The Delhi High Court said that the trademark of ‘AMUL’ has acquired huge significance and that its protection would transcend all classes having been declared a well-known mark.

The Court was deciding a rectification petition filed under Sections 47 and 57 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 by the society named Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd.

A Single Bench of Justice Anish Dayal observed, “There is little doubt that the trademark ‘AMUL’ has gained a wide, expansive, comprehensive and nation-wide reputation and products of ‘AMUL’, which have gone far beyond milk and milk products are available not only in shops and retail stores, but also in shops which are operated or franchised by AMUL, selling ‘AMUL’ products exclusively. The mark ‘AMUL’ has therefore acquired huge, undiluted, enduring significance and is relatable to source of goods of petitioners. Also its protection would transcend all classes having been declared a well-known mark.”

Advocate Vishal Nagpal appeared on behalf of the petitioners while CGSC Harish Vaidyanathan Shankar appeared on behalf of the respondents.

Brief Facts -

The rectification petition was filed inter alia under Sections 47 and 57 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 by the petitioner society against the respondent i.e., D N Bahri Trading seeking rectification of the Register of Trade Marks by removal of the respondent’s trademark registered. The petitioner claimed rights in the trademark ‘AMUL’, in the word mark, as well as, various other device marks and formative marks. It further claimed that it is a well-known trademark, as has been declared so in 2011.

The High Court in view of the above facts noted, “To seek rectification of a mark, the petitioner must be able to show that any of the grounds under Sections 9, 11, 47 or 57 of the Act are made out. Without having to draw a comparison with an earlier registered mark, grounds under Sections 9 and 47 of the Act are available to a petitioner to claim that the impugned mark ought not to have been registered on absolute grounds, and if registered, can be removed for reason of non-use. What is striking, in this case, is that respondent no.1 has produced no document whatsoever which would prove their use since 1957, as claimed.”

The Court added that there is not a sliver of any documentation, photograph, advertisement, invoice or any other visual or documentary proof to support their assertion that they were indeed using the said mark on some goods.

“Notwithstanding the above, the rectification petition must be assessed on the basis of other grounds as well. It would be difficult to not acknowledge, countenance and recognise the huge, significant, unique reputation, goodwill and continuous use that petitioner has in trademark ‘AMUL’. Not only is the coined word ‘AMUL’ distinctive for the acronym for Anand Milk Union Ltd., but also has been recognized as a well-known trademark in 2011, therefore getting protection across all classes”, it observed.

Furthermore, the Court noted that the word mark ‘AMUL’ had been registered since 1956 in other classes, as also various families of marks, both word and device, in relation to ‘AMUL’.

“Regards respondent no.1’s contention of different goods, this Court does not find any merit in the said submission for the reason that the category of goods in which impugned mark has been registered includes mineral and aerated water and other non-alcoholic drinks along with fruit drinks and fruit juices. The AMUL range of products is large and expansive, and as shown by petitioner’s counsel, includes the ‘AMUL tru’ drinks as well, aside from other drinks”, it said.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the rectification petition.

Cause Title- Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd. & Anr. v. D N Bahri Trading as the Veldon Chemical and Food Product & Anr. (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:2868)


Petitioners: Advocate Vishal Nagpal

Respondents: CGSC Harish Vaidyanathan Shankar, Advocates Ajayinder Sangwan, Devendra Singh, Siddharth Gill Smit Singh Kuru, Srish Kumar Mishra, Alexander Mathai Paikaday, Lakshay Gunawat, and Krishnan V.

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