has granted an interim injunction in favor of DPS Society.
The plaintiff filed the accompanying suit inter-alia for infringement of copyright and registered trademark ‘Delhi Public School’ and ‘DPS’ and crest logo
Which they had adopted in the year 1948. In 1996-97, the Plaintiff-Society conceived and adopted another crest logo comprising of a torch on a book along with the school motto written inside a shield deice surrounded by creepers and the words ‘Delhi Public School’ written at the bottom and comprised of other distinctive artistic features as well.
The plaintiff has claimed that they are the first owner of both the crests, which are original artistic works under the provisions of the Copyright Act.
Plaintiff society received information through sources that Defendant has been running a school under the name and style – ‘Delhi Public International School’ and ‘DPIS’ using the logo.
The presented that the marks adopted by the defendant were deceptively similar to Plaintiff’s well-known registered trademarks.
While addressing the matter, Delhi High Court: Sanjeev Narula, J. said that –
“Besides, considering that parties are in the field of education, deliberate adoption by the Defendants of impugned trademarks and logo that are deceptively similar and/or identical to the Plaintiff’s registered trademarks/names and logos can cause confusion in the minds of the parents, prospective students and staff desirous of securing admission or availing services, seeing the advertisements, promotional material, admission forms, boards/ hoardings, etc.”
The plaintiff’s attorney Mr. Mittal demonstrated that the defendant school intentionally misrepresented itself to be in association with the plaintiff society due to the prominence of ‘Delhi Public School’/ ‘DPS’. Also, the crest logo can be perceived by the general public as indicative of the source of ‘Delhi Public School’ being a part of the plaintiff society.
In light of the evidence present, it was clear to the High Court that the defendants did not have any registration of the impugned marks. The bench found a prima facie case in favour of the plaintiff since they were a prior adopter, user, and owner since 1948, and the prior registered proprietor of well-known trademarks ‘Delhi Public School’ and ‘DPS’.
The Court has granted an interim injunction in favour of the plaintiff society. Court has restrained the defendants and anybody acting on their behalf from –
(a) adopting, using and/ or dealing in any manner with the registered trademark of the Plaintiff- ‘Delhi Public School’ and ‘DPS’ and logo or any other trademark that is identical or deceptively similar to the Plaintiff’s aforenoted trademark amounting to infringement of the Plaintiff’s said trademarks;
(b) offering for sale, adopting, using and/or dealing in any manner with the registered trademark of the Plaintiff- ‘Delhi Public School’ and ‘DPS’ and logo of the Plaintiff or any other trademark identical or deceptively similar to the Plaintiff’s trademark amounting to passing off the Plaintiff’s said trademark and further restraining the Defendants from representing in any manner that they are connected with the plaintiff; and
(c) using or dealing in any manner with the impugned trademark/ names ‘Delhi Public International School’ and ‘DPIS’ and logo
For the complete judgment click here.