The Delhi High Court recently decided an appeal against an order of a Single Judge dismissing the application for interim injunction filed by Eatman Foods India Pvt. Ltd against Savorit Ltd. Eatman Foods had claimed that their registered trademark (label) “Tastee Masala” was being infringed by Savorit’s use of the trademark “Tastii”. By its decision in the appeal,the Delhi High Court held that the registration of a label as a trade mark does not entitle a person to the exclusive use of the word contained in the label.
In this case the Appellant had adopted the trade mark “Tastee Masala” in respect of spices and had applied for and obtained registration in respect of the label in the year 2005. The Respondent was using the word TASTII in respect of savories. The Appellant claimed that the Respondent was trying to confuse the public by adopting and using a mark that has phonetical & structural similarities to the trade mark of the Appellant. The Appellant however also admitted that they had adopted their mark from the English word Tasty.
The Respondent contended that the products of the parties were different and that the marks of both parties had been derived from the common English word “Tasty”. The Respondents also pointed out that the Appellant’s trademark registration is only in respect of a label and thus they cannot seek infringement of the word TASTEE only.
The Single Judge before whom the suit and the applications for interim injunction were initially instituted had found that the suit was not maintainable as –
- Product manufactured and marketed by the parties are different.
- What has been registered by the parties is only the "label". The names "TASTEE" and 'TASTII" are part of the labels.
- The labels are not similar
Dissatisfied with the decision of the Single Judge rejecting the grant of injunction, Eatman appealed before the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court. The Division Bench of the Delhi High Court however, found that the order of the Single Judge was sound and well reasoned and did not think it prudent to interfere with the same. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.