Sunder Nagar Association Regd. and Anr. v. Welfare Cultural Club (Regd.) and Anr.
1995 PTC 270 Delhi
Plaintiffs, Sunder Nagar Association and Sunder Nagar Women Welfare Association were holding Sunder Nagar Diwali Mela for around 30 years. The same was used to take place in Sunder Nagar Area of Delhi. The Plaintiffs came across an advertisement of Defendants towards organizing of Sunder Nagar Diwali Mela in which the identity of the Defendants was not disclosed. Plaintiffs also advertised that they had nothing to do with the advertisement of the Defendants. In response to the said advertisement of the Plaintiff the Defendants added the suffix ‘By Welfare Cultural Club’ to their advertisement. After gathering knowledge of the Defendants, Plaintiffs filed the present case.
• They propose to hold Sunder Nagar Diwali Mela in the vicinity of Sundar Nagar
• Sunder Nagar is a geographical description of locality and nobody can claim or acquire any right over a common name or descriptive name of a locality.
• Plaintiffs have been organizing Sunder Nagar Diwali Mela atleast since 1985.
• Defendants are organizing the Mela by the name of Sunder Nagar Diwali Mela for the first time in the vicinity of Sunder Nagar.
• Plaintiffs have their roots in Sunder Nagar but the Defendants don’t.
• The name Sunder Nagar Diwali Mela has come to be associated with the Plaintiffs.
• The Defendants propose to make use of Plaintiffs’ Goodwill.
• On the issue of Geographical origin of mark, the Court disregarded the contention of the Defendants after relying on the following extract from Halsbury’s Laws of England (4th Ed.,Vol. 48, Para 169)
“Even though it might be possible for a geographical name to be used with adequate distinction in a way which is not deceptive, a name originally purely geographical in its significance may become so associated with the plaintiff’s goods or service that its use on its own as a trade mark or name without adequate distinction will amount to passing off, especially if it used in conjunction with get-up or other indicia similar to that used by the plaintiff”
The Defendants were restrained from holding a Diwali Mela by associating the word ‘Sunder Nagar’ with it.