In the case of Surya Food & Agro Ltd v Priya Gold Tea
Company & Ors., Surya Food, the Plaintiff, brought a suit
for permanent injunction and delivery-up, against Priya Gold Tea
Company (Respondents) seeking to restrain them from:
manufacturing, selling and/or offering for sale directly or
indirectly dealing in Tea and/ or any other allied or cognate goods
under the mark "PRIYAGOLD" or any other mark as may be
identical and/or deceptively similar to Surya Food's
using the slogan "MANGO HAQ SE" and from doing any
other thing or act as may amount to passing off its goods and/or
business as that of Surya Food's.
using the mark "PRIYAGOLD" as part of their firm name
amounting to passing off and infringement of copyright.
using the trade mark "PRIYAGOLD" in respect of tea
for infringement of Surya Food's well known trademark, or to do
anything amounting to infringement of Surya Food's registered
Surya Food & Agro Ltd is a limited company incorporated
under the Indian Companies Act, engaged in the business of
manufacturing and marketing various food items including biscuits,
etc for the last several years. They alleged that the respondents
had adopted a mark identical to their mark "PRIYAGOLD" in
respect of tea, moreover, that the respondents were using the said
mark as an essential part of their firm's name. It was further
alleged that such adoption by the respondents is dishonest, mala
fide and tainted with the intention to trade on Surya Food's
well established and hard earned goodwill. Furthermore, it was
alleged that the respondents had gone a step further and had copied
Surya Food's slogan "HAQ SE MAANGO" and were
promoting their products under the slogan "MAANGO HAQ
The Respondents did not enter an appearance, thus vide Order
dated 4.3.2008 the Court proceeded to adjudicate the matter ex
parte, based on the evidence urged by Surya Food.
It was contended by Surya Food that the trade mark
"PRIYAGOLD" was coined and adopted by them in the year
1993, and has been in use ever since and as a consequence, the said
mark has come to be exclusively identified by the consumers with
the plaintiffs goods. Furthermore, they claimed to have spent
substantial amounts of money on advertising and promotion.
The Court observed that Surya Food's mark was a word mark
and was not descriptive or suggestive of the products or services
offered and that the mark "PRIYAGOLD" does not
necessarily conjure up the image of biscuits. Further, the
respondent's trade name was deceptively, or confusingly
identical or similar to Surya Food's registered mark, and there
was no explanation on the part of the respondents as to why they
adopted the same mark. The Court further opined that the materials
placed on record were sufficient to show that Surya Food had been
using the mark since 1993, and the sales figures and turnover
presented to the Court testified to some degree of their reputation
and goodwill. The Court stated that the Respondents were marketing
their product under the name M/s Priyagold Tea Company, and were as
such using "PRIYAGOLD" as a significant part of the
expression. The Court felt that by using the slogan "MAANGO
HAQ SE" which was only slightly different form Surya
Food's slogan "HAQ SE MAANGO", the Respondents were
most certainly trading on Surya Food's goodwill and reputation.
The Court further opined that the facts that the mark is a coined
word and there being no evidence to show that the Respondents had
hit upon the expression on their own meant that the respondents
were indulging in infringement of Surya Food's trademark, with
the attendant confusion.
Based on the grounds, the Court granted injunction to Surya Food
and also awarded damages.
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