The Delhi High Court has held that fast-food restaurant chain KFC does not have any exclusive rights over the word “Chicken”.

The Court’s ruling came on the plea by Kentucky Fried Chicken International Holdings challenging the Order refusing registration of ‘Chicken Zinger’ as its trademark.

Senior Examiner of Trademarks while holding the mark “Chicken Zinger” to be descriptive of characteristics of the goods or services to which it is applied, refused its registration.

Justice Sanjeev Narula noted that the objection was based on the use of the word “Chicken”. The Court also noted that the appellant holds registration of the word marks “Zinger” and “Paneer Zinger”.

“Objection under Section 9(1)(b) of the Act seems to be based on the use of the word “CHICKEN”, over which, Appellant cannot have any exclusivity and no such claim is being asserted.”, the Court observed.

Thus the Court set aside the impugned Order passed by the Senior Examiner of Trademarks.

Advocate Prithvi Singh appeared for the Appellant whereas Harish Vaidyanathan Shankar, CGSC, appeared for Respondent.

The Court directed the trademark registry to proceed for the advertisement of the mark “Chicken Zinger” in class 29, within a period of three months. The Court directed that if there is any opposition to the application then it shall be decided on merits uninfluenced by Courts’ observations.

Before parting with the case, the Court clarified that “…Appellant shall not have any exclusive rights in the word “CHICKEN”. Trademarks Registry shall reflect this disclaimer at the time of advertisement of subject mark and also if subject mark ultimately proceeds for registration.”

Cause Title- Kentucky Fried Chicken International Holdings LLC v. The Registrar of Trade Marks

Click here to read/download Order